Soft Tissue Surgery FAQs

How can I schedule an appointment with the Soft Tissue Surgery Service?

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 appointment.


Will my pet’s surgery be performed on the day of the initial appointment?

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 performed.

Do I need to stop all of my pet’s medications before the initial appointment?

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 stay.

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 exam?

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 quickly.