Before Surgery FAQ

General Pre-Surgery FAQs

Can my pet be declined for surgery the day of my appointment?

Possibly. Any pet can be declined for surgery at the time of check in. There are multiple factors that could make your pet not suitable for surgery, today, such as: illnesses or injuries that need to be addressed first; females being too far along in pregnancy; recent mothers whose mammaries are still full; aggressive dogs that can’t be handled even with muzzles; community or feral cats who are in a carrier, but should be in a live trap for staff safety; body conditions that aren’t suitable for our anesthetic protocols and/or follow up care; etc. SNKC wants to help our community with their pet care needs and to fulfil the mission of ending pet homelessness. However, it is far more important to SNKC that your pet’s health and well being are priority over the mission of spaying and neutering.

Do I need to bring anything for my pet?

If you have any pet records that could help us to determine your pet’s current needs, yes, please bring those. However, they are not required. If you would like to bring a toy or blanket for your pet, that’s fine! However, please know that these items do have a potential to become soiled and/or lost through the surgery process. Please do not bring anything of high sentimental value.

Where do I park and where do I go once inside SNKC’s building?

We are located at the corner of 59th St. and Troost Ave. There are several websites that indicate that our building is located at 5835 Troost Ave, KCMO. That is actually the front of our building, which is adjacent to The Grooming Project’s parking lot. This is not the best entrance for services with SNKC.

Instead, please use the address of 1116 E 59th St., Kansas City, MO 64110. This will put you at the side of our building. There, you will find a larger, fenced in parking lot. Park there and come through the door within that lot. Once inside, just follow the blue paws on the floor, along with your pet. Those will take you to the person who has your surgery paperwork for your review. A staff member will come out for your pet so that you can complete the check in process. We will then get you into a line to have a face to face conversation about the specifics of your pet and their services for the day.

What is an e-collar and why does my pet need it?

This is a short term for Elizabethan collar. It is typically a cone-shaped veterinary device of stiff material (such as plastic) placed around the neck of a cat or dog to prevent it from obsessive licking, biting, or scratching at the incision site. SNKC sells the plastic cones at both of our facilities. However, there are other types of e-collars, such as the inflatable neck collars, that some pets prefer over the standard cone collar. These are available at PetSmart, PetCo and other local pet stores. SNKC highly recommends that all pets have an e-collar applied the day of surgery to prevent post care complications. This collar should be worn by your pet for the full healing period of 10-14 days.

Why does SNKC only sell Advantage Multi and Seresto collars as prevention for my pet? Can I get a different product online?

In order to maintain low-cost prices for services, SNKC does not carry a wide range of pet health care preventions/products. This keeps our overhead low, which then allows us to pass on the savings to you. Additionally, we do not provide the one on one exam with a veterinarian, pet, and client in an exam room. This also keeps our costs low. Without that one on one exam, we are unable to appropriately educate on the numerous products that are available on the market today, in relation to your pet’s specific needs. A full service vet clinic is better suited for this need and are highly recommended.

Therefore, we cannot approve online requests for any products other than Advantage Multi or Seresto collars. Our staff are well aware of the benefits of Advantage Multi and Seresto collars and how they work, therefore, we are confident in these products and the education that we can provide. If SNKC performs a heartworm test for your dog, you can take those test results to your own full service clinic, who can sell you the product of your choice. (Please discuss directly with your full service vet clinic, about their policies in regards to exams, testing, and prescription products.) Otherwise, you are welcome to continue to purchase Advantage Multi or Seresto collars, directly from us for up to a year, once we’ve performed an appropriate test and a brief, visual exam of your pet while here for surgery and/or vaccination clinic.

My pet is not up to date on their vaccinations and/or flea & tick prevention. Can my pet contract an illness or parasites while in your facility?

Possibly. Once a vaccine is administered, the antigens must be recognized, responded to and remembered by the immune system. Full protection from a vaccine usually takes up to two weeks. In some instances, two or more vaccinations several weeks apart must be given to achieve protection. Therefore, it is highly recommended that your pet is vaccinated two weeks prior to surgery, as they will be in a communal space with other pets. Your pet will be in its own kennel, but airborne diseases can still affect your pet if not properly immunized.

Additionally, preventative products for parasites can take up to 24-48 hours for your pet to be protected against fleas and ticks. We recommend only products that have been manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, many off brand products that are sold at discount stores, are just not as effective as ones produced and backed by big companies. Furthermore, it can take up to 3-6 months to fully treat your environment against parasites, through your pet, as long as all pets in the household are given prevention, due to some life stages being tougher to kill.

SNKC has proper air circulation and utilizes special disinfectants in our facility to cut down on these risks. Also, we decline to operate on or vaccinate pets who are currently ill, to keep our facility clear of illness. However, without prior immunizations and preventions, your pet is still at risk. You are welcome to bring your pet to our walk-in wellness clinic, two or more weeks prior to surgery, to help prevent these risks. Click here for more information on our Walk-in Wellness Clinic.

I have scheduled my pet to receive vaccines, Advantage Multi, microchipping and other services at the time of their spay/neuter. Is this too much for my pet at one time?

This depends on the specific pet and your preferences as a pet owner. If your pet is sensitive or currently very small and/or young, you may want to do these things at different times. We provide a walk-in vaccination clinic through the week and on Saturdays for your convenience. You can get all of these services at different times with us or elsewhere. However, we do have special packages at the time of surgery that can be very cost effective for you. Furthermore, many pets in rescues, shelters, and other low-cost facilities do receive these services at the same time, with optimal results.

What post care complications can occur with my dog or cat? I want to be prepared!

Great question! We have already compiled many FAQ’s in regards to post-operative care complications.

What is a green line tattoo and does my pet have to have that?

All pets being spayed or neutered with SNKC, will receive a green line tattoo on their abdomen. This is to identify the pet as “fixed” (spayed or neutered) so that anyone can tell immediately that this surgery has been performed and does not need to be repeated. Surgical glue will be put over the tattoo and the incision site. The glue will wear off, but the tattoo is permanent. There is no after care needed for the tattoo. This is a requirement to receive a spay or neuter at SNKC. Scars on a pet’s abdomen can be a result of a cesarean section operation (pet is still able to reproduce); or an operation due to a stomach or intestine issue; etc. Therefore, they do not tell us truly if this pet is fixed or not. The green line tattoo is a definite indicator that the pet is no longer able to reproduce.

My female pet has a scar on her stomach, I can’t see a green line tattoo, and I don’t have any records from the previous owner. Is she already spayed?

We aren’t sure. Scars on a pet’s abdomen can be a result of a cesarean section operation (pet is still able to reproduce); or an operation due to a stomach or intestine issue; etc. Therefore, the scar does not tell us if this pet is truly fixed or not. Only a green line tattoo is a definite indicator to us that the pet is no longer able to reproduce and is fixed. If we see a tattoo, we will not proceed with surgery.

If your pet is presented for a spay and we see a scar but no tattoo, our veterinarians will decide, per their professional opinion, to proceed or not. If you are unable to be reached the day of surgery and you have already signed for that service, we will likely proceed with the surgery. Our vets are unable to know if a pet is truly intact without going inside the abdomen to explore and/or seeing the green line indicator. Please be sure to discuss the scar you’ve seen with any of SNKC’s agents before checking in your pet with us.

If in doubt, we suggest that you wait for up to a year, before doing the surgery. This will give you enough time to keep an eye on her for signs of the heat cycle which is a better indicator that your pet is not fixed.

I can’t see any testicles on my male pet, or a green line tattoo and I don’t have any records from the previous owner. Is he already neutered?

Not necessarily. Without examining your pet, we can’t inform you on this. Even though you aren’t seeing testicles in the scrotum, your pet could still be intact and able to reproduce. There is a condition called cryptorchidism: a condition in which one or both of the testes fail to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. Therefore, the testicles could still be present in the body and your pet is still able to reproduce. Additionally, your pet is still likely to want to roam due to the active testosterone in his system.

It could be that this pet was neutered elsewhere that does not perform the green line tattoo as part of the process. The green line tattoo is an indicator that the pet has had a spay/neuter and is not intact anymore. However, our vets have a lot of experience in this field and are good at determining, by visual exam, if a male dog or cat has been neutered.