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Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Board-Certified Veterinary Surgeon?

Following veterinary school, a veterinarian pursuing a specialty in surgery will undergo further training to become a specialist. They must complete an internship, a three-year residency, publish research in a scientific journal and pass a rigorous examination in order to become Board-Certified. Surgery specialists are called a “Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons” or referred to as a “Board-Certified Surgeons”.

With advancements in veterinary surgery, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons separated small and large animal residencies. Small animal surgery residents focus their training and skills exclusively on surgical diseases of small animals while large animal residents train on horses and farm animals. Small animal surgeons are distinguished by additional acronyms, SA, following their diplomacy status. At the Veterinary Surgery Center of Sarasota, our surgeons each have the title of Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons - Small Animal (DACVS-SA).

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Why choose a Board-Certified Surgeon?

In addition to a Board-Certified Surgeon’s specialized training, surgeons have access to state-of-the-art facilities, advanced equipment and offer a higher level of expertise in surgical diseases, helping to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet. Similar to human surgical centers, veterinary surgeons typically employ veterinary technicians with additional training in areas such as anesthesia monitoring and pre and post-operative surgical care. By seeing the most challenging and complex cases on a day to day basis, surgeons can provide pet owners with many options (some of which may not be available from your primary veterinarian) and help you determine the best treatment for your pet.

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What do I need to prepare for my initial consultation at VSC?

By completing and submitting your client registration form online prior to your visit, you can save time when you arrive at VSC. This also allows us to get your pet’s past medical records and radiographs from your veterinarian before your visit. If your primary veterinarian uses digital radiographs, those x-rays can be sent directly to us by email. If they are film radiographs, you can bring them to the appointment or they can be mailed. The morning of your pet’s consultation you should withhold food for pet in case additional tests are needed (it is okay to have water available). To ensure safety when arriving to VSC Sarasota, canine patients should be on a leash, and feline patients should be in a crate.

What is included in a consultation?

Consultation with our veterinary surgeon involves a detailed review of your pet’s recent and past medical history, a physical examination, orthopedic examination, gait analysis and full discussion about the diagnostic and/or therapeutic options for the condition your pet has presented for.

Other than my pet, what do I need to bring with me to the appointment?

If you were provided paper records or film radiographs from your primary veterinarian, you should bring those with you to the appointment. If you have pet insurance, bring your claim form as well.

How long will my consultation take?

Please allow 30 minutes to one hour for the consultation and 15 minutes for registration if you have not filled out all of your paperwork. The surgeon will answer any questions you have during the appointment. If radiographs or other tests are needed your pet may need to stay with us. In some cases, you may be able to wait for the test.

Does VSC accept all pet insurance?

We accept all pet insurance plans at VSC. If you plan to claim a visit on your pet insurance, please bring the documents that need the veterinarians signature to your consultation or email them to us with “Insurance Forms for “Patient First Name, Last Name” in the subject line. We include a full medical report to support the claim, so please allow 3-5 business days to process the request. We offer immediate payment options through Trupanion insurance. Additional information about pet insurance is available here: Resources


Can my pet have surgery the same day as the consultation?

In some cases, we will perform surgery the same day as the consultation; most often it is for a surgical emergency. In the majority of the cases we will perform all necessary pre-operative diagnostic tests the day of the consultation, provide you a written estimate of the procedure and schedule surgery for the following day or the next available day. This time is beneficial as it allows you to get items necessary for the recovery or make arrangements for the recovery process.

When will my pet have x-rays done?

If x-rays are necessary to diagnose a condition they can be done the same day as the consultation. Many of our radiographs are of limbs and joints that must be positioned in a specific way. If your pet is painful, nervous, or aggressive to strangers we will need to use a quick acting sedative for the radiographs. This is for the pet’s safety and the staff’s safety as it can reduce the radiation exposure.

How will my primary care veterinarian find out my pet’s test results?

Your primary veterinarian is a critical part of the recovery process as they are often a very quick resource and they are familiar with your pet. We will update your primary veterinarian after the consultation and the procedure. We also supply a referral letter that explains what procedures were performed and the follow-up that is necessary for your pet.

Do I need to bring anything to VSC the morning of surgery?
  • If you have medications associated with the current condition/injury such as pain meds or anti-inflammatories, please bring the remainder of those medications. If you plan on not bringing these specific meds or need refills, please provide a list with what you currently give your pet, the concentration/size of the tablet, and the number of pills remaining (if any).
  • If your pet has any critical medications such as insulin, please bring those to be given to your pet during their stay with us.
  • It is best to let your pet relieve themselves before they are admitted for the surgery.
At what time do I withhold food and water before surgery day?

