Surgery & Post-Operative Care
We recommend neutering your pet to prevent unwanted pregnancies and for health reasons. Neutering is available at our Dover and Folkestone branches. Before neutering, your pet will have a health check to make sure that they are fit and well to undergo the operation. Neutering is a very safe operation for most pets, however if you have any concerns please speak to our vets and we will advise if there are any factors you may wish to consider before proceeding.
Our guidelines on when to neuter your pets are below for different species. Please note that neutering can be done at almost any age, although the operation will be more straightforward and your pet will recover quicker if you neuter when they are young. Other factors which will alter neutering safety and guidance are weight, pregnancy, health concerns or old age. If you pet falls into any of these categories, please talk to us prior to booking the operation.
Male Dogs: Can be castrated from approximately 6 months old.
Female dogs: Can be spayed from ideally 3 months after their first season, which normally occurs at 6-9 months of age.
Cats (males/females): Can be castrated/spayed from 4 months old.
Rabbits (males/females): Can be castrated/spayed from 12 weeks.
Ferrets (males/ females): Can be castrated, vasectomised, and spayed from XX.
There are no strict rules for neutering and if you feel the above doesnt suit your pet please talk to us. Every situation is different.
We also offer neutering for other animals (rats, guinea pigs, bears(!), etc) - Please phone us to discuss these and we will be happy to help!
When you decide to go ahead with your pet's neutering, you will be given pre-operation instruction. Please listen carefully and ask for our receptionist to provide you with a handout if you wish. Failure to follow pre-op instructions may result in us having to delay your pet's operation. Likewise when collecting your pet you will be given post-op instructions on food, exercise, etc. Please read these carefully. Your pet will be booked for a free post-operative check at 3 days post-op, and then for stitches out at 8-10 days (where necessary). Please attend both appointments, but also contact us before if you have any concerns.
Pre-op information (click on the documents below)
DOGS: CATS: OTHER PETS:
Soft Tissue Surgery
At Burnham House Vets, we do a lot of different surgeries of which the majority fall into the 'soft tissue' category. This can include mass removals, hernia repair, wound stitch-ups, eye ulcer surgery, dew claw removals, etc. Our sterile operating theatre is where operations take place, following induction of anaesthesia in our preparation room. The main theatre has a dedicated "clean air" air conditioning system keeping the environment bug-free (virtually) and warm.
If your pet requires an operation, your vet will be able to talk you through the surgery and give you an estimate of the cost. Actual cost can vary as often drug choice, suture choice etc will be made when the animal is in theatre and the vet is able to adjust the choices to suit your specific pet's situation. For example, if a vet decides during the operation that fluids would be beneficial to your pet after removing a particularly vascular mass, an estimate will cover this cost and allow 'gold standard' treatment.
On operation day, you will go through admission questions and paperwork with a vet or nurse and your pet will be admitted to our kennels. When the vet, nursing team and theatre are ready they will be anaesthetised (usually with a pre-med prior) in the prep room, and the area to be operated on will be clipped of all fur and thoroughly cleaned. They will then be transferred to the operating theatre where they will be cleaned again so that the operating area will be sterile. A nurse or vet will monitor their heart rate, respirations, blood gas levels, blood pressure and temperature during the procedure.
Sterile drapes will be used to cover any area around, but not part of, the operation site. The vet will then scrub, and dress in sterile clothing. Finally all the instruments needed for the procedure will be removed from their sterile packaging and laid out for the vet to use on a sterile drape. For more complicated operations more pairs of sterile hands may be needed!
Following your pet's operation, they will be recovered from their anaesthesia in their kennel, comfortable and warm, and kept quiet whilst they wake gradually so as not to disturb them. We have two wards to help our nurses seperate those recovering quietly from our more boisterous in-patients! A nurse will monitor their wake-up, and then in conjunction with the vet decide if the patient will be staying in for the night or going home and what medications, etc they should receive post-operatively.
