The entire team at Heartland Animal Hospital understands that the choice to allow your pet to undergo surgery is never easy. We understand your concerns and are happy to answer any questions regarding your pet’s surgery. In addition to a pre-surgical consultation with your veterinarian, our medical staff is happy to provide you with information on postoperative care to ensure a rapid return to your pet’s happy, healthy self.
We routinely perform a variety of soft tissue surgeries, such as spay/neuters, tumor removals, and abdominal explorations with foreign body removals, as well as hernia repairs, cystotomies, and declaws. We do have an orthopedic surgeon available for fracture repairs and other bone surgeries. We are committed to performing quality surgery at a reasonable cost with minimal risk.
Each surgical procedure at Heartland Animal Hospital is preceded by a thorough examination. We prefer to perform a pre-surgical blood screen, which, along with your pet’s anesthetic history, breed, preexisting conditions and age, will be used to determine a unique anesthesia protocol. These tests have the added benefit of establishing a baseline for the comparison of future blood tests.
Anesthesia is required for most surgical procedures. At Heartland Animal Hospital, our dedicated team administers an injectable anesthesia combination for induction and then uses Isofluorane gas during surgery. During surgery, we continuously monitor your pet’s ECG, heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. We also actively warm the patient to ensure smooth recovery and prevent hypothermia.
Pain after surgery can go beyond physical discomfort. Pain can slow healing and worsen diseases like arthritis. It can also cause behavioral issues and interfere with the human-to-pet bond, because our companion friends don’t understand why they are experiencing pain.
To minimize your pet’s discomfort, we typically use a combination of local anesthetics, NSAIDs, and narcotic pain relievers. We also utilize local nerve blocks for some procedures, such as declawing. Exact protocols are tailored to each animal, and depend on various factors determined by the pre-surgery exam and during the procedure.
Following surgery, the experienced medical staff at Heartland Animal Hospital continuously monitor patients until they have recovered from anesthesia and are stabilized in their warming cages. The amount of time your pet will need to be monitored after surgery varies. In some cases, animals will need to continue their recovery overnight; in others, they can be sent home the same day.
Dr. Cuddihee or Dr. St.Clair will provide you with information on proper home care after surgery when your pet is discharged, including guidelines explaining any medication you will leave with and how to properly administer it.
We will also be available to answer questions after your pet arrives home. Contact us at (573)657-1183 with any questions or concerns following surgery and we will be more than happy to help you.
We moved to Ashland late in 2000 and began using Heartland Animal Hospital in the spring of 2001. Dr. Cuddihee and her staff took the records of our pets from previous veterinarian’s office and used those to start providing treatment to our pets and building their own records. Fifteen years later, we are still sold on the services our pets receive. Dr. Cuddihee and her staff have celebrated our new pets with us and have been caring and empathetic when we’ve had to say goodbye to some very old friends. While it is difficult to talk about euthanasia of very special animal family members, it is important to me to say that the staff at Heartland have kept some of our pets happy and healthy longer than the breed books say they should live. They have been kind, respectful and caring of both of both the pet and us when the time has come to humanely euthanize the animal. Our dogs look forward to going to the vet’s office in Ashland (and know where the treats are). Our cats are tolerant of trips to the vet and rarely get their claws out (a four star review from a cat, believe me). Finally, I would like to make two points. Dr. Cuddihee will give you every option and scenario for treatment available (and the cost associated with it) but she allows you to make the decision of how to proceed. Second, I recently discovered the price of specialized dog food is less at her office than it is at the farm store in Columbia. So if you want great care and service, and reasonably priced pet products, go to Heartland.
Brooke Dawson, “Blackie”, “Critter”, “Etta”, “Smokey”, “Beau”, & “Gabe”