In most cases food is withheld at 10 pm, however, if your pet eats kibble at dinner time, food should be withheld at 7pm since dry food takes longer to digest. You pet’s water bowl can be picked up the morning of surgery.

Can I bring a personal item for my pet for the day of surgery?

Yes, you can bring a single item with you for your pet during recovery. Please keep in mind that there is always a possibility that the item is soiled or becomes misplaced when patients move to a new bed before and after surgery. Make sure that you have a picture of the item, and that it is labelled with your pet’s name and surname with a permanent marker for identification.

Should I bring my pets medications with them for surgery?

Since a variety of medications will be prescribed and or filled after surgery, it is important to know what your pet is taking. We want to ensure that there are no interactions. If you have medications and do not want a new prescription, please let us know in advance.

  • If you have medications associated with the current condition/injury such as pain meds or anti-inflammatories, please bring the remainder of those medications. If you plan on not bringing these specific meds or need refills, please provide a list with what you currently give your pet, the concentration/size of the tablet, and the number of pills remaining (if any).
  • If your pet has any critical medications such as insulin, please bring those to be given to your pet during their stay with us.
What can I expect when I drop my pet off for surgery?

Upon arrival to VSC the morning of your pet’s surgery, we will confirm all necessary forms are completed and signed. Then your pet will be admitted for their procedure. Your pet will be prepped for their procedure. After surgery, and once your pet is recovered from anesthesia, a member of our staff will call to give you a quick update. Then Dr. Rose will call to update you with a more detailed account of the surgery and the findings. If you have not heard from us, and would feel more comfortable checking in, please feel free to give us a call anytime. We will give you the most up-to-date information on the status of your pet.

What is a “Bulldog surgeon” or “Bulldog Specialist”?

There has been a steep increase in the popularity of brachycephalic breeds (French bulldogs, English bulldogs, and Pugs). These breeds frequently develop a variety of health issues with their airway (nose, throat, trachea, and lungs) and gastrointestinal issues related to the way their body develops (i.e. squished nose). There are some practicing veterinarians that have taken an interest in these breeds and a desire to treat them. They want to tell prospective clients about this interest and their personal experience. Although it may be well-intentioned, it can be confusing to pet owners when terms like "specialist" or "surgeon" are used by the veterinarian. A reasonable pet owner could infer that a veterinarian calling themselves a "surgeon" has received rigorous training in the treatment of the condition and skills acquired in a structured residency program. Sadly this is typically not the case! The term "surgeon" is only legally available for veterinarians with additional certification from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) so that owners are not misled. More information about what a specialist is can be found here:

It is important for any pet owner to ask questions of their veterinarian. A veterinarian with a specific interest in a certain breed group may very well be very experienced, but if you are looking to have an expert in surgery, technique, knowledge, and experience, a Board-certified surgeon may be what you are looking for.

At what time of the day will my pet have surgery?

The surgery schedule is determined on the morning of surgery, and it is dependent upon many factors such as the complexity of each procedure, the patient’s estimated recovery time, special equipment required, etc.  Changes in the surgery schedule may happen from time to time. All patients receive continuous care throughout the day whether the patient is the first surgery of the day or the last. We limit the number of scheduled surgeries on any surgery day to ensure that the surgery team is not tired or exhausted so even if your pet has to be the last case of the day the surgery team is still on their A-game!

My pet’s procedure is scheduled for the afternoon, so why do I need to bring my pet early in the morning?

Similar to a human surgery facility, there is a great deal of preparation required before each procedure to ensure a smooth and safe surgery schedule. Allowing enough time for our patients to adjust to the hospital environment can often times help reduce their anxiety.

How long will my pet’s procedure last?

Each procedure requires preparation time, set-up of the operating room and instruments, procedure time, and recovery. We are able to provide rough estimates for most cases, however, there a multitude of reasons why a procedure or anesthesia duration may be longer than initially provided. Specifics about your pet and their surgery will be discussed with you before any procedure is performed.

How is my pet monitored during surgery?

Every anesthetized patient at VSC is extensively monitored with a multitude of equipment. ECG, blood pressure, exhaled carbon dioxide, hemoglobin oxygen saturation, body temperature, pain, and consciousness level are all standard measurements at VSC. Every patient has a dedicated nurse stationed with them to adjust the anesthesia accordingly. We frequently use a variety of local anesthetics and narcotic drug infusions to help patients keep patients as pain-free as possible.