Before and After Surgery

posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020 in Pet PSA



  • Remove food and water after midnight – Your pet can have dinner the night before the surgery but please remove all liquids and food after midnight.
  • Keep your pets indoors – Pets must be kept indoors or confined the night before surgery. This will ensure that they do not eat anything outside and that they are ready for their appointment.
  • If your pet is a dog, please take it “potty” to relieve itself before leaving it with us that morning.
  • For cats, please bring them in a hard side carrier.
    • Make sure their carriers are clean inside and out. Please put newspapers or an old towel in bottom of carrier.

  • Check-In time is between 7:30-8 a.m. - Due to our strict schedule, your pet may not be admitted if you arrive after 8:30 a.m. The admission process usually takes 5-10 minutes. If you wish, you may collect the paperwork before your appointment to save time. Someone 18 years old or older must be present to sign the surgery consent form. Please go to the north side of the building, the entrance has green siding and says "Pet Help Center". View Directions
Face masks/coverings are now required at drop-off and pick-up
  • Please remain in your car - We are doing our best to maintain social distancing efforts. As an effort to get everyone checked in and in the order they arrive we ask that you please sign-in on the sheet we will have posted in the vestibule with your name and number (If you do not have a phone please write the make, model, and color of your vehicle). Once we start check-in we will call you to have you bring in your pet and complete paperwork. Please be patient with us we will get everyone checked in! 
  • Our methods of payments are cash, check and credit card – You can pay at the time of pick up (4:30-6 p.m.).
  • Spay vs. neuter surgeries - In female animals, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall, which makes them unable to get pregnant. In male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. This prevents the production of sperm, meaning they will no longer be able to father puppies or kittens. Our patients are completely asleep during surgery, and are unable to feel or move.


  • Pick up time is between 4:30-6 p.m.Due to pets being under anesthesia during surgery, no pets will be release before 4:30pm. Please note that we do not board pets.
  • Limit activity - Some animals are active after surgery, while others remain quiet for a while. Either way, restrict exercise – no jumping, running, or climbing stairs for 7-14 days, these activities could disrupt the healing process.
  • Feed small amount in the evening after surgery - Your pet has had a small snack on the day of surgery, and their appetite should return gradually within 24 hours. Feed a regular diet in the morning after surgery. Do not change your pet's diet at this time, changes in their diet could hide post-surgical complications.
  • Monitor your pet - Although patients' reactions to surgery can vary, lethargy (lasting for more than 24 hours after surgery), diarrhea, vomiting, etc. are NOT normal. Contact us immediately if any of the following occurs:
    • Loss of appetite for more than two days
    • Refusal to drink water for more than one day
    • Severe depression, weakness or pain
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Elevated or below normal temperature
    • Incision drainage, swelling or redness
  • Outside Cats - If possible do not allow your cat to roam freely 24-48 hours after the spay/neuter surgery. Confining them where they are sheltered from the elements and they have food and water is recommended as the anesthesia can impair their reflexes and make them more vulnerable to injury.
  • Check their incision daily – It is normal that the incision is a little inflamed and/or swollen but watch for excessive swelling, redness, or drainage. The incision’s stitches are absorbable and will dissolve. Please don’t apply anything to the incision and do not allow excessive licking or chewing at the incision. If you are unable to stop your pet from licking or chewing the incision, please check your local pet store for an ecollar (cone).
  • Call if you have concerns - If you have any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call us at (515) 473-9105 during the ARL’s regular business hours: weekdays 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m.-6 p.m. If you have an emergency outside ARL business hours, call your veterinarian or BluePearl Pet Hospital (formerly IVRC) at (515) 727-4872 (4631 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines, IA).

*NOTE: All charges incurred for services rendered at BluePearl or other veterinary clinics are the responsibility of the owner.