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Frequently Asked Questions


Do you work with 501c3 organizations?

We appreciate the hard work that our local rescue organizations do for pets in need. We often work with local not-for-profit rescue organizations and offer discounts for services. A copy of the 501c3 letter is needed prior to the initial consultation. The amount of discount is based on the number of surgeries or treatments performed at VSC (i.e. organizations that use our facility for multiple cases are provided a larger discount than those using VSC only once), the amount of social media engagement, etc... A VSC manager can walk you through the process.

Will my pets pain be adequately managed?

At VSC, we strongly believe in multi-modal pain control. We will address your pet’s surgery pain before they even experience any. We routinely use local anesthetics, regional anesthetics (such as epidurals), anti-inflammatory medications, and injectable opiate medications, as well as cryotherapy following surgery.

What is multimodal pain therapy?

Much research has been done on the causes and sources of pain. There are a variety of medications that treat pain through different methods of action. Treatment of pain through different receptors and pathways is called multimodal analgesia (pain control).

Are additional x-rays done during surgery?

Most of the necessary x-rays are taken prior to anesthesia to reduce the time that they are under general anesthesia. Following surgery, we will take additional radiographs to confirm accurate placement of any metal implants from the surgery.

How soon after surgery do I need to bring my pet back to VSC?

When your pet is discharged from the hospital you will receive printed instructions about the recovery process and any necessary follow up appointments. Typically, an appointment for the removal of any skin sutures is the first appointment at 10-14 days after the procedure. The cost of this appointment is covered by the surgery fee.

Are any follow up appointments included with my pet’s surgery?

Yes, the initial appointment after surgery to remove a bandage or to remove sutures is covered by the surgery fee. Follow up appointments after that are not included in the original surgery cost unless otherwise stated in the initial consent forms.

After my pet’s sutures are removed, are there any other follow up appointments?

Each procedure requires a different follow up schedule. VSC will give you detailed recovery instructions so you will know what to expect for your pet following surgery. For example, an orthopedic procedure would typically require you to see the nurse for the four week follow up, and then the doctor for the final eight week follow up when x-rays are taken. For a soft tissue surgery, your pet may only need to come back for suture removal.

When are additional x-rays/diagnostic tests needed for my pet?

In many surgeries radiographs (x-rays) or other diagnostic tests (e.g. blood work) may be needed to evaluate the healing of progress of the recovery or the disease. Your discharge instructions will outline these diagnostics tests and when they are recommended. We make every attempt to schedule these tests when they are convenient for your schedule.

How is my pet monitored after surgery during their recovery?

Patients are kept on monitoring equipment until they are fully recovered from anesthesia. In addition, VSC was designed around keeping patients visible to our staff at all times. Larger patients are kept on comfortable bedding in front of the nurse stations until they are fully recovered from anesthesia. Smaller patients recover from anesthesia in a quiet ICU that is protected from all the noises of the treatment area.

Will my pets pain be adequately managed?

At VSC we make multimodal analgesia (pain control) our priority. We use a variety of medications to prevent or reduce pain from developing prior to surgery as well as injectable and oral medications after the procedure. It is important to note that since your pet is more comfortable they may try to be more active; it is still critical that they follow the activity restrictions after surgery.

What is multimodal pain therapy?

Much research has been done on the causes and sources of pain. There are a variety of medications that treat pain through different methods of action. Treatment of pain through different receptors and pathways is called multimodal analgesia (pain control).

How can I get an update on my pet after hours?

Veterinary Specialty Center of Sarasota offers overnight hospitalization for patients Monday through Thursday. The Client Services Team is on-site from 8 AM to 5 PM, but outside of these hours our phones go to voicemail. During the overnight stay your pet will have a nurse caring for them, walking them, giving medications, etc... We do not have an emergency service so the the nursing team taking care of pets staying overnight are not distracted by emergency cases.

Although you are able to send text messages and email throughout the night, you may not get a response from the team or any response may be delayed as it is only offsite employees that monitor these accounts. If there are any emergencies or critical changes to your pet's condition the medical team will call you. You may call before 5pm to get any updates before the Client Services Team finishes for the day. If your pet is in surgery or is slated for surgery after 5pm the medical team will still be on site until the patients are all recovered.

How soon can I expect to hear an update about my pet’s surgery?

You will be contacted after your pet has had their endotracheal (breathing tube) removed (extubated), and they are breathing on their own. This may be up to an hour after the procedure. The risks of anesthesia can extend through this time, so we pay extra attention to your pet until they are breathing on their own. Your nurse may call you with an initial update; the surgeon will call shortly after with more details about the surgery.

How long will my pet need to stay after surgery?

In most cases, we recommend that a patient remain in our care until the following morning. General anesthesia can often cause nausea or other effects for several hours after surgery. This may cause abnormal behaviors, inappetance, nausea, vomiting, etc. We use a variety of injectable medications in these cases to control pain and treat the symptoms.

Is food and water given after surgery?

Your pet will be offered food and water a few hours after surgery once they are fully recovered.

What do I need to bring when I come to pick up my pet after surgery?

If you are picking up your canine pet, please bring your leash; if you are picking up your feline pet please bring a transport crate. If you are supplying your own e-collar, please bring it with you for the car ride home.

How long after surgery can my pet go back to normal activity?

Recovery time varies for each procedure and pet. Specific instructions will be given to you for your pet’s recovery that will include the phases of when to reintroduce activity. A general rule of thumb after most orthopedic procedures is 8 to 12 weeks before returning to full activity, and for soft tissue surgery, you pet should take it easy for two weeks’ post-surgery.


What forms of payment do you accept?

VSC except all major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, AMEX, Discover), personal checks (must be verified at the time of payment), Care Credit, PayPal (under certain conditions), and cash.

When is payment due?

Payment is due when services are rendered.

Is full payment required at time of service?

For diagnostics or procedures under $500, full payment is required at the time of service. For diagnostics or surgery over $500, we require a deposit of 50% of the high end of the written estimate at the time of drop off for procedures. The remaining balance is due before your pet is discharged.