What is a board certified surgeon?

There are many general veterinary practitioners performing advanced surgical procedures typically performed by a specialist and claiming to be "veterinary surgeons". Many have years of experience and do an excellent job while others simply learn the techniques during a weekend course so they can expand the services they offer their clients. Veterinary medicine is not strictly regulated with regard to claims being made about proficiency in surgery. BEWARE of flashy ads! The simplest way to be assured that your pet's surgeon is truly qualified at the highest level is if they display the American College of Veterinary Surgeon's (ACVS) logo indicating they are a board-certified specialist, with years of advanced surgical training beyond veterinary school. According to the ACVS GUIDELINES, only board-certified surgical specialists may use the term "veterinary surgeon." This is to assist the public in discerning what a particular doctor's qualifications are. The American Board of Veterinary Specialists and the American Veterinary Medical Association concur stating that no one should deceive the public into thinking that they have specialty credentials such that they may be confused with a board-certified specialist.

We encourage you to do your own research and speak with your veterinarian as well as other veterinarians in Central Florida, many of whom have worked with us for several years. You can also learn a lot from local forums and simply speaking to other pet owners and friends.

What Should I Expect For My Visit?

  • Before your first visit: Please make sure you have filled out the registration form in advance or make sure you show up 15 minutes early for your appointment. During your pet's initial consultation we will perform a thorough exam and any needed diagnostics, such as radiographs and blood work. Please make sure your pet fasts for at least 12 hours in case mild sedation is needed for diagnostic procedures.

  • Surgery: As your pet's surgery time approaches, it is not uncommon to feel nervous. There are a few guidelines we would like for you to follow for your pet’s safety while undergoing surgery and general anesthesia.

  • The evening prior to surgery:

    • It is ok to give medications that would normally be given the evening prior to surgery unless instructed otherwise.

    • Food should be withheld after the evening meal at least 12 hours prior to surgery.

    • Water is allowed until midnight; we do not recommend access to water the morning of surgery as many pets are hungry as a result of food being withheld, and then engorge themselves on water. This may increase the risk of reflux from the stomach, particularly for morning surgeries. Your pet will have an indwelling intravenous catheter and will receive fluid supplementation before, during, and after surgery as long as deemed necessary.

    • Do not attempt to “pre-shave” the limb or operative site prior to surgery; research has shown this may increase the risk of surgical site infection.

  • The day of surgery: Plan to arrive at the surgical center between 7:15 am and 8:00 am according to your pet's scheduled admission appointment. Bring any medications your pet is currently taking as well as any special foods/dietary needs. Take any leashes, collars, carry crates, etc home with you. We have strict protocols regarding sanitization of items in the hospital /surgical areas, and therefore we prefer not to intake personal items for your pet such as individual pet toys, blankets, and bedding. We will provide comfortable bedding for your pet as well as an environment full of TLC where they will feel safe and cozy.

  • The day following surgery/discharge: Doctors and staff will have morning rounds between 8:30 and 9:30 am during which time patients are being evaluated and plans are being made for discharge or ongoing care as may be necessary. Therefore, please refrain from calling the day after surgery for updates until after 9:30 am. A staff member will call after rounds have concluded to arrange a discharge time. Feel free to call if you have not received your update/discharge time by 10:30 am.


For pets staying no more than one night, visitation on the day of surgery is not always feasible as the staff may be fully occupied in the operating room and recovering patients from surgery. In some cases, visitation can be arranged with doctor approval. If your pet will be hospitalized for a longer period, we are happy to arrange visitation.

Phone updates

You may call any time for an update on your pet. In most cases, the surgeon will call to notify you when your pet is out of surgery and in recovery unless the doctor is tending to an emergency. In this instance, another staff member will make every effort to contact you immediately after surgery.

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