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Surgical admission in a veterinary service

Explore how surgical admission in a veterinary service works.
A veterinarian with his assistant, looking at an x-ray of a dog’s leg. The dog is lying on the inspection table.
Routine surgery implies surgical procedures carried out on healthy animals and normally involves minimal risk to a patient’s well-being.

These include operations such as:

  • Desexing (spaying and castration)
  • Removal of skin tumours
  • Dewclaw removal
  • Umbilical hernia repair
  • Dental procedures

Appointments are usually made in advance for the scheduling of routine surgery.

When the owner and their animal arrive at the clinic, there are certain things that should be done, including:

  • Retrieve patient record and follow general procedures for getting/checking client details.
  • Always verify that pre-operative instructions have been followed.
  • Always ask the client to complete admission and consent forms: A ‘permission for anaesthesia and surgery’ form, for example, should be signed by for each surgery admission.
  • Ask for other relevant information and always ask if the owner has any questions or queries before they leave their animals for surgery and whether they require any other procedures for their animals, such as vaccination and microchipping.


A full physical examination will be conducted by the Veterinarian on duty, recording the animal’s vital signs, including heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature.

The Veterinary Nurse should assist with this procedure and may need to restrain the animal.

The owner is permitted and invited to be present for the examination. Identify the animal and fill out a cage card for the animal and write the animal’s name, weight and procedure.

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Veterinary Administration: Admission and Triage

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