Before & After Surgery

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Drop off: Between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM
Pick up: 4:30 PM for Dogs & 5:00 PM for Cats

Please allow 20 minutes for drop off and pick up.

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DO NOT GIVE FOOD AFTER MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY.  WATER IS ALLOWED.  Animals must be kept inside the night before surgery. Allow bathroom time before drop off.  Cats must be in individual carriers.

ALL PETS: Feed a normal meal for supper on the night before surgery and give a lite meal late in the evening, but not after midnight. Remove all food by midnight.

Pets under 1 year, toy breeds and animals not in the best of health should be “sugar lipped” by the owner the morning of surgery. Put a dollop of Karo syrup or pancake syrup on a q-tip and put it on the pet’s tongue or gums. This will help your pet regulate its blood sugar while awaiting surgery. This is an extra precaution to make the surgery more safe.




If you do not pick up your animal at the scheduled time an overnight boarding fee of $ 50 will be charged.

Be prepared to keep your animal inside and quiet after surgery.  Follow all post-op instructions.

If you animal’s rabies and distemper vaccinations are current, you must provide vet records.  If they are not current, we will vaccinate for rabies and distemper.

Our veterinarians are experienced, licensed professionals who practice in the Gastonia area.  Our nurses and technicians are professionally trained.  We operate a low-cost program, but our facilities, our surgical team, our staff and our surgical protocols are of the highest quality.

We perform cursory physical exams in which patients pass or fail in their readiness for surgery.  Any anesthetic or surgical procedure carries with it serious risks.  Animals with certain conditions are at a higher risk.  Those include: pregnant, in heat, parasite burdened, heartworm positive, FeLV positive, FIV positive, have respiratory conditions, malnourished or obese.  Pre-surgical comprehensive examinations and pre-surgical blood panels are always recommended before any surgery to minimize risk.  Please contact us at least 10 days before your surgery date if you would like us to do a blood panel on your pet.

Sterilization of males is called neuter, which involves removing the testicles.  Sterilization of females is called spay, which is the removal of both ovaries and the uterus.  Pregnant animals will be spayed and fetuses will not be awakened.  Spayed females may still attract males shortly after surgery.  Breeding after surgery can be harmful and should be prevented.

We strongly encourage everyone to purchase an E-Collar for your pet’s post-surgical recovery.

Watch How to Use E-Collar Video


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  1. NO RUNNING, JUMPING, PLAYING, SWIMMING, OR OTHER STRENUOUS ACTIVITY FOR 7 TO 10 DAYS.  Keep your pet quiet.  Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm.  No baths during the recovery period.  Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats kept indoors.
  2. Check the incision site twice daily. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal, DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO LICK OR CHEW AT THE INCISION. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar MUST be worn to prevent it.
  3. Introduce food slowly. If vomiting occurs, withhold food for 4 hours, give water then gradually reintroduce food. Appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Lethargy lasting for more than 24 hours post-op, diarrhea, or vomiting are not normal and your pet should be taken to your regular veterinarian. Dogs may have a slight cough for a few days after surgery.
  4. Do not change your pet’s diet at this time and do not give junk food, table scraps, milk or any other people food during the recovery period. This could mask post-surgical complications.
  5. If your pet is a male dog, he may have received a post-operative anti-inflammatory injection.
  6. We recommend your pet receive a post-operative examination with your regular veterinarian 7 to 10 days after surgery. Have the incision checked for complete healing, to remove any skin sutures, and to discuss additional needs, follow-up care and vaccination boosters.
  7. If there are any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call this office at (704) 868-4673 or the Pet Hospital at (704) 629-5390. If there is an emergency after hours, contact your regular veterinarian or Long Animal Hospital at (704) 523-2996 or 24 Hour Referral Hospital of Hickory at (828) 328-6697.
  8. Your pet will be tattooed next to the incision. This tattoo is a scoring process in the skin; It is not an extra incision.
  9. Vaccine Reactions. Some pets may have severe reactions to vaccines. If you see swelling of the muzzle or tongue or hives, take your pet to your veterinarian AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Unless otherwise noted, there are no sutures to remove.

Keep females away from intact males for at least two weeks.

Gaston Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic will treat any post-op complications resulting directly from surgery, if the above post-op instructions are followed fully. Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, or for contagious diseases for which the animal was not previously and properly vaccinated.

Watch Discharge Video

Watch How to Use E-Collar Video