Dog Surgery

The staff at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital knows that the news of your pet needing surgery may cause some concern. While the recommendation to put a pet under general anesthesia is never taken lightly, it is always made with the best interest of your pet in mind. If your dog requires surgery, it is important to understand what decisions may be required in that process as well as the steps that we will assist you with throughout the process.

In most cases, there are two different kinds of surgical procedures that may be provided to dogs. Much like human procedures, these include elective surgeries and emergency procedures. No matter what type of surgery your dog may need to ensure their health and overall happiness, to ensure your pet remains healthy and happy, the veterinary team at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital is here to ensure you receive the best outcome possible for you and your cherished pet. No matter what type of surgery is required, our team is committed to ensuring that pet owners have the resources and information needed to make an informed decision for their pet.

Dog Undergoing Surgery At Vets

Any time your dog may need surgery, even for a routine spay or neuter, our team will want to know more about your pet. Our goal is to ensure that any questions or concerns you may have are addressed before the procedure begins. Often, this will require a full examination of your dog to identify any issues that may put them at more risk for complications. At Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital, we are committed to the highest standards of veterinary medicine possible to ensure your dog remains safe and comfortable when surgery is needed. This commitment makes us the perfect partner for any elective or emergency surgery your dog may need.

Elective Surgery for Dogs

Elective surgeries are procedures that a pet owner elects to do. While there may be no time constraints attached to performing this type of surgery, delaying it could impact the quality of life that your dog has. Unless associated with a more serious illness, some examples of elective surgeries include mass removals, sterilizations, dental cleanings or tooth extractions. However, if there is a more serious underlying problem like an abscessed tooth or bleeding tumor, it may warrant more urgent attention.

For most elective procedures, your dog will be able to return home the same day unless an unforeseen problem occurs throughout the process. Pet owners need to understand that even elective surgeries may have their own risks depending on the pain tolerance and age of your dog. However, our team will try to ensure that they are comfortable and safe throughout their procedure; no matter how complex or minor it may be.

Fluffy retriever surrounded by family
Puppy Jack Russell terrier lying on a carpet and looking weak

Emergency Surgery for Dogs

Emergency surgery is required when a pet has an urgent or life threatening medical condition. Signs that your pet may need immediate medical attention, and possible surgery include: loss of appetite, lethargy, pain, uncontrollable vomiting, inability to urinate, or bleeding.

Some common problems that require emergency surgery include life-threatening situations like intestinal obstruction, internal bleeding, malignant skin tumors, urethral blockages or or pyometras (an infected uterus). While this is not an exhaustive list of the potential problems that may occur with your dog, any sign of trouble should warrant an immediate call to your veterinarian to determine what the root cause may be. Early detection is often critical for ensuring the best outcome possible for your pet when surgery may be needed.

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What Should You Expect if Surgery is Needed?

For elective procedures, we recommend your dog not receive any food after 10pm the night before surgery, however, consuming water will generally be fine. Once the dog arrives for a procedure, a full physical exam will be performed, and blood will be collected for any necessary bloodwork. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork allows us to ensure the pet's liver, kidneys, and other internal organs are functioning appropriately. After this, your pet will receive pain medication prior to surgery, and then an IV catheter will be placed. Once surgery prep and any skin cleaning are completed, the dog will be transferred to a surgery suite.

When your dog undergoes surgery, they will be given anesthesia. And, like when you might undergo anesthesia, there is always some sort of risk that the unexpected can happen. While complication risks may be low, it is important to understand that they still may be present. To ensure your pet remains safe, our veterinarian team will perform a full physical exam before the procedure begins and monitor their vital signs throughout the process to ensure they are as safe and comfortable as possible. While we don’t anticipate any problems, we want the pet owner to understand that problems may occur while the surgery is in progress or after the surgery is completed.

Doctor examining golden retriever dog in vet clinic
Small dog and middle age woman

Pre-Surgical Instructions

Like pre-surgical instructions that pet owners must abide by before they can undergo a procedure, their dogs also have guidelines that must be followed to ensure the best outcome possible when surgery is needed. In most cases, these instructions will be required whether the procedure is emergency or planned; however, exceptions may be made depending on the severity of the situation. However, we veterinarian will provide you with the information needed before the procedure begins and you will be expected to follow these guidelines.

