Patient Requirements

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The Community Surgery Service is designed to help patients who are medically stable. The service does not routinely provide intensive pre- or post-operative care, as it does not have continuous overnight monitoring. Any cases that may require such care will be hospitalized in the VMTH at an additional cost to the client.

The service requires that every animal have a reasonable temperament such that they are safe with which to work. Students are in the early stages of learning clinical techniques and may need to handle patients extensively. Therefore, aggressive animals will not be accepted into the program. Feral cats are not accepted for this reason.

In order to be considered for the program, patients must have a medical record from a local primary care veterinarian that documents medical evaluation within the last three months. Before an appointment with the Community Surgery Service is made, these records will be reviewed by UC Davis clinicians. The waiting time for an appointment is approximately one month. However, a cancelation list is maintained, and appointments can be moved up when space is available.

In order to optimize patient safety during anesthesia and surgery, a basic pre-surgical evaluation is provided for all patients, and is included in the fee. However, this is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation to confirm a diagnosis prior to scheduling a surgical appointment.  

All potential patients must be spayed or neutered, unless it is medically contraindicated. The service can add a spay or neuter procedure to most surgeries for a modest additional fee. 

Anesthesia for surgeries is performed by board-certified faculty members of the VMTH’s Anesthesia/Critical Patient Care Service and by registered veterinary technicians. Extensive monitoring technology is used, but patients may be under anesthesia for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, debilitated patients or those with metabolic diseases are not candidates for surgery with the Community Surgery Service.

All patients receiving more complex surgeries in the Gourley branch of the Community Surgery Service will be hospitalized for two nights – one night prior to surgery and one night after surgery. Patients receiving simple procedures in the CCAH branch of the Community Surgery Service are generally discharged the same day as the surgery.

For further information, please contact the Community Surgery Service coordinator at 530-752-7631.