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Holding a Cat overnight after castration--Y/N?

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  • Holding a Cat overnight after castration--Y/N?

    I have four vets I use/have used regularly as an adult. All four practices hold spays overnight. Fair enough, it's major organ removal. Three of them ("boutique" vet I used in MA, small animal/exotics vet up north here, mixed small/large practice up north), when doing a simple castration of a cat or dog, do it as outpatient. "Boutique" vet even suggested, as they scheduled it same day as the appointment where we talked about it, that I also leave my other cat so surgery cat could have his buddy with him in recovery! Other two practices here in MI ('up north') have the animal come in that morning, do the procedure, and pickup late afternoon/evening assuming recovery goes well. The small-animal-only may be a tad pill/procedure happy (they threw everything and the kitchen sink at my parents' elderly dog before bringing up the "e" word after it was obvious arthritis meds were not going help acute renal failure and my parents started refusing to buy more pills) but they aren't big into keeping animals as inpatients longer than they have to.

    My practice down here...they're the ones I mentioned in the cost thread. Not at any of the other three would it cost me $430 to get out the door for annual shots and one inconclusive blood test they had to repeat (heck, the boutique and the mixed practice would eat the cost of the screwed-up test for the wasted time, especially since it involved upsetting my elderly dog a second time.) They did not used to require castrations stay over night as they didn't keep P.C. But now I've been told not only do I have to have Gunpowder in at 7:30am with the surgery (a non-complex castration) done in the morning, I can't pick him up until office hours (9am) the next day! What really seems wrong about this, besides, again, three other practices just not doing this, when I signed for my puppy's spay the morning of her surgery the disclaimer I had to sign included the line that after eight P.M. there is NO ONE AT THE PRACTICE SUPERVISING THE ANIMALS.

    So they're requiring that I leave my cat for 24+ hours for the least-invasive surgery there is, and capping it they do not have anyone there after 8pm to check and see if there ARE complications. Rather than I pick him up, and if in the unlikely event there are issues, I run him to the emergency clinic (a different vet over the state line in Indiana that is open nights nad weekends; this clinic doesn't do emergency care.)

    Am I missing something (along with the other three vets I've dealt with?) I like that this practice has walk-in hours and is right here in my town, but I'm beginning to feel rather aggressively upsold....
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  • #2
    Overnight observation... for neutering a CAT? That I assume is otherwise young and healthy?

    Seems ridiculous to me. The procedure itself takes less than 5 minutes.


    • #3
      Personally I would just get him done somewhere else. And I would explain it to them the same way you did here. Speak with your wallet.

      I cannot imagine a reason to hospitalize a cat neuter overnight. Like you said its about the most "non-surgery" surgery there is.
      You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


      • #4
        I can think of no general reason to keep an animal overnight after an uncomplicated castration.
        In fact, many of my colleagues send spay patients home the same day.

        Now, an individual may occasionally require hospitalization, but again, I would condsider that, if that were medically necessary, so too would be overnight monitoring of the animal.
        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


        • Original Poster

          Yeah, I kind of figured if 75% of vets I use think it's overkill, it probably is, but, well, COTH. He's a young, healthy cat (positively blooming, actually-he's gained two pounds since November and gone from 'gawky adolescent cat' to 'sleek tomcat'.

          I think what really gets me is they require you leave everyone, then make you sign a waiver indicating after 8 no one will be checking on them until morning. The vets themselves are very nice, but ever since the practice sold the prices on "necessary procedures" have just kept going up...
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          • #6
            I've never heard of keeping a cat overnight for neutering, or spaying for that matter.

            Edit: Doesn't your local animal shelter offer low-cost spaying/neutering? The Boston Animal Rescue League has a "Spay Wagon" - a bus that's outfitted for in/out spaying neutering that goes to different areas. Something like $70.
            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


            • #7
              My vet's office has a policy of if pet is awake enough after the procedure if it's basic sort of stuff.

              Old Lady Cat had to stay overnight after a tooth extraction -- her procedure had been later in the day and she hadn't revived fully by that evening. She was "coherent" and ready to go home the next day.

              Little Man came home the same day as his castration, HOWEVER I'm torn as to whether or not it would have been beneficial for him to have stayed overnight. He was still extremely groggy, unsteady, and despite being able to spend the evening/part of the night in a blanket cradled in my arms, it might have been easier on him not to be moved till he had a chance to get his sea legs back.

              My vet's office is around the corner from her house and she does do night checks.


              • #8
                Sounds ridiculous to me. Total overkill. Also, I will not leave any of my animals overnight for any reason if they are unattended. Period. I can not possibly see how a post op animal is better off crated in a strange place with no one there if problems occur, versus home with me, where they will be closely monitored by me and quickly taken for emergency care if needed. No way.


