What should I look for to ensure that my pet's recovery is successful?

Good signs

-All sutures or staples are intact

-Incision is light pink or the same color as the skin surrounding

-Animal is eating and drinking 

-Animal's energy level is normal

-Some minimal seepage from may be okay, depending on the surgery. If you are unsure give us a call. If we expect drainage we will let you know when you pick up your pet from surgery and we will usually try to bandage or cover the area by using a sanitary napkin to catch drips but sometimes that is not possible depending on the location of the incision.

Bad signs

-Sutures/staples are loose, falling out or have completely come out before the 10-14 day post surgery removal appointment
-Incision looks worse- swelling, redness, oozing or any odor
-Incision is bleeding or has come open

-There is extreme bruising around the incision
-Possible reaction to any and all post surgery medications; allergic reaction symptoms are facial swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash 
-Animal is not eating or drinking
-Animal's energy level is not back to normal after 3 days post surgery
-Any abnormal behavior

What to expect post- surgery:

After surgery, the doctor will call to let you know how the surgery went and to set up the discharge appointment. The discharge appointment will usually be with the technician, who will go over post op instructions, medications, treatments, any bandage care and planned recheck appointments. Typically these appointments will be between 4:00-5:30 pm depending on how quickly your pet wakes up from anesthesia. 

Please make an appointment when you pick up you pet for the next recheck:

If there is a bandage or protective covering, the next recheck will be between 1-5 days. Bandages or covers absolutely cannot be left on longer than 5 days. Drains, likewise, require removal at the latest 5 days, usually 3 days is ideal.

If there are sutures they need to be removed at 10-14 days - absorbable sutures do not need to be removed but the incision needs to be checked at 10-14 days to assure healing.

The day following the surgery we will call you to check up on your pet, if there are major concerns we can schedule another recheck appointment.

Guidelines for a successful recovery:

It is expected for your animal to act lethargic the day of surgery. Your pet should be back to normal or near normal the day after. 

When you go home the day of surgery, your pet's stomach may be upset because of the anesthetics we recommend taking away the regular food and water bowls and just offering a small amount of water at first. Then wait 20 minutes and then you can put down the regular bowl of water. Then wait 20 more minutes before offering any food and when you do just give a small amount (approximately 1/4 of what they usually get). If there is no vomiting or nausea, the rest of the meal can be portioned out in 2-3 three parts  and given 15-20 minutes apart.

Please read the directions carefully as far as any medications and call us if any problems or confusion.

If you think your pet is too active after surgery, let us know. We can prescribe sedatives so they stay calm and relaxed while they heal.

Please remember to:

-Keep the E-collar on at all times until otherwise instructed by the doctor- your pet will be able to eat, drink, and sleep with it on. Even if you think your pet is good and won't touch the incision, trust us they will- you don't want risk having to start over the healing process.

-Confine to a leash when outside and only take out to pee and poop until sutures are removed.

-Don't allow your pet to do any strenuous activity including walks, playing fetch, running, or jumping (even if it is only onto the couch/bed).

-Do not allow the incision to get wet, keep your pet in a dry environment and no trips to the groomers or baths until after the doctor says it is okay.

Please follow these guidelines until other wise instructed by the doctor.


If your animal is exhibiting any of the "bad signs" please call us right away. If it is after hours or the weekend and it is an emergency please contact North Peninsula Veterinary Emergency Clinic *at (650)-348-2575 or Sage Veterinary Centers at (650)-417-7243

Laurelwood Veterinary Clinic

Call Us:  (650)-341-7741

ATTENTION: We will not be scheduling any surgeries until after the 15th of August.

We offer a wide variety of surgeries for your pet such as suturing up wounds, lump/tumor removals, or spays/neuters. We also offer full service dentals. Usually, the surgeries and dentals we perform have an 8:00-8:30 am drop off time and a 4:00-5:00 pm pick up time and most pets will go home the same day- we do not offer overnight care.

Although rare, If there are circumstances where the pet needs overnight care, the pet  will need to be transferred  to the emergency clinic of your choice. 

Below is a general guideline, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us at (650)-341-7741

Pre- Surgery Check list:

-Take all food away after 8 pm the night before

-Continue to provide water at all times - water never needs to be withheld at home

-Do not give any medications by mouth the morning of surgery unless otherwise directed by us 

-Take your dog out to go to the bathroom

-Arrive between 8:00 am and 8:30 am

Plan to stay a few minutes to sign the estimate, release forms and get checked in - if you can't stay or need to come before we are open, please let us know in advance and we will accommodate your needs.