Veterinary Outpatient Surgical Center (VOSC) is located within Sully Animal Hospital (SAH) and offers the full spectrum of orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries on an outpatient basis in a new, up-to-date, modern medical facility. Click here to learn more. You can find contact information for this department as follows:
Sully Animal Hospital is one of the top five veterinary surgical hospitals in the D.C. area. Our focus is on providing quality, affordable care. Your pet is in good hands with our highly skilled surgical and nursing staff. Whether it’s emergency surgery, a planned procedure, or addressing complex health problems, we have you covered. All of our veterinarians and specialists are skilled general surgeons. Dr. Brenda Taddeo, our general surgeon — along with our two board-certified veterinary surgeons, Dr. Lazar and Dr. Gordon — lead the surgical team during all of our complicated and delicate operations.
We provide surgical consultations to our clients for $80.00. This is important for the patient and the doctors as it provides a baseline for the surgeons to assess your pet and its case. Keep in mind that every case and patient is different. The consultation is an opportunity for you to ask questions. For us, it is time to do additional testing and diagnostics if needed.
We understand that surgery is never an easy experience for you or your pet. This is especially true when it’s an emergency, and a decision must be made quickly under trying circumstances. Our team works hard to provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice for your pet.
Board-certified surgeons Dr. Lazar and Dr. Gordon (along with his associates) perform life-saving emergency procedures as well as planned ones, including orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries. They specialize in ACL repair to include: Lateral Suture, TTA, TPLO, and many complicated soft tissue surgeries such as PU for cats and complicated mass removals. Whenever possible, they employ minimally invasive techniques to ensure your pet bounces back quickly. The most comprehensive diagnostic and monitoring equipment available is used during all our surgeries to safely treat your pet.
Anesthesia & Monitoring
The health and safety of your pet during surgery is our top concern. Our surgical suite has the most sophisticated anesthesia and cardiovascular equipment available. Every patient’s blood pressure is continually monitored as well as their heart and respiratory rates, core body temperature and oxygen levels. A surgical assistant is with your pet from the beginning of the procedure, throughout surgery, and up until transfer to the recovery area. Your pet is then closely supervised by technicians before being released from the hospital.
Identifying and relieving pain is crucial to your pet’s recovery and overall health. Our practice takes a proactive and comprehensive approach to pain before, during, and after surgery. We follow the strict AAHA pain management protocols to ensure each pet’s individual pain is managed appropriately. Our team strives to keep your pet as comfortable as possible using the minimum amount of drugs.
When your pet is discharged, you will receive detailed care and medication instructions to facilitate a smooth recovery at home. We are always available to answer any questions or address any concerns before you leave and once you take your pet home. The day following discharge, a team member will call to ensure your pet is improving.
Spay & Neuter Services
A long-term benefit of spaying and neutering is improved health for both cats and dogs. Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle nearly eliminates breast cancer risk and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer.
Neutering males prevents testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland and greatly reduces their risk for perianal tumors.
Every patient that undergoes surgery will have an intravenous catheter (IV) and fluids, pain medications, and full vitals (heart rate, respiratory rate, etc.) monitoring. This is all part of our safety protocol for pets under anesthesia.
We highly recommend spaying female dogs and cats. Spaying dogs and cats can prevent mammary cancer, uterine infections (pyometra, metritis), reproductive cancers (ovaries, cervix, etc.), and prevent unwanted pregnancies, males’ attraction, and heat signs.
Spaying dogs before their first heat almost completely eliminates the chance of developing mammary cancers. In cats, mammary cancers are very malignant, but in dogs, they tend mostly just to be aggressive locally early on. Dogs in heat attract male dogs and bleed from their vaginas for around nine days before their true heat begins when they allow breeding. Cats, meanwhile, tend to have highly variable cycles that are seasonal, and they tend to be very vocal and excessively affectionate during their heat periods.
We highly recommend neutering male dogs and cats. Neutering of dogs and cats is mainly done to prevent overpopulation of our pet animals, however, there are some behavioral and medical reasons to consider for this procedure.
When dogs are unneutered, they can develop prostates and prostatic cancers, anal tumors, prepuce infections, transmissible venereal tumors, and — uncommonly — testicular tumors. Only the anal sac tumors may have more of an increased incidence post neuter. Dogs tend to roam less (‘run away’) and hump people’s legs less. Inter-male aggression at dog parks is also lessened.
In cats, the problem is mainly urine spraying around the house when kept un-neutered; 90% of spraying tom cats stop once neutered. Male cats also tend to be much more territorial, leading to cat-fighting and associated cat abscesses and cellulitis. Viral transmission of AIDS and feline leukemia is higher in intact male cats. These intact males transfer these viruses when they get into fights with any outdoor cat.
Generally, we follow the recommendation of humane societies and recommend neutering for these medical/ behavioral reasons and to prevent pet overpopulation. We encourage you to adopt a pet from the humane society to help decrease pet euthanasia and to discourage buying from sources that may buy from puppy mills. Animals are generally treated very inhumanely at puppy mills, often suffering from poor hygiene, parasite infestations, and viral diseases. Thousands of healthy pets are euthanized each year at humane societies due to overcrowding and not enough people available for adoption.
There is a tendency for some pets to gain weight after spaying and neutering. It is strongly recommended that you decrease the amount of food given after neutering and be more vigilant of early signs of gaining too many pounds. The ribs should be easily felt but not seen, not too much shoulder fat and there should be a good waste indentation. In cats, it’s important to look at the ribs and the abdominal fat.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE SURGERY
Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet’s surgery, and we hope this information will help. It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet’s upcoming surgery.
Today’s modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Sully 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. Even apparently 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. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.
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 your pet’s safety. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or X-rays may be required before surgery as well.
Surgery must be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.
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.
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. Major surgeries require strong pain medications compared to other minor types of surgeries. Each pet has a pain protocol treatment plan they will have for surgery and to go home with. We follow the AAHA guidelines for pain management.
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is ideal for performing 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 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 going over your pet’s home care needs.
We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet’s health or surgery.