How can I schedule an appointment with the Soft Tissue Surgery
Appointment scheduling is available Monday through Friday during
regular business hours by calling (979) 845-2351. A referral from
your veterinarian is required for appointments - your veterinarian
may even make the appointment for you. Appointments are available
on a first-come, first-served basis on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Appointment times are generally between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. We do
recommend calling as soon as you can as appointments tend to fill
up 1-2 weeks in advance.
Do I need to bring anything to my pet's appointment?
Please always bring any medications (or a written list of
medications) your pet is or was recently taking. In addition,
please bring any diagnostics, or copies of diagnostics, (such as
'x-rays' or blood work) that have been recently performed by your
veterinarian. Though your vet often will send over information
ahead of time, it is always best to have copies with you in case
the information does not make it here prior to your
Will my pet's surgery be performed on the day of the initial
Usually surgery will NOT occur on the day of the appointment.
The appointment time allows for a complete physical exam as well as
time for any diagnostics (such as blood work, 'x-rays,' abdominal
ultrasound, etc.) to be performed prior to surgery. In addition,
the anesthesia department will be notified so that they can prepare
for your pet's surgery the following day. Surgery days are
typically on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. There are
circumstances, however, when your pet's surgery may need to be
delayed (if they are stable) so that emergency surgeries can be
Do I need to stop all of my pet's medications before the
In general, medications do not need to be discontinued prior to
your appointment. Medications prescribed to treat systemic problems
such as hypothyroidism should definitely not be stopped. If your
dog is taking corticosteroids
(prednisone, dexamethasone), these medications may need to be
stopped for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to surgery. Please contact
the Soft Tissue Surgery department if you are unsure if medications
should be stopped prior to your appointment. Always consult your
pet's veterinarian before suddenly stopping any medication.
How long will it take for my pet to recover?
Many of our Soft Tissue patients are able to go home the same
week they came in. Because each individual case varies, talk to
your Soft Tissue surgeon for a better estimate of expected
What type of care is required once my pet is home?
Post-operative care is also variable depending on the type of
surgery performed. Most of our patients will need incisional care
which requires keeping the incision clean (warm washcloth with
gentle soap, if needed) and dry. You should inspect the incision
daily for signs of infection for 10-14 days after surgery. Signs of
infection include redness, swelling, pain or heat when touched, and
fluid coming from the incision. In many cases, we provide an
Elizabethan collar (E-Collar) for your pet. Although cumbersome, it
is critical that your pet wear the E-collar at all times, usually
for 10-14 days after surgery, until the incision has healed.
Allowing your pet to lick or chew at the incision can cause major
complications, such as an incisional infection or dehiscence (the
incision begins to come apart). We typically recommend that your
pet be confined to a small crate or cage unless your pet is being
taken outside on a leash for prescribed leash walks. The crate
should be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, lie
down, and have room for food and water. Confining your pet to a
small area will allow for faster healing and recovery. During the
recovery period, your pet should be taken outside 4-5 times a day
for 15 minutes to eliminate (urinate/defecate). Running, jumping,
or rough-housing with other pets is strongly discouraged. Most
incisions will be healed after 10-14 days and your pet can return
to their normal activity level after that time.
When should I bring my pet back to Texas A&M for a re-check
Most surgery patients are re-checked at 10-14 days to ensure
that the surgical site has healed. This can also be performed at
your regular veterinarian. Additional re-check exams depend on the
type of surgery your pet had. For example, a patient with a removed
tumor may need to recheck with our Oncology service 2 weeks after surgery
for any possible additional treatment or diagnostics. At the time
of discharge, you will be provided with a complete summary of your
pet's treatment and requested re-check date.
Re-check appointments can be scheduled with the Soft Tissue
Surgery Service, Internal Medicine or Oncology services by
contacting the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital Monday through
Friday at 979-845-2351. Be sure to call and schedule this
appointment 1-2 weeks in advance, as appointments sometimes fill up