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Clinic FAQ’s

Why do I have to withhold food from my pet, but not water?

Food must be withheld because the anesthesia tends to make the animal nauseous and the animal also looses his/her ability to swallow. If the animal vomited food while they were under anesthesia they could breathe it in and possibly die. Water is okay to give because the body absorbs the water so quickly that there is usually no water left in the stomach by the time the animal is put under anesthesia.  Animals under 4 months of age should not be fed after 6am the day of surgery.  Animals over 4 months of age should have their food removed by 12:00am the night before surgery.

Will I get pain medication for my pet to take home after surgery?

Every patient receives quality pain medication prior to their spay/neuter surgery. Typically the animals do not need additional pain medication afterwards. When you pick-up your pet, our staff will go over all of the post-op instructions with you and tell you what to keep a close eye on. If you think your pet is experiencing a problem once (s)he’s home, please call our clinic at 313 451-8200 from 7:30am-4:00pm Monday through Friday to discuss the issue with one of our staff.  Outside of normal business hours, please consult our after-hours on the Post-Operative Instructions page.  Please make sure to consult with our medical team before giving over-the-counter medication because some may cause complications or be fatal.

Will my pet get food and water after surgery?

It will take a little while for the anesthetic to wear off after surgery and the anesthetic can make the animals feel nauseous so we only give cats staying overnight a small amount of food. We do not give water to the animals after surgery since they’re still under the influence of the anesthesia.

Why do you keep the cats overnight? Does someone stay with them?

We keep the cats overnight so that they have a quiet, secluded place where they can sleep off their anesthesia and recover without any physical activity. No staff stays overnight, but our medical staff monitors the animals for several hours after surgery and is here until every animal is awake. The last thing they do before they leave is a final check on every animal and their incision.   Your pet’s incision will be checked again the first thing the next morning before (s)he is released to you.

My dog/cat is on the older side; can I still get him fixed?

We require that pets eight years old and older visit their regular veterinarian to get blood work done, which will check the kidney and liver function of your pet and ensure it’s safe for him/her to be placed under anesthesia. The kidneys and the liver process and eliminate medications from the body, so if these organs are not functioning properly, there could be complications during surgery. The PAWS Clinic cannot take blood work and perform the kidney and liver tests – you must visit your regular vet to have this done. (We are not a full service veterinary clinic. We focus solely on spay/neuter because our mission is to eliminate pet overpopulation.)

My dog/cat has a heart murmur; can I still get him fixed?

It depends on the severity of the heart murmur. We strongly recommend that you take your pet to your regular veterinarian to be evaluated before scheduling his/her spay/neuter. If you are aware that your pet has a heart murmur and you want to have him/her fixed, we require that you sign a high risk form which states that you understand the risks that go along with the surgery. When your pet comes in for his spay/neuter surgery, (s)he will be given a brief physical exam by our vet and our vet will make the final decision on whether or not your pet can be spayed/neutered based on the results of the exam. If our vet discovers a heart murmur that you were not aware of, our vet will determine if it’s a mild murmur and safe to proceed with the spay/neuter surgery, whether or not a high risk form needs to be signed by the owner before proceeding, or if the murmur is too severe to proceed with surgery.

What does my pet go through while he is there and what type of care will he receive?

The PAWS Clinic believes that all animals should receive the highest quality veterinary care possible, even if the services rendered are at a reduced cost. We do not cut corners on quality. Our clinic uses state-of-the-art instruments and equipment. All spay/neuter surgeries are performed by qualified, licensed vets (DVMs) and all animals entrusted to The PAWS Clinic are attended to before and after surgery by trained veterinary assistants and technicians. Every patient receives a brief physical exam and quality pain medication.

Our veterinarian will give your pet a brief physical exam before any medications/drugs are given. If your pet is determined to be in good overall health then a pre-surgery medication will be given to calm him/her down and make him a little sleepy. Once this takes effect, (s)he will be given an additional injection to put him/her temporarily under anesthesia. Then (s)he will be intubated – just like humans are for surgery – to keep him/her under anesthesia. The animals are never left alone while under anesthesia; we have at least three veterinary assistants or technicians here every day that stay with the animals. While under anesthesia, every animal has a heart monitor on them so that any change in heart rhythm and/or speed can be detected immediately. After surgery, your pet will receive constant monitoring until he is moving his/her head and/or ready to walk.  Once ready, your pet will go back into his/her kennel to rest and recover.

Why don’t you offer vaccines or services at times other than when my pet is spayed/neutered?

The PAWS Clinic is a 501c3 charitiable, non-profit organization whose mission is to decrease animal homelessness and needless euthanasia by making high quality, affordable spay/neuter services available to our community.  While we strongly believe that ongoing wellness services are very important to the health of your pet, our focus here is on spay/neuter.  We offer a few services like vaccines, microchipping, deworming, and flea treatment at the time of surgery only as a convenience to our customers, but recommend that you establish a relationship with a full-service veterinarian for on-going wellness.  Likewise, we do not perform other procedures like declawing or dental work at The PAWS Clinic so that we can concentrate on our charitable mission of spaying and neutering.