Surgerical Procedures

A few things to know:

  • All of the veterinarians at Willamette Valley Animal Hospitals perform surgery. We schedule a surgery day for each Doctor so they may continue to stay confident and proficient in their surgery skills. However, you are always welcome to request a specific surgeon for your pet’s procedure.

  • Surgeries are scheduled Monday through Saturday

  • Surgery patients should have no food after 10pm the night before, however water overnight is fine. Check-in times are as follows:

  • Keizer Hospital: All patients check in between 7:30am and 9:00am.

  • Tualatin Hospital:

  • Salem Clinic: Check-in between 8:00am and 8:30am

  • Usually patients will begin to be ready to go home around 3pm. We will make every effort to call you when

What are the steps of anesthesia/surgery at Willamette Valley Animal Hospital:

Pre-operative Examination/Pre-operative Blood Work/Initial Dose of Pain medication

  • Because of the inherent risks associated with general anesthesia we will perform a full physical examination and in most cases a pre-operative blood panel on your pet on the morning of their appointment. Once the Doctor has that opportunity we will than give your pet a pre-surgical dose of pain medication.

Creation of your pet’s anesthetic protocols

  • We allow your pet some time for the pain medication to begin to take effect this time allows your pet’s Doctor to assess the findings of the exam and blood work to create the customized anesthetic plan for his/her procedure. This form includes a list of all the medications your pet will receive, the doses and the method they will be administered. Also once we enter your pet’s weight from their exam a list of emergency drugs is added to your pet’s anesthetic record in case they should be needed.

Administration of pre-surgical sedatives

  • Once the pain medication has had a chance to take effect we than administer a dose of sedatives to relax your pet and begin their anesthetic procedure. The purpose of this step is to reduce the patient’s stress, enable easier handling by the staff, and to reduce the amount of induction and inhalant anesthetics that have to be used.

Connection of Anesthetic monitoring equipment

  • All patients under general anesthesia are connected to multiple methods of vitals monitoring and these measurements are taken periodically during the procedure. The measurements taken include:

  • Blood Pressure

  • Electrocardiogram (heart rate and rhythm)

  • Blood Oxygen Saturation

  • Temperature

Induction of Anesthesia

  • Your pet is now given an injection to smoothly enter them to a sufficient plane of anesthesia for the procedure to be completed. Once the injection has been given the Doctor places an endotracheal tube into your pet’s airway. The tube in connected to a machine that delivers a specific mixture of oxygen and the gas anesthetic isoflurane.

Surgical Site Preparation/Completion of Procedure

  • Once your pet is under anesthesia and connected to the oxygen and isoflurane mixture we can begin to prep the site for the procedure. We clip the pet’s hair and apply a product called Techni-care which is a topical antiseptic.

  • Once the surgical site is prepared the pet is moved into one of our surgical suites and to Doctor performs the necessary procedure.

End of surgery/Recovery

  • Once the Doctor finishes the procedure your pet is moved to a recovery area with blankets, warm water bottles and a Bair hugger to supplement their temperature and they are monitored by one of our technicians.

  • Patients are monitored periodically until they are ready to go home. Just like in people every pet reacts differently to anesthesia so while we make every effort to we cannot always predict when your pet will be ready to go home. He/She needs to be able to stand up and walk before we are comfortable discharging them from the hospital.


  • All of our anesthetic patients are recommended to recheck with us 3 to 4 days after their procedure so we can ensure their surgery site is healing well. This visit does not require an appointment and is no charge. At 10 to 14 days after the procedure we would like to see your pet back again so that we can remove any necessary sutures or skin staples.

Surgical Procedures Available at Willamette Valley Animal Hospitals


Dental Procedures

Soft Tissue

  • Including mass removals, thyroidectomy, splenectomy, hernia repair, exploratory laparotomy, gastropexy, colopexy, nasal resection, cesarian section, etc.


  • Including multiple techniques to repair Cranial Cruciate Ligament Ruptures, fracture repairs, external fixators, etc.

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