Spring is here. It is at this point in the year, if not already, your little kitten as was, last year, is now a "teenager". His or her thoughts will soon be turning to - well not love exactly. They tend to be a little short on formalities.
Many of last year's kittens are now reaching the age of 6 months when we normally neuter them. Spaying for females, castration for males. Here at Midsummer we take great care to carry this out to a high standard, but often wonder if owners know exactly what happens to their pet when they drop them off in the morning. Here is a short explanation.
Performed by the nurses, this is where you leave him or her (or them!) in our care. We go over the usual questions about feeding/starving etc, and try to address any concerns you may have.
Following admission, your pet is weighed, then taken to our cat kennel room. We have a dedicated cat kennel room to ensure that our feline patients are separated from dogs, and are not stressed any more than absolutely necessary. It is fitted with cat "condos" which, not being made of stainless steel like our other kennels, are warmer and quieter. We use Feliway and Felifriend pheromones in the cat kennel room, and house cats from the same household together, pre-operatively at least. Many smaller practices are not able to offer this level of care through lack of kennel space.
Once settled in the kennels, the patients are pre-medicated with analgesic and sedative and left in peace and quiet for it to take effect
After the Op
Following the neutering operation, your kitten is not returned directly to the cat kennel room. During recovery we keep all animals in a bank of kennels in our prep room that we use as recovery kennels.This is the bank of kennels that you can see on the left of this photograph. Having this set of kennels here, at the centre of the practice, means that everybody can keep an eye on every recovering patient. Only when fully recovered is your kitten returned to the kennel room. Again, space within our practice allows us to give this level of service, and this quality of care.
Following an uneventfull recovery, we try to feed the kittens as soon as possible. This may sound a bit strange, but, because we use the most modern of anaesthetics, almost all out patients are awake and hungry fairly quickly following an anaesthetic, with few if any side effects.
No waiting Lists!
Our spacious main surgery means that our surgical lists are almost never limited by kennel space. Many of you with experience of the NHS will be familiar with their waiting lists, and have come to accept them as a fact of life where surgery of any sort is concerned. Waiting times for surgery in veterinary practice, however, present unique problems that do not occur where human patients are concerned. From a practical point of view, for instance, a wait of 4-8 weeks for a cat spay will span up to 4 seasons - 4 opportunities for your kitten to become pregnant, and 2 months of incarceration for your pet in an attempt to prevent it. Two months is not a long time for us, but is a significant chunk of the juvenile portion of their life span. We do not think that this is acceptable, and can usually book routine surgery such as this in within a few days.
We hope this throws some light on the events that occur between when you leave your kitten with us and when you return to pick up a shaved and stitched individual!