Skip to Primary Content

Greater Annapolis Veterinary Hospital

Pre-Anesthetic Instructions

While you may feel some apprehension about leaving your pet, we hope that informing you fully of what will happen during the day will help to alleviate any anxiety you may have.

GAVH is now requiring pre-anesthetic bloodwork for anesthesia. It is recommended that you bring your pet to the hospital at least two days in advance of the procedure to have blood drawn for testing so that we will have the results available before the anesthesia.

Your pet should not have food after midnight the night before the procedure. Water is okay overnight, but please pick up the water bowl first thing in the morning.

All anesthesia/dentistry/surgery patients should be dropped off between 7:00 AM and 8:30 AM. If you need to meet with the doctor (new pets and/or anyone who has questions or concerns), please plan to come in between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM.

After being admitted to the hospital we do our best to make your pet very comfortable. Each animal is checked over by our full-time surgery technician and placed in a cage with soft, warm bedding. Dogs and cats receive pre-operative medication which makes them feel relaxed prior to surgery. Of course, if your pet is anxious or upset, his/her needs will be addressed individually by the doctor.

Outpatient (pets going home the same day) procedures are done first so the animal can recover from anesthesia in time for discharge in the late afternoon or evening. Inpatients (those staying overnight) are done next. The surgery schedule usually runs all day. All patients recover from anesthesia in our central treatment room under the watchful eyes of both doctors and staff. When your pet is awake, he/she is put back to bed, and observation is continued. Pain medication is administered by the doctor when needed.

The doctor will try to call you when your pet’s procedure has been completed. Occasionally a very busy day can delay phone calls. Please call after 4:30 PM for a progress report if we haven’t had the opportunity to contact you.

Pets scheduled to go home the same day may begin food and water in small quantities 1-2 hours after arriving home (or as directed in your discharge instructions). Those animals staying overnight in the hospital generally have had a more involved procedure. We will give them water in the late evening. Food is started again the following morning. (Our staff serves a delicious breakfast!)

There are doctors in the hospital until 9:00 PM. A trained technician is on duty overnight and monitors your pet’s vital signs regularly. The technician will contact the doctor at home if your pet has any discomfort or difficulty.

The morning following surgery your pet will be examined by a doctor. Please call after 9:30 AM to confirm that your pet is ready for discharge. We are available for pet pick-up until 8:30 PM on weeknights and 4:30 PM on Saturdays. You will receive written discharge instructions detailing aftercare. Add some homemade TLC and your pet should be back to normal soon.

We hope this information will be helpful. We are happy to answer any further questions you might have.