General Patient Info

 Preparation for your pet’s surgery is just as important as discharge and care at home instructions.  We understand it can be a stressful time before, during and after your pet’s surgery. We rely on pet owners to follow through with doctor’s instructions to ensure a successful recovery. Please find below the steps we have prepared for you to help ease the process of anticipation of our pet’s surgery day along with helpful post operative care instructions.

Preparing for surgery...


Once you have scheduled surgery for your pet, plan to arrive between 8:00am and 10:00am the morning of surgery.  Mondays, between 8:00 and 9:30 is preferred.  Should other arrangements need to be made, please contact a receptionist.

We recommend that you withhold food from your pet after midnight the day prior to surgery. Access to water after midnight is okay.

We understand that you wish your pet to be as comfortable as possible while he or she is staying with us. We provide quilts, blankets, and TLC for comfort and well being. Due to the hospital’s sanitization procedure, it is not possible to assure return of items such as toys or blankets and we request personal items for your pet not be left while he or she is here.

Please remember to take any leashes, collars or crates home with you. Bring any medications that your pet is taking or food if your pet is on a special diet.

Visitation on the day of surgery is not always possible. Owner visits are permitted on a case by case basis with doctor approval and if your pet is going to stay for more than a day here, you are welcome to visit. Telephone updates are available at any time of day.


Your pet's surgery day...

During your pet’s surgical procedure a team of 3 is involved in your pet’s care: the doctor and two technicians.  The surgeon will make every effort to call you after the procedure to give you an update. Sometimes the surgeon has to attend to another patient and there may be a short delay. We will make every effort to have someone call you as soon as surgery is completed.  If for some reason you have not received a phone call by 6:30 pm please call the office at (813) 901-5100.

Your pet will stay in our hospital at least one night with our overnight technician monitoring and administering medications.  It’s our policy to update every pet owner via phone in the morning between 9:30 – 10:30. If the doctor feels your pet can go home we will discuss a discharge time for later in the day.

We have a skilled staff member on duty throughout the night caring for your pet. Please feel free to call at any time during the night for updates. We are the only specialty practice in Tampa with staff dedicated 100% of the time to surgery patients. If you call and the phone goes to voicemail, hospitalized patients are being actively cared for.  Please call back a little later.

After your pet's surgery...

Discharge Information

The doctors and staff round between 8:45am  and 9:30 am and an update for your pet will be available after rounds.  Please do not call between 8:45am and 9:30 am for an update because the plan for each pet is being actively discussed during that time. A technician will call you after rounds to set up a discharge time. If you have not been contacted by 10:30 am, please feel free to call.

Discharge times are Mondays through Thursdays from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm and Fridays from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

The office is closed over the weekend; however, technicians check voicemail messages during the weekend. Support staff is on call in the event we need to provide weekend treatment for our patients. Dr. Hay and Dr. Thomas rotate weekend call and provide advice to the on-call technician as necessary. Do not hesitate to call if you have any questions after your pet has been discharged. 813-901-5100

We are here to help your pet get back on track to a successful recovery.

Your pet will require a re-check appointment, please contact us as instructed to schedule your appointments or click here for more details about re-check appointments post-surgery.

Veterinarian Communication

All patient visits to our office are communicated to your Veterinarian.

Our goal is to have all letters generated and sent within 3-5 days, but sometimes there is a delay depending on the nature of the problem being treated.

Please note: we do not mail referral letters unless requested to do so by a veterinarian. If you would like a copy of the referral letter, please ask during discharge to have a copy e-mailed or faxed to you.  Due to the number of cases seen at our hospital, it is not possible to talk directly with every veterinarian on every patient. However, the doctors do call many veterinarians to discuss patients and are always available for any veterinarian who wishes to discuss a pet that we have treated.

Veterinary Surgical Specialists
7512 Paula Drive Tampa, FL 33615
P: (813) 901-5100 F: (813) 901-5102