In most cases, feeding will need to be limited the night before the procedure is scheduled to occur. Allowing the dog to drink water will often be allowed although it is important to strictly follow the guidelines given to you by your veterinarian and cut off food and water as required before the cut off period you are given. Our surgical procedures are often scheduled very precisely to allow for multiple surgeries to be completed in a designated timeframe. For this reason, it is important to ensure that you are on time and ready when your appointment time arrives.

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What Should You Know About Anesthesia?

Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital adheres to strict guidelines for both administering anesthesia and helping your dog recover from anesthesia after a procedure is completed. When implemented properly, anesthesia is incredibly safe and has minimal side effects for your pet. Our veterinary team will take every precaution necessary before surgery and anesthesia begins to ensure your dog is safe at all times. While there is always some risk associated with surgical procedures, we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of your dog when they are inside of our facilities.

The way a dog recovers from surgery will often be dependent on the amount of time that procedure takes, the age of the dog and the amount of anesthesia that was required to ensure the dog wasn’t experiencing any pain throughout the surgery. While it is normal for a dog to remain groggy or tired for a few hours after the anesthesia is administered, it is important for pet owners to monitor their pet for potential problems and call us if they may occur as soon as possible following a surgical procedure.

Veterinarian getting ready for dog neutering
Post-surgical care for dogs
Post-surgical care for dogs

Post-Surgical Care for Dogs

Like pre-surgery protocols that may be in place for pet owners, it is important to know what to expect once the surgery has been completed. While these protocols may vary widely depending on the type of surgery that is performed, the team at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital is committed to ensuring that pet owners have the knowledge and resources needed to confidently help their dog recover from a procedure, no matter how simple or complex it may have been. While routine procedures will allow the dog to return home within a few hours, emergency procedures may require a 24 hour or more recovery period in the hospital.

For many procedures, your pet will come home with internal or external sutures in place to hold the incision closed. Pet owners are required to monitor the incision for possible signs of infection that may occur like redness or swelling and will also need to ensure that the dog isn’t licking the incision or pulling out the sutures. It is important to continue following the recovery program put in place for the dog until notified otherwise by your veterinarian, or until cleared at the post-surgical follow up appointment to ensure the best outcome and healing process possible for your dog.

How Can You Schedule Surgery for Your Dog?

Any pet owner that needs to schedule a surgery for their dog can contact the team at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital. If you or your pet are new to our practice, we will need to get to know both you and your pet to establish the best care plan possible for their needs both before surgery begins and after the procedure is completed. Our veterinary team is highly experienced and will care for your dog like it was our own pet to not only ease the stress and fear associated with dog surgery but ensure that your pet receives the best possible care.

Why Choose Advanced Care for Dog Surgery?

Advanced Care is more than just a primary care hospital. Our patients and clients are special to us and are the reason why we always treat everyone who comes to visit as another member of our family each and every time they walk in our doors. We do not treat every patient the same because we understand that each one requires individualized care and attention.

Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital Hallway

Meet Our Doctors

Jennifer Patton


Dr. Patton’s decision to pursue veterinary medicine came after she realized that while education and teaching is her passion, it is not something she could do as a career. Veterinary medicine allowed her to combine her love of animals with her love of teaching.

After she graduated from Oklahoma State University with her Doctorate, she practiced in several high volume hospitals in the Tulsa area, developing medical skills with varied case loads and growing her leadership skills.


Allissa Huckabay


Dr. Huckabay’s love of science and animals naturally led her to a lifelong passion of veterinary medicine. She worked and volunteered at a local veterinary hospital before she furthered her education at Oklahoma State University, graduating in 2016 with her Doctorate.

Dr Huckabay immediately found her home at ACVH, where she is able to create a healthy bond with each of her patients as she experiences all stages of their care with their owners.


Phillip Adolph

Phillip Adolph, DVM is a graduate of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Health Sciences. He also attended OSU for his undergraduate studies where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Agriculture through the College of Animal Sciences. Dr. Adolph was on the President’s Honor Roll and was a member of the OSU jazz orchestra. He joined the Advanced Care team immediately upon his graduation in 2019 after doing 6 weeks of externships during his 4th year of veterinary school.