Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.


Spay/Neuter Day – What to Expect for Your Pet

On the day of your pet’s spay or neuter procedure, we will ask you to arrive at the hospital between 7:15 am and 8:00 am. We ask that you do not feed your pet from midnight the night before their procedure. This is to decrease the anesthetic risk presented by the regurgitation of food.

You and your pet will arrive at the hospital on the morning of your scheduled surgery. After being checked in by one of our front staff, you will meet with one of our technicians to sign some legal forms and briefly discuss the surgery and any questions you may have. Then you are free to leave until your pet is ready for discharge later that same day.

From the exam room, we will walk with/carry your pet to our treatment area. They are either held or placed on a table while the technician does a head to toe assessment, including the auscultation of heart and lung sounds with a stethoscope, temperature, weight and assessment of hydration and circulation. Shortly after arrival, a veterinarian will perform a full exam on your pet. Any findings from the technician’s assessment will be reported to the veterinarian. If you have asked us to perform blood work, this will be taken and the results will be presented to the doctor upon their examination of your pet.

Once your pet has been thoroughly examined, an anesthetic protocol is chosen and the medications are calculated and drawn up. We give your pet an intramuscular injection (typically into the leg) that provides relaxation, pain control and anxiety-reducing properties. Your pet will comfortably fall asleep. At this time we will place an intravenous catheter to provide IV fluids and medication to render your pet fully unconscious. We will also place a tube into the trachea to provide a protected airway so we can provide assisted breathing throughout your pet’s anesthetic.

Throughout your pet’s procedure, they are constantly monitored by their anesthetist (the technician) and their doctor. We deliver a gas inhalant that will keep your pet asleep for the duration of their procedure. Before your pet wakes up, they are given at least one additional injection for pain control. Once the procedure is over, we stop the inhalant gas and your pet will wake up.

Though the inhalant gas has now stopped, your pet will still be feeling the effects from their intramuscular injection prior to surgery, as well as residual effects from the inhalant anesthetic. For their safety, we keep them at the hospital during this recovery period while they metabolize their anesthetic drugs. When appropriate, we will offer water and a meal, and take your pet outside for a walk and bio break.

Several hours after surgery, when your pet is ready, a technician will meet with you to discuss all necessary aftercare instructions for your pet. Then you and your furry loved one get to go home!

If you have any questions about your pet’s upcoming surgery, please contact us at 902.434.0700.

Written by: Jenna Marsh, RVT



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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following policies were updated Monday, June 1, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.434.0700. We will confirm your information and a receptionist will come out to bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. If you have an iPhone, we have set up our clinic iPad for you to FaceTime with the vet during the exam or we have the capability of doing Skype for video-calling during the exam as well. If you do not have either of these as options, once the examination is finished, the veterinarian will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone while you remain outside. A staff member will then return to your vehicle with your pet and bring any items to go home with you. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team. We will either ring you through at your vehicle with our portable debit/credit machine or we accept credit card payments over the phone. We are not taking cash at this time.

2. We are still OPEN but are working with limited staff and trying to limit human exposure, including staff-to-staff, as much as possible with deep disinfecting occurring after we close for the day.
Monday, Thursday: 7:15 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:15 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone or via our portable debit/credit machine at your vehicle. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home or order and pay via the website and pick up at the clinic. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

4. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

5. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital