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Surgical Procedures

General Surgery
           Our state-of-the-art surgical suite, including a surgical laser, provides for the performance of a wide variety of surgical procedures. We utilize the same anesthetics as used in surgery for humans providing an extra margin of safety. Using the most modern equipment, the patient's vital signs are monitored continuously during the procedures and they receive IV fluids to help maintain blood pressure. Our goal is to maintain the highest level of medicine and safety for your pet.

           We offer general surgeries including spay, neuter, growth removal, wound repair, feline declaw utilizing surgical laser, dentistry, as well as other types of surgery. Call for more information.

Feline Declaw
               Declawing (Onychectomy) is an elective surgery cat owners sometimes choose to have performed to prevent their pet from scratching furniture, curtains, other pets and people. Surgical declawing should be reserved for indoor cats and should be considered only after all other attempts to train your cat have failed. Here at Murphy Road Animal Hospital we use a surgical laser to perform the declaw surgery. Surgical laser offers the safest, least painful method of declawing a cat available today. This means that there can never be any painful re-growth of nail tissue because the entire claw and attached, non weight-bearing bone are surgically removed. Because the laser seals the blood vessels and nerves, the cat quickly returns to normal activity, usually within one to three weeks following surgery. The laser makes this a virtually bloodless operation!

In order to ensure that this is as safe and “pain-free” as possible, your cat will receive:
  • A complete physical examination is performed prior to surgery.
  • Pre-Operative Blood Panel is recommended to ensure your cat is healthy. Included are Kidney and Liver tests, Proteins, Blood Glucose Level, Electrolytes, Red Cell Count, White Cell Count, Hematocrit, and Platelet Count.
  • General gas anesthesia via endotracheal tube with the latest generation (and safest!) anesthetic agents available (Sevoflurane)
  • Monitoring of ECG, respiratory rate, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, pulse rate, blood pressure, and temperature during surgical procedure
  • IV catheter and supportive fluids during surgery
  • Advanced, state-of-the-art, “Tissue Adhesive” closure to completely seal the incisions.
  • Post operative pain medication for about 5 days to ensure a comfortable recovery
      Declawing can be done at any age, but younger cats tend to bounce back more quickly than older ones. Pet owners might consider having the declaw and spay / neuter done at the same time so the cat undergoes anesthesia only once. At Murphy Road Animal Hospital we recommend performing surgeries on kittens between 5 and 6 months and only removing the front claws. Since older cats tend to have a longer recovery time we recommend counseling with one of our doctors prior to scheduling the procedure. There is good evidence to show that recovery time is shortened if pain relief is started prior to surgery and continued for several days post surgery. We generally use an oral medication. Some people request that all four feet be declawed, but we do not recommend this. Cats rarely damage anything with their rear claws and these rear claws are their only defense after the front ones are removed. Inevitably, some indoor cats manage to sneak outside and then they may need their back claws. We recommend cats remain exclusively indoors after being declawed.

Benefits of declaw with laser:
  • Laser used to dissect out the bone (impossible for claw to grow back)
  • Laser seals blood vessels so no need for tourniquets
  • Only light bandages used because of very little bleeding
  • Laser seals nerve endings therefore making procedure less painful
  • Pain medication before, during, and after surgical procedure
  • Faster return to use of feet
       Typically there are minimal complications with declaw surgery and your cat can go home after a one or two night stay in the hospital.

Spay & Neuter

         There are numerous reasons you should spay or neuter your pets! Let’s talk about health reasons first… Females that are spayed CAN’T get uterine cancers, their risk of mammary (breast) cancer is reduced by 25% and they are less prone to urinary tract infections. As early as 6 months of age, female dogs begin a biannual “heat” cycle during which they attract every non-neutered male dog within 20 miles. She can also have hormonal or personality changes and leak bloody vaginal discharge throughout your house. And no, it’s not true; your dog won’t get fat because you spay her.

          Male dogs that are neutered CAN’T get testicular cancer and they live 40% longer than their non-neutered counterparts. Non-neutered male dogs respond to the “call of the wild” and their desire to wander is fierce. In fact, 62% of dogs hit by a car are non-neutered! Finally, 66% of non-neutered males get prostate disease. Aside from the important medical reasons for spaying or neutering you are doing the right thing for the serious overpopulation problem in the United States. Over 12 million unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized each year and even more are abandoned.

          Everyone knows that rabbits are prolific breeders. Did you know that cats are almost as prolific? A female cat can become pregnant at 5 months and can have several litters in one year. With each litter averaging 4 to 6 kittens per litter, that amounts to 12 to 18 kittens. That's a lot of babies in one year! Unfortunately, all of this breeding is one of the main factors contributing to the overpopulation problem.

          Female cats that are spayed CAN’T get uterine cancers; their risk of mammary (breast) cancer is reduced by 25%; and they are less prone to urinary tract infections and hormonal changes.

          Male cats that are neutered CAN’T get testicular cancer, and they live 40% longer than their non-neutered counterparts. Non-neutered male cats may become aggressive toward other cats, increasing their risk of injury and becoming infected with feline leukemia and/or feline immunodeficiency. And don’t forget: non-neutered male cats tend to spray urine, which has an extremely strong odor!

          The optimum time to spay or neuter your puppies and kittens is between 5 and 6 months of age. The surgery can be performed at any age but you avoid unwanted behaviors and the young ones recover more quickly.