You will be updated on your pet's condition and when they are discharged you will be given plenty of post-operative advice. We will book you an appointment to see them in 3 days time for a post-op check, and 8-10 days for removal of stitches and a check up. Some operations will require more post-op appointments, for example drain removal. Your vet will advise you of the correct care.
Orthopaedic surgery is surgery involving bones or joints. This may include bone pining or plating, external fixators to hold bones in place, amputation or complete joint replacement. At Burnham House Veterinary Surgery we can offer all of the above options in-house without the need to travel to distant referral centres. Jeremy is our head veterinary surgeon and does the majority of the operations, however other vets do the slightly lesser procedures such as amputations.
Orthopaedic surgery is very specific to the patient and often tailor-made to fit the situation. All injuries are different and not all options will be available to all patients. If your pet needs orthopaedic surgery we recommend you contact us to discuss the case and we will be able to advise the best way ahead from there.
We accept referrals from other veterinary practices for orthopaedic surgery under some circumstances - If you would like to refer a case to us, please contact us on 01304 206 989.
Our dental suite at our Dover branch is located on the ground floor. In here we have a variety of high speed dental drills and an ultrasonic scaler. Dentals can range from a scale and polish only to a large-scale extraction if necessary.
For many dogs and cats dental problems mar their lives and cause nagging pain or discomfort. It is really common for clients surprised that their pet needs a dental to return a couple of weeks later amazed at how much brighter and younger the animal appears. Regular dental care is as important for out pets as it is for us.
At BHVS we are also equipped to fit braces and to provide root canal treatments. These techniques usually require more dedicated owners but are a way of saving teeth.
Dental disease is a major cause of premature death in rabbits and guinea pigs. This is because their teeth continually grow and if they become out of line with age, spurs will inhibit eating, cause ulcers and possibly cause abscesses. The first signs may be weight loss and a change in pellets. Dribbling or a wet chin may also be seen. At BHVS we have specialist equipment to perform rabbit and guinea pig dentals to keep your small furries nibbling furiously.
Post-Operative & Supportive Care
Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MRT)
Magnetic resonance therapy (MRT) is a non-invasive therapy used to treat arthritis, joint pain and damage to ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bones anywhere in the body. This can be as an alternate to surgery or to aid with post-operative healing. This innovative therapy, can help with a wide range of complaints as it treats the main types of tissue found in all joints:
Cartilage – the rubbery “cushion” between bones and in each disc in your spine
Tendons – the sinews that join muscles onto bone
Ligaments – the little “strings” that join one bone to another
By strengthening and regenerating each of these tissue types Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MRT) can help with a huge variety of pain. From speeding up healing of broken bones to reducing pain and increasing movement for long term arthritis sufferers, MRT can have a huge impact.
Our MRT therapy units can be hired from the practice for use at home (following training) or you can arrange regular nurse appointments when the MRT will be performed. Our MRT service operates in response to referral by a veterinary surgeon, either from within our own practice or other veterinary practices in the area. For more information and to see if this service is suitable for your pet, please speak to your veterinary surgeon.
A non-invasive therapy to assist in healing following damage, degradation or surgery. Therapeutic lasers deliver specific red and near-infrared wavelengths of laser light to induce a photochemical reaction and therapeutic effect.
During each painless treatment, a laser is run over the affected area to increase circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.
Our therapeutic laser service is by referral only from one of our own veterinary surgeons or from other veterinary practices locally. For more information about whether this is suitable for your pet, please speak to your veterinary surgeon.
Physiotherapy, as in humans, is used in animals to help to restore movement and function when they have been affected by injury or illness.
It takes a holistic approach that involves owner's directly in their pet's care.
Physiotherapy can be helpful for animals of all ages with a wide range of health conditions, including problems affecting the:
brain or nervous system – such as movement problems resulting from a stroke
heart and circulation – for support of blood pressure issues
lungs and breathing – such as chronic bronchitis
Our physiotherapy is performed following referral by a veterinary surgeon, either at our own practice or other practices locally. For more information about physiotherapy and how this may suit your pet please speak to your veterinary surgeon.