FAQs of Hampden Veterinary Clinic
There is no question too big or too small for our veterinary team. Below are some answers to our most common questions.
We proudly serve the pets of Hampden, MA and beyond.
At Hampden Veterinary Clinic, we get a ton of interesting questions from pet parents. Below are some common FAQs that might help answer any questions or concerns. Please feel free to call us at 413-566-2455 for any other concerns you might have about your pet.
Is the anesthetic safe?
Today’s modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Hampden Veterinary Clinic, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won’t be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. The handout on anesthesia explains this in greater detail.
Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.
We offer three levels of in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. Our doctors prefer the more comprehensive screen, because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.
It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food and water for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery.
Will my pet have stitches?
Will my pet be in pain?
For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflamatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset and can be given even the morning of surgery. The cost of the medication ranges from $15 to $25, depending on the size of your dog.
Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, we are limited in what we can give them. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before. We administer a pain injection 10 minutes prior to surgery. After surgery, pain medication is given on a case by case basis. Any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication.
Injectable pain medications may be used after surgery on both dogs and cats. Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.
What other decisions do I need to make?
When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet’s home care needs.
We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet’s health or surgery.
To allow ample time for all patients and scheduled surgical procedures, we operate primarily by appointment. Emergency cases shall always receive top priority, which is why occasional appointment delay is inevitable. Please realize that we make a sincere attempt to see each client on time.
Patient Arrival Policy
For your protection, and that of others, all dogs must be on a leash and properly controlled while in the waiting area or exam rooms. All cats must be presented in an appropriate cat carrier.
For your convenience, drop-off appointments are available. A “drop off” means you could bring your pet at the time that works best for you and leave him/her with us for a couple of hours. Usually, we will ask you to drop off sometime in the morning so our doctors can examine the patient in between appointments or at the time purposely reserved for admitted patients. Once the doctor is done, she will give you a call to go over the diagnosis and to give you discharge instructions.
For the safety of all animals in our care, we require that all vaccinations be up to date. Even though we make every effort to make our patients feel comfortable during visits, they may be a little uneasy about new people, new surroundings, and other pets. All animals must be placed on a leash or in pet carriers before entering the waiting room.
We require full payment at the time that services are rendered. For your convenience, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Debit, CareCredit, cash, and personal checks.