Vet Services Hawkes Bay Ltd

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Is your pet visiting our clinic soon for a procedure?Is your pet visiting our clinic soon for a procedure?

Jess Nielson - Vet Nurse

It is important to Vet Services that you understand what happens to your pet when they come to us for surgery. We appreciate that you may feel anxious leaving your pet and we hope the following will help ease any concern you may have. 

First thing in the morning and Pre-Anaesthetic Checks.

When you bring your pet to us on the day of surgery you will have a consultation with one of our qualified veterinary nurses. She will collect information from you prior to the final veterinary check. At this point you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the surgical procedure.

The nurse will take your pet through into the clinic. The veterinary surgeon will give him/her a general check over to ensure surgery is ok to go ahead. If any abnormalities are detected (i.e. abnormal heart sounds, elevated temperature or other clinical signs), the veterinarian will then assess the situation and a decision will be made whether the surgery proceeds. Depending on the findings, the veterinarian will discuss with you your options which may require re-scheduling your appointment for a later date. More often than not the abnormalities detected at the clinical exam are relatively minor. However, we will not subject your pet to an anaesthetic or surgery if we are not completely happy with him or her.

Intravenous Fluids

Our gold standard recommendation is that for all major surgery, especially for geriatric patients (8 years and older) or those with concurrent disease that they are given intravenous (I.V.) fluids. This involves placing an intravenous catheter prior to beginning anaesthesia.

The reason we encourage placing your pet on intravenous fluids are to maintain blood pressure. Anaesthetic drugs can cause your pet’s blood pressure to drop. Using fluid therapy will ensure blood pressure is maintained, ensuring all major organs are not compromised. This also helps remove the drugs at the end of surgery encouraging a faster recovery. If surgery involves opening the abdomen, fluid will be evaporate and their body will also lose heat through this site. The body cannot maintain its own temperature whilst under anaesthesia so we need to prevent fluid and heat loss where we can.

During anaesthesia/surgery/recovery and after care.

A qualified nurse will be monitoring your pet from before surgery to full recovery. This includes monitoring anaesthesia, blood pressure, breathing, heart rate and temperature. This is a job not taken lightly. Intra venous fluids are warmed prior to surgery to help lessen the effect on body temperature and to replace any lost fluid. Blankets and other warming measures are used to help your pet maintain their body temperature throughout surgery. Temperature is extremely important to be maintained as it affects the depth of anaesthesia during surgery and also the recovery time frame.

The care of your pet does not stop after the surgical procedure has finished. A qualified veterinary nurse will stay by your pet’s side until it is safe to be removed from the anaesthetic machine and it is safe to place them in a quiet and warm recovery cage where they can rest and recover in their own time. The nurse will regularly monitor each patient and report back to the veterinarian on their recovery progress.

The recovery process takes time, so it is important to have your pet to us in the morning to ensure we have all routine surgery completed with enough time for recovery. On occasion, the veterinarian may advise that your pet will stay the night at the clinic particularly if in the unlikely event surgery was done later (due to an emergency), was more difficult than expected, or if recovery wasn’t as smooth as planned.  Routine surgery cases usually go home the same day as surgery, whereas major surgeries commonly stay for several days.

If any complications arise prior, during or post-surgery, your veterinarian will contact you as soon as practical.

At Home

When you come in to collect your pet a qualified nurse will talk to you about the procedure and go over any medications, instructions for at home and answer any questions you may have.

Your pet may have oral pain relief to have at home in the form of anti-inflammatories. These anti-inflammatories help reduce any swelling around the surgical site aiding the healing process and will reduce the urge for them to self-traumatise the wound (eg lick, pull stitches).

It is usually 24 hours before your pet is fully recovered from anaesthesia, so keeping him or her warm for the first night home is also extremely important.

If your pet is booked in for surgery and you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to give one of our qualified veterinary nurses a call today.

Let it Flow

Read more >Friday 23rd of June 2017: A common emergency condition that we see at a vet clinic is the cat with a 'blocked bladder' (urethral obstruction). They often present to us as a cat that is in pain due to an unknown cause. The owner may find them hiding in the garden or under a bed and suspect that the cat has had some sort of trauma.

Pet rabbits

Read more >Friday 23rd of June 2017: In recent weeks we have been presented with several cases of rabbit haemorrhagic diseases. This is a viral condition which is unfortunately deadly to pet bunnies.


Read more >Tuesday 28th of March 2017: General stiffness, slowing down, difficulty rising... Is it just old age? Our senior pets may show subtle signs or be quite obvious in their attempts to tell us about their problems. One of these problems that we commonly see is arthritis.

The Duke of Tamatea

Read more >Tuesday 28th of March 2017: A few months ago I was presented with a 7 year old male cat Beau who had been weak, lethargic and drinking more than usual for about 3 weeks at home. Closer examination revealed very weak and floppy muscles with an almost distended abdomen. Blood and urine tests then showed elevated blood glucose confirming my suspicion that this boy had developed diabetes mellitus.

Severe Anaemia in a Cat

Read more >Tuesday 28th of March 2017: Being from South Africa it was relatively easy diagnosing the cause of severe anaemia in dogs as almost always it was due to a blood parasite called Babesia (which we don't have in New Zealand), and if it wasn't that then the chances were good that it was due to an auto immune disease called Auto Immune Haemolytic Anaemia or IMHA for short.

Wellness Testing in the Geriatric Pet

Read more >Tuesday 28th of March 2017: What is wellness testing?

Wellness testing is the term given to a group of tests that is performed specifically to detect signs of early disease in a pet that is apparently healthy.

The Three-Host-Tick (Haemophysalis longicornis)

Read more >Friday 20th of January 2017: The 'New Zealand Cattle Tick' or 'Bush Tick', as an adult, is a red-brown, 8-legged tick visible with the naked eye from 3x2mm to around 9x7mm (whne it's full of feed). Larval and nymph (juvenile) stages are much smaller (but still visible) with 6 legs and a dark to black colour. It is known as the three-host-tick as it transitions through three stages from larvae to nymph to adult by attaching to a host, engorging by sucking blood, then dropping back onto the ground and repeating through the stages.

Ideal Weight Benefits

Read more >Tuesday 13th of December 2016: The case of an overweight pet visiting the vet clinic is an all too common theme. Furthermore, the majority are visiting for health reasons that could be prevented if these animals were at their ideal weight.

Heat Stroke

Read more >Thursday 8th of December 2016: With summer just around the corner we thought it appropriate to give our clients some information on heat stroke, what to look out for and what to do should it happen.

Heat stroke occurs when your pet's internal temperature rises abnormally high above 39 C. because he/she is unable to lose excess heat through normal processes: mainly panting and radiation of heat into the surrounding environment.

Barley Grass

Read more >Thursday 8th of December 2016: Summer is here and so are those nasty seeds that stick into anything, anywhere, any time.

Apart from it being painful to our four footed companions when these seeds burrow into them, it can pose important health risks too. In clinic we have experienced their migration into different areas of the animal, each with their own complications.

Cushing’s in dogs

Read more >Thursday 8th of December 2016: Cushing's is a hormonal disease state caused by the excessive production of cortisol, one of the "fight or flight" hormones produced by the adrenal glands.

Normally, when the cortisol level of blood is low, a gland in the brain (called the pituitary gland) secretes a stimulating hormone (ACTH) to tell the adrenal glands to produce and release more cortisol. Once blood cortisol levels are high enough again, it inhibits further secretion of ACTH by the brain. In this way the body keeps blood cortisol levels balanced.

Fleas - How do we prevent the little blighters from biting?

Read more >Tuesday 1st of November 2016: With the warmer months just around the corner it's time to once again consider the dreaded flea. Fleas can be a real problem over the warmer months, but it all starts now!

Skin Allergies in Dogs

Read more >Monday 12th of September 2016: With spring arriving we are starting to see more itchy dogs through the clinic doors. The main cause of this seasonal itch is allergy. Skin allergies can be divided into a number of causes including contact allergy, flea allergy, atopy and food allergy/intolerance.

Preventing Unwanted Kittens

Read more >Monday 12th of September 2016: Desexing our pets is an important part of responsible pet ownership. As the days get longer and the nights get warmer, our pet cats will start to venture away from the fire and off the bed. More cats out and about means there is greater chance of unwanted pregnancies. Without any control in place, a single un-speyed female cat can produce up to 3 litters of kittens per year, with approximately 3-4 kittens per litter.

Importance of Cats Drinking Water

Read more >Monday 12th of September 2016: With summer approaching, it is important to make sure your cat has a fresh water supply available at all times. Cats are not very good drinkers and partly as a result of this are susceptible to lower urinary tract inflammation or, even worse, kidney insufficiency which can lead to kidney failure.

Orphan Lambs and Lamb Rearing- Best practice

Read more >Friday 9th of September 2016: Rearing orphan lambs can be an enjoyable and rewarding job for a whole spectrum of people â from a lifestyler with a couple of pets lambs to the owner of a highly productive stud flock fostering triplet lambs of high genetic merit. Pet lambs are also easy for children to rear and are a great way to teach them some of the responsibility of pet care. No matter what the situation though, the rules for successful lamb rearing are the same for every situation.

Cleft Palate in a Labrador Puppy: A Survivor Story

Read more >Tuesday 23rd of August 2016: On 27 May 2016, Diana and Jerry Greer's Labrador, Tiggy, whelped and had 6 puppies. Unfortunately one was stillborn, which left five.

Two days after whelping Diana noticed that the firstborn puppy was losing weight and on closer inspection found that he had difficulty suckling.

On day three I offered to take him and attempt bottle feeding him and see if we could get him going again. When I arrived home I saw that he had a cleft palate. This is where the journey of 400g Olo and I started. Of course I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

Fiona the Alligator

Read more >Thursday 16th of June 2016: I have a habit of trying anything at least twice so when the National Aquarium asked if I liked reptiles, I was keen to get involved. The playing field changed somewhat when the reptile in question turned out to be an American Alligator, but I was definitely still enthused, so long as the staff were happy to restrain her

Colostrum – get the best from that liquid gold

Read more >Tuesday 14th of June 2016: It's coming to that time again - soon the cows will be calving and the calf sheds will be full of happy, healthy, bright eyed calves. They will have all had a good drink of high quality colostrum soon after birth, and will be well set up to become a great dairy cow.

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