Pre-Surgery FAQs

1. How long does it take for “check in” on the morning of the clinic?
Check-in can take approximately 30 minutes. We work hard to ensure that the process runs smoothly and efficiently, but please understand that there may be circumstances in which it could take slightly longer.

2. What does a “stand-by” appointment mean?
A “stand-by” appointment does not guarantee that your pet will be seen on that day. We make every effort to fit in stand-bys through cancellations, rescheduling, and clients not showing up for their appointment on that day. Stand-by pets are also admitted to the bus based on their size and the appropriate recovery kennel space.

3. What form of payment do you accept?
We only accept cash. This helps us to keep our costs low by avoiding debit or credit card processing fees.

4. Do I wait for my pet while surgery is being done?
Once your pet has been examined for surgery, you will be given a specific time in the early afternoon to return to pick him/her up.

5. Can I pick up my pet later than the assigned time?
No. Your assigned pick-up time is firm to help us keep our costs low. In addition, your pet benefits from recovering at home, in familiar and comfortable surroundings, as soon as possible.

6. Do animals need to be up-to-date on shots?
Our medical staff recommends all animals be current on routine vaccinations. We do however offer a free rabies vaccine, free dappv and free fvrcp combo vaccines at time of surgery for all dogs and cats.

7. Do I need to bring proof of vaccinations?
As noted above, for your pet’s health/protection, we recommended that pets be vaccinated prior to surgery. If you are requesting that a County dog license be issued, a rabies certificate is required. It must have the vet’s name/address/phone number, the manufacturer information, serial/lot number, and date of vaccination.

8. Does each cat need his/her own pet carrier?
Cats must have their own secure carrier. All cats must arrive in a CLEAN, sanitized carrier with a SECURE latching mechanism (please line with a clean towel for comfort). SNAP is not responsible for cats who escape from unsuitable enclosures.

9. Do I need to muzzle my fearful dog?
Yes. If you have any reservations about your dog’s behavior while on the bus, please have him/her muzzled upon arrival.

10. Do you have a muzzle that I can use?
We do have muzzles available on the bus. If you need to borrow one for the day, we are happy to provide it. It will be your responsibility however to secure the muzzle on your dog. For staff safety, we are unable to assist.

11. Can I bring my own e-collar?
E-collars are provided at no charge for all dogs and female cats. They are issued on the bus to ensure a proper fit.

12. Can you fix a dog/cat with a hernia?
We can perform reducible hernias (for additional $25). We do not perform non-reducible hernias (cosmetic or outy belly button) repairs on the Neuter Scooter. Many vets recommend doing the repair at the same time of a spay or neuter, so that your pet is under anesthesia only once for the procedures. Using vets from the Department of Animal Services Spay/Neuter Referral List can help minimize the cost for both.

13. When can my female pet be spayed after having a litter?
Females should no longer be nursing when they are spayed.

14. Can my female pet have surgery while in heat? Also, does this cost more?
We can perform spays on animals in heat (bleeding is a telltale sign) at no additional charge.

15. My dog is 10. Is that too old?
We do not schedule animals seven years or older on the Neuter Scooter. Because of this, we are unable to offer the necessary pre-surgical blood work to screen for health risks that older animals may face before undergoing anesthesia. A vet from the Department of Animal Services Spay/Neuter Referral List can provide this service so that older pets can receive the benefit of a spay or neuter.

16. My dog weighs over 100 pounds. Is that too big?
The maximum weight limit on the bus is 80 pounds. The Department of Animal Services Spay/Neuter Referral List has many vets that can accommodate larger pets at a reduced fee.

17. Only one testicle dropped on my male cat/dog, can he still be fixed?
Yes. If your pet’s testicles have not fully descended during the first year, he may still be neutered on the bus for an additional $25 fee.

18. Do you spay or neuter ferals or strays?
On the SNAP North Neuter Scooter, YES! A feral cat (not socialized) must be trapped in a humane trap for surgery. The ear will be tipped to signify that he or she has been altered. A friendly stray that is approachable, may be scheduled and arrive in a pet carrier. Ways to identify a feral or stray cat »

East County and San Diego residents: We will refer you to (and highly recommend) the Feral Cat Coalition for FREE feral (in a trap) cat spay or neuter.

19. Do you give any pain meds? Can I get some from you?
All pets receive 72 hours of pain management. We do not offer pain prescriptions for at-home use.

20. Will the pain injection be enough for my pet? Can I purchase additional meds?
Most pets do not need further pain meds after the injected pain medication has worn off. You may contact your vet to have additional pain meds prescribed, but we recommend this only if necessary! Pain meds are not available for sale at the bus.

21. Will my pet be under general anesthesia or local?
All pets go under general anesthesia for surgery.

22. Do you do bloodwork and IV fluids?
No. We schedule young, breeding age animals with no obvious medical complications/history, so blood work and IV fluids are not required. Blood work and IV fluids however are good options for some pets and can be added to the procedure when using the Department of Animal Services Spay/Neuter Referral List.

Post-Surgery FAQs

1. Do I need to come back to have stitches removed?
No. The outer skin layer is held together with a dissolving surgical glue.  Water or licking can dissolve the surgical glue.

2. What will I need to do when I get my pet home the day of surgery?
When you pick up your pet after surgery, you will receive post-operative instructions.

3. Why is he still hanging down there after surgery? It looks big.
It may take some time for the scrotal skin to shrink up after surgery.  If swollen, please see post-operative instructions.

4. Where is my pet’s incision located?
Female incisions are located on the abdomen, near the “belly button.”  Male incisions are located near the scrotum.

5. How long will my pet have to wear the e-collar?
Female cats and dogs need to wear an e-collar for a minimum of 10 days; male dogs for a minimum of seven.  Male cats do not generally need an e-collar.  At the end of the recommended time-period, check their incision area.  If it does not look fully healed, please keep the e-collar on for a few more days.  See post-operative instructions.

6. Why does my pet have to wear the collar for such a long-period of time?
It is crucial that pets do not lick their incisions, otherwise, they can open easily. The purpose of the e-collar is to protect the surgery area, prevent complications or infection, and allow for proper healing time.

7. My pet keeps taking off the e-collar, what should I do?
It is vital that the e-collar remains on your pet for the appropriate amount of time.  Be sure that it fits securely around his or her neck without being too tight.  There should be a one-finger width between the pet’s neck and the collar.  If your pet is very active, a kennel/crate will ensure that he/she remains calm.

8. Why has my pet been crying since I brought him/her home today?
It is quite common for pets to be disoriented or dizzy when they awake from anesthesia. They feel odd but they don’t understand why.  Oftentimes they vocalize this by whining, crying, or howling.

9. Do I have to separate my pets after surgery?
If your pets can remain calm around each other, they may be together.

10. How do I keep my high-energy dog calm after surgery?
A crate/kennel is a helpful tool for keeping pets calm after surgery, especially if used to playing with other pets or kids in the home.  Be sure that it is large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably.

11. What is acceptable activity for my pet after surgery?
To minimize strain on your pet’s incision, avoid any vigorous movement for at least one week.  This includes running, jumping, rough-play, long walks, and other strenuous activity.  Calm, short, gentle walks are acceptable.

Post-Operative Instructions

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