                • Original Poster

                  I know St. Joe county (the MI one) does spay/neuter, but AFAIK Cass doesn't. They have a rebate program, but I haven't bothered to get to the shelter to get the form as it's a drive out of my way, and really, the money's not the issue as much as I really don't want to have to haul him in at oh-dark-thirty (I work swing/third shift so it's very early for me, plus it makes the witholding times tricky) and then have to leave him for a full day and night just because they want to jack up rates. I can AFFORD to pay it, but I don't like being strongarmed into paying for something that serves no purpose-if they aren't checking on him, why does he need to be there long after they'd know if something wasn't right? Surgery's at 8-9am the day you bring them in, the clinic closes at 8pm.
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                  • #10
                    I would be finding another vet.


                    • #11
                      I agree with Ghazzu. With nobody in the office overnight (even for something more involved than a castration) I prefer pets to be home with their owner monitoring them.


                      • #12
                        I worked for a small vet clinic as a vet tech for 6 years (while in college...and yes, I did take the long road through college).

                        We kept all cats that were sedated over night. We did not charge for the stay. We kept them as a precaution (mainly to the owners) b/c cats do not wake up from sedation like dogs do. They are more disoriented and can inadvertently hurt themselves or their owners. With us, they were tucked away safely overnight and were good to go in the morning.

                        It's been a few years since I've worked at a vet clinic so I'm not sure what drugs are used for sedation these days, etc, but that would be my guess as to why they want to keep him overnight. Wouldn't hurt to ask them the exact reasoning why they want to keep him if you really want to know. It is your pet after all.
                        A Moments Worth - "Chance" - 1990 Chestnut OTTB
                        King Creole - "Milo" - 2006 Bay Appendix QH


                        • #13
                          I would be calling it a rip off!! I'll bet the unattended overnight stay is not included in the price of the procedure!! More $$ for nothing!! My vet will neuter tom cats on the farm...snip and go. I confine and observe...$10!!
                          Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                          • #14
                            I have personally taken all my dogs and cats home after any and all operations. Most vets do not have someone at their business 24/7. so who is going to be there in the middle of the night if something goes wrong?

                            Even at Briarcliff Animal Hospital, the best vet care for small animals where I took my dogs and cats when I lived in Atlanta, I took my dogs and cats home, even after major surgery. They even had a night watchman who stayed inside the hospital and checked on the animals all night long. And lots of great vets, and 24/7 vet care with no being shuffled off to an "emergency vet service" at night who wouldn't know my animals, I still rolled up after court, and as late as 9pm or later, picked up my dogs and/or cats who had had surgery there. Being neurotic helps. I want to be there when something goes wrong. I never had anything go wrong after any surgery, but if the dogs and cats are in bed with me, there won't be anything going wrong without my being there.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
                              I agree with Ghazzu. With nobody in the office overnight (even for something more involved than a castration) I prefer pets to be home with their owner monitoring them.
                              I have asked some male cats about this and here's what they want after they have had their balls rudely exposed and cut off.

                              1. Food. (Someone, too, thought it would be a good idea to make them hungry before doing this. Cat doesn't know which form of suffering is the worse one.)

                              2. An apology.

                              2a. A pretty comfortable version of a normal day.

                              That means a human being needs to be around and they want to go home. If possible, they'd like you to have put fresh clean sheets on your bed as well. No cat ever wants to sleep in filthy cat hair, so it seems reasonable to have clean sheets at least after this kind of assault.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat


                              • #16
                                We would have dog neuters stay overnight, but cats would go home same day. Some dog neuters went home same day if owners requested, then they were done first thing in the morning. However most stayed over night for kennel rest and pain control, and a recheck in the morning before they went. Spays always stayed one full night in hospital for overnight monitoring unless they were very anxious in hospital, then they came back the following morning for a recheck.

                                We had a doctor/tech in the hosp 24 hours. If there was no one there, I would want the pet done first thing in the morning if possible, and go home.


                                • #17
                                  I have had many (20+) cats spayed and neutered (cleared the neighborhood of strays). Never, not once have I been asked to keep them at the vets overnight. Drop off in the AM, pick up in the afternoon.

                                  I would be looking for a new vet.
                                  APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                                  • #18
                                    I would definitely NOT be okay with being forced to leave my cat in for castration surgery overnight unattended at the vet's office. It's one thing if there was an experienced tech there floating through all night checking on the patients, but this doesn't make any sense.


                                    • #19
                                      Chiming in a little late here, but agree that it's ridiculous. I send everything except declaws home the same day. I'd rather they be at home where someone might notice if something goes wrong (no staff in the clinic overnight). If an animal is ill enough or slow to recover from anesthesia to the point that they need to stay in the hospital, they need to be transferred to a 24-hour facility for overnight care or observation.

                                      Adams Equine Wellness


                                      • #20
                                        I just had my kitten done... they got him done first thing in the morning, and since I work from home and would be here to supervise, they let him go home after lunch. I'm not sure he ever noticed he was missing anything, except a meal LOL.
                                        "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."