Pet Operations & Procedures

We understand that it can be a worrying time whilst your beloved pet is visiting us for surgery or treatment, whether it’s for an elective procedure such as neutering or because your pet is injured or unwell. In order to allay any worries or uncertainty, we have detailed below what you can expect when your pet is admitted to Sandhole, and of course we would always encourage you to speak with any of the team if you are at all concerned.


You will be given an admission appointment time, and the process usually takes about fifteen minutes. Your pet will normally be seen by one of our lovely qualified and friendly nurses Dog snuggled in blanket but if your pet hasn’t been seen recently, or he / she is coming in for something more complex you may have a pre-op appointment with a vet. 

If your pet is particularly anxious, we will always try and minimise stress further:

  • We can arrange for a later admission time so that there is not long to wait before the procedure
  • Pre-med drugs (to help relaxation) can be given whilst you remain with your pet
  • The discharge appointment can be brought forward, providing we are happy with how your pet has recovered from any sedatIon / anaesthesia 

As your pet is admitted you will be given a full estimate of likely costs and we will discuss the details of your pet's procedure, answering any questions you may have.  We will check that your contact details are up to date and take details of your sleeping cat pet's usual routine - meal times, poo routine, cat litter preference, food type etc. - we always do our best to adhere to these. Please do feel free to bring a small amount of your pet's usual food as this will help us encourage him / her to eat after the procedure. You can also bring your pet's favourite toy or blanket, and for rabbits and guinea pigs we recommend bringing any hutch mates along too to maintain some sense of familiarity!

Once you are happy that everything is clear, we will ask you to read through and sign a consent form.

Your pet will then be settled into the appropriate ward and either given plenty of cuddles or chin rubs, or left with plenty of space and time, depending on the individual pet.

All our wards are fitted with pheromone diffusers to help in-patients feel relaxed.


two rabbits At Sandhole we use a wide range of diagnostic tools to help us get the bottom of your pet’s problems - from a huge variety of blood and urine tests, to more in-depth ultrasound scans and x-rays using our state-of-the-art equipment.  In order to reduce your pet's stress levels, and depending on how wriggly he / she is, we may use sedation or anaesthesia as required.

Pet Anaesthesia / sedation

Anaesthesia and sedation are required for all surgical procedures, as well as for some diagnostics. At Sandhole we use the very latest drugs alongside the most rigorous anaesthetic protocols:

Comprehensive monitoring equipment
Ongoing training to ensure we are up to date with the very latest thinking
All our anaesthetists are fully qualified and highly experienced
An intravenous line is put in for every animal, ensuring patient safety and enabling drugs to be given quickly and calmly if required

Surgical Procedures

We carry out a huge variety of surgical procedures here at Sandhole, ranging from simple wart removal to the fixing of complicated fractures and breakages.  Yorkshire terrier dog Procedures are undertaken in one of our two sterile theatres - it may surprise you to know that not all practices have these - and when fur needs to be clipped, we always aim to keep the area as small and neat as possible.

Our experienced surgical team includes a certificate holder in small animal surgery - this additional higher-level qualification ensures that your pet has access to more specialised expertise if required.

All operations are undertaken with a comprehensive pain relief protocol that will vary according to your pet's individual circumstances and the particular procedure being carried out.

Communication during the day

We will contact you as soon as possible after your pet's procedure, once he / she is awake.  We understand that you may be worried, and so if you want to give us a call at any point, please feel free to do so.


two guinea pigs Inevitably you may have questions before your pet goes home - we will always discuss everything that has happened and provide you with detailed and personalised aftercare advice and support so that your pet can recover as quickly as possible. However, if you have any questions at any time, please do ask any member of our team.