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To allow ample time for all patients and scheduled surgical procedures, we operate primarily by appointment. Emergency cases shall always receive top priority, which is why occasional appointment delay is inevitable. Please realize that we make a sincere attempt to see each client on time.
Our mission at Albert Lea Animal Hospital is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for companion animals and their families.
A new puppy?
First, a vet exam
The excitement of a new puppy can go on for a dozen years or more if you and your family take some precautions to keep your pet safe and healthy. Although all accidents and illnesses cannot be prevented, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce the chances of your pet encountering discomfort.
The Humane Society of Freeborn County is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to provide the means for the prevention of cruelty to animals, to enforce all laws designated for the protection of animals, to promote responsible pet ownership and to place all adoptable animals into responsible homes.
Are anesthetics safe?Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Albert Lea Animal Hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won't be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet.
Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic.
More on blood testing.We offer three levels of in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. Our doctors prefer the more comprehensive screen, because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.
healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery.
Will my pet have stitches?For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge.
Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.
Will my pet be in pain?Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don't whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed.
For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflamatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, we are limited in what we can give them. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before.
What other decisions do I need to make?While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care.
When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery.