Pet Surgery

Common Questions About Pet Surgery

Is it Normal to be Nervous About Pet Surgery?

The short answer to this is 'yes!' When your pet needs surgery, it's perfectly normal to be a bit nervous. After all, pet surgery is a little different from human procedures because they can't tell you how they're feeling. But at Little River Veterinary Clinic, your pet is in good hands. We're based in the Fairfax area, and we handle a wide range of surgical procedures on a regular basis, from routine spaying and neutering to more complex emergency surgeries. 


By making sure that you're as prepared as possible for the procedure and know what to expect, you're already taking the right steps in ensuring your pet's happy and healthy recovery. 

Questions to Ask

We always do our best to keep you as informed as possible both before, during and after the procedure. That said, here are some questions may want to ask the veterinarian, especially since the specific details will vary with each pet and the type of surgery:

  • Are there any risks? - Just as with human surgery, there are usually risks involved, it's always important to know the exact prognosis for your pet as well as any risks they may be facing. 
  • Will they require an overnight stay? - Most pet surgeries are minor and will be outpatient procedures that can be done in the same day. However, some procedures may require an overnight stay to ensure your pet is off to a good start in their recovery. 
  • What will their post-op care entail? - You may be asked to do some things after your pet's procedure to ensure they are healing well.
  • When will my pet have to come back for a follow-up appointment? - Just as with human surgeries, it will be important to bring your pet back in for a follow-up appointment to make sure they are healing well and everything is going to plan, usually within the first week. 
  • How long will my pet's recovery take? - Naturally, you'll want to know exactly how long it will be until your pet will be back to their normal, playful self. Depending on the type and extent of surgery your pet has had, recovery time will change.

What About Pet Emergencies?

Sometimes your pet may need surgery at the last minute. There are various situations that call for this, and it's important to recognize some signs of potential emergencies:

  • Toxic substance ingestion
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Lacerations / trauma
  • Seizures
  • Extreme allergic reaction
  • Heatstroke / hypothermia

Please note that if this is an emergency during our Fairfax vet center business hours, contact us right away at (703) 273-5110. If it is after hours, give us a call anyway so we can refer you to a high-quality emergency veterinarian in the area. 

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7:30 am-4:00 pm


7:30 am-4:00 pm


7:30 am-4:00 pm

Closed every other week, please call


7:30 am-4:00 pm


8:00 am-1:00 pm

Closed every other week, please call