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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!



    • Laura Lee RogersLaura Lee Rogers

      Dr. McKerney has been treating my cockapoo, Waldo, with accutpunture for a couple of months now due to a spinal injry that resulted in paralization in the hind area. Waldo can now walk, a little wobbly. When recommended to me we did not know if Waldo would ever be able to walk again. Dr, McKerney is worth our drive (50miles) and time. She was also very thorough in reviewing all of Waldo's medical records prior to seeing him. Waldo is never expereinces any anxiety about going - that says a lot!

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    • Theresa Ostland EdwardsTheresa Ostland Edwards

      We started seeing Dr Cahoon and Dr McKerney because we needed alternative health care for our 12yr old mutt. We specifically chose Veterinary Healing Center for their knowledge and experience with Eastern Medicine applications. Our family is overjoyed for our pet and the pain relief he is now experiencing since starting his treatment plan just a few months ago. The staff is always friendly and attentive. The prices are comparable to other veterinary offices. I highly recommend their services for your pets needs.

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    • Roberta DishnoRoberta Dishno

      Wouldn't trust my dog to anyone else than Dr. Cahoon!

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    • Nikki Z.Nikki Z.

      Came today and Sarah helped me with what I needed and this visit was by far the fastest and easiest!!! Read More

    • Susie SullivanSusie Sullivan

      I'm very happy with Veterinary Healing Center of El Dorado Hills. They have treated both my dogs, and have specialized their treatment to their individual needs. I appreciate the fact they are interested in what's best for the dog, not what I've experienced with other clinicians.

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    • Katherine MundtKatherine Mundt

      I dont write and never know what to say. All i know is i trust these doctors and the are always smiling and good with my animals.

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    • Donna BrodskyDonna Brodsky

      Brought PeeWee, who lost use of his back legs, in today for the first time and were treated with calm and care. I love the Eastern approach and we all have high hopes that acupuncture, laser treatment, and some herbs will fix the hitch in his giddyup and restore his youthful step again. Fingers crossed.

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