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At Veterinary Healing Center of El Dorado Hills, surgery is part of our everyday routine, so it’s something we’re quite comfortable with doing. We also recognize, however, that for you and your pet, it’s not something you have to worry about very often. Because of this, you may find yourself struggling with a number of questions and concerns. Will my pet be safe? Will he or she be in a lot of pain? Should I worry about complications?

We want to assure you that these questions and concerns are perfectly normal. After all, your pet is a special part of the family! That’s why we always go above and beyond to help place your mind at ease. We’ve been in your shoes, and we use our own personal experience to make sure every surgery performed in our hospital is as positive and stress-free an experience as possible. Our doctors are well-versed in performing a wide range of surgical procedures, both routine and complex, and we always place the safety and comfort of our patients as our highest priority.  Our greatest concern is the well-being of your pet, especially during anesthesia.

Before your pet’s surgery…

Prior to any surgical procedure, we always recommend thorough pre-anesthetic labwork. This allows us to ensure that your pet is healthy enough to undergo surgery, and can also reveal any potential risks that are not apparent on physical exam.  With our state-of-the-art laboratory equipment we can have results in just a few minutes, or if more comprehensive testing is indicated, we can have results back as soon as 24 hours.   The results we receive can help us determine the safest medications and anesthetic protocol to use for your pet, potentially identify any underlying diseases not visible on physical examination, establish healthy baseline values, and even postpone procedures in an effort to perform additional diagnostic testing if preliminary results indicate a necessity.  The more we plan ahead, the better the chances that your pet’s surgery and recovery will go smoothly, which is always our ultimate goal.

Pain management is also an important pre-surgery topic, because we feel it’s our duty to help our patients remain as comfortable as possible at all times while in our care. It’s also important that we take measures to minimize the risks associated with pain medication, which is why we tailor our approach to each individual patient. This helps to keep your pet as safe and pain-free as possible – before, during, and following surgery.

Your pet’s surgery day…

The day of your pet’s surgery, we will welcome you, get your loved one settled in, and help you complete any necessary paperwork. While one of our dedicated team members spends time loving on your pet and helping them feel at ease, we’ll invite you to ask any questions or bring up any last minute concerns that may be weighing on your mind. Taking the time to talk things through is something we feel is very important so you can feel confident leaving your beloved pet with us.

Once settled in, we will begin preparing your pet for surgery. The customized pain medication will be administered by one of our experienced technicians, who will use skill and a gentle, soothing touch to help your loved one drift off into a safe level of anesthesia. In the operating room, the doctor will work diligently and with great precision to complete your pet’s surgery. Up to date monitoring equipment will be used to oversee your pet’s pain control and well-being throughout the procedure.

Post-surgical care…

When your pet’s surgery is complete, we will carefully relocate them to our hospital’s recovery area, where ongoing monitoring will continue as the anesthesia begins to wear off. You can expect a phone call shortly after surgery ends, explaining how everything went and arranging a time for you to come pick up your pet. Most animals are able to go home the same day as their surgery. Should your pet require a bit more attention, our hospitalization ward is the ideal place to begin the recovery process under the watchful eye of our experienced and caring staff.

Before heading home with your pet, we will provide detailed instructions for post-surgical care, including a plan to help manage your pet’s pain during his or her recovery at home. If, at any time, a question or concern arises about your pet’s surgery or after-care, we encourage you to pick up the phone. Help is just a phone call away!

Finding out that an animal family member needs surgery can be a nerve-wracking time. With the right team in your corner, however, it doesn’t have to be. Whether it’s a routine spay or neuter or something more complex, rest assured that your loved one will be in excellent hands with our surgical team!

About our Surgical Laser

Laser surgery has been widely accepted as a higher standard of care in human medicine for over 30 years.  It presents a host of benefits over traditional surgery, and in many procedures, they can replace the scalpel entirely.  Human-grade surgical lasers are now available for veterinarians to use to help your pet have the best surgery and recovery possible!

What are the benefits of laser surgery?

Less Pain: The laser seals nerve endings as it “cuts.” As a result, your pet will experience less pain and be more comfortable after surgery.

Less Bleeding: The laser cauterizes small blood vessels during surgery. Because there is less bleeding, surgery is often completed more quickly, thus reducing the amount of time your pet will be under anesthesia. This makes surgery safer for all pets, but especially for geriatric or sick patients who may be predisposed to complications with anesthesia.

Reduced Swelling & Infection: Physical contact between the laser and the surgical region is never established, thus eliminating the crushing, tearing, and bruising of tissue associated with traditional surgical methods.  Additionally, the CO2 laser energy acts as an antibacterial agent by producing high temperatures, effectively eliminating microorganisms.

Faster Return to normal activities: Healing is rapid and there is less post-operative discomfort, which sets the course for a better healing process.

In an effort to provide the best care possible to your pets, Veterinary Healing Center uses a Cutting Edge surgical laser.  Call us today to schedule a consultation for laser surgery on your furry friend!



    • Shirley Bill MurrayShirley Bill Murray

      We were so pleased that you got Baby in to see you so quickly. Thank you for your caring for our pet. Dr. McKerney is the best.

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    • Tahoe R.Tahoe R.

      Today was my first time bringing my 2 dogs here ami and kuma, I just moved from downtown to el dorado hills so I needed to get a new local vet.
      I was very... Read More

    • Senta LudwigSenta Ludwig

      We have taken all three of our dogs to Dr. Cahoon and Dr. McKerney over the past 6 years - they have kept them healthy and happy through all manner of health conditions and injuries and our 15 year golden mix would not be able to walk without the acupuncture and laser treatments they provide. They love our dogs and always spend time with us to explain what is going on. Highly recommend!

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    • Vicki KerriVicki Kerri

      Our dog has been a patient for over 12 years and has received up to date care for allergies plus alternative medicine. Would recommend!

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    • Marlene AnnMarlene Ann

      All of my dogs have been going there for almost 9 years. Staff and doctors are very caring.

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    • Annbritt OutzenAnnbritt Outzen

      Our first ever visit to them. A+ from beginning to end .

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    • Sandy Wedekind DeKreekSandy Wedekind DeKreek

      We have been taking our Labrador to The Veterinary Healing Center for almost two years to treat her with eastern medicine/procedures for radiating pain from her neck to down her front leg. After about 6 acupuncture treatments and cervical formula powder supplements we saw a remarkable improvement! She went from limping and barely able to climb stairs to running around the yard and jumping into the pool! She was like a brand new dog! We continue with monthly maintenance treatments and we couldn’t be happier with the results! We now take our English Golden Retriever puppy there for checkups!

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