What happens during my initial consultation?
You meet the surgeon,
Your pet has a thorough clinical examination
The surgeon will fully assess the presenting problem, and formulate a plan of care with you - this may not always be surgical.
The surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of various treatments so you can make informed choices.
The surgeon will explain what to expect before, during, and after surgery, including any possible complications.
You get a chance to ask any questions you may have in person. We are also always happy to answer any questions that you forget to ask in consult via email or phone.
We dispense any pre-operative medications that your pet needs.
A physio plan is made, including pre-hab (where possible) and postoperative assessment.
We give you the package price and let you know everything this includes.
Why do I need a consultation?
A pre-surgical consultation is important to check the health of your pet and to assess surgical risk. We discuss exactly what kind of treatment we recommend and why. It is an opportunity for you to ask questions, and make sure you understand the procedure your pet is going to have.
I'm from out of town, can I start with a video consult?
Absolutely! We are happy to discuss cases over the phone or by video. If you then come and have an in-person consultation/examination there is no additional charge. These case discussions will help you with decision-making and give you a good idea of costs and logistics.
Video consultations are limited in that we cannot physically examine your pet, so we cannot make medication recommendations, and it may not be possible to make a definite diagnosis until we see them in person.
What should I bring to my consultation?
Please bring any medication your pet is currently taking with you to both your consult and surgical appointments.
What should I bring with my pet on the day of surgery?
On the day of surgery, your pet won't have breakfast, so please bring a snack or some treats that your pet loves and we will make sure they are offered once your pet is allowed to eat after surgery.
Please also bring something to snuggle with that smells like home - a toy, a blanket, or even an item of clothing. This will help your pet to feel relaxed when they are in recovery.
What happens on the night of surgery?
Most of our patients are discharged on the same day of surgery with pain relief and anti-anxiety medication. Some pets require after-hours care at another local clinic and we will discuss that with you if this is needed. Our physio team will usually see you the following day after surgery for the first treatment.
What is included in my package?
The initial consultation,
The surgery and anaesthesia,
A revisit with the surgeon,
Four physio sessions.
Post-operative x-rays or complications are not included.
What are your payment terms?
Our policy requires pre-payment in full at least three days prior to surgery. If your pet is having surgery more quickly than that, then proof of payment, such as a screenshot of the online transaction, will be needed.
What payment options are available?
Eftpos, credit card (transaction fee of 3%), internet bank transfer. For help with finance we recommend Vet Care Finance.
Can my insurance company pay you directly?
Our standard procedure is for you to pay us, and for your insurance company to reimburse you. Please discuss with us if this is not possible.
Why are consultations in Ferrymead and surgery in Lincoln?
We are in the process of building a surgical theatre at our Ferrymead premises, and in the meantime, we are using the Lincoln University theatre.
Why do all your packages include physio?
At AOC we believe that physio is essential to our patient’s recovery, and that is why we include physio in our surgical packages. Physiotherapy will accelerate your pet’s return to function, as well as safely guide you through the recovery process.
Can my pet still receive physio if I live out of town?
Yes, we work with physiotherapists around the South Island to ensure your pet can still have post-operative physio. There are four sessions included in your package, and this includes out-of-town physiotherapy if it is with one of our recommended physiotherapy services.
The following areas have access to these services:
Lake Tekapo/Farlie and its surrounds
North Canterbury (Culverdon)
South Canterbury (Ashburton)
We can also offer video consultations with our therapists here in Christchurch.
Where can I stay with my pet in Christchurch?
If you need accommodation in Christchurch whilst your pet has surgery, we are happy to provide a list of pet-friendly accommodation options. Usually, clients come to Christchurch the afternoon before and stay the night after surgery before heading home.
Do you let my vet know what surgery my pet has had?
We work as a team with your vet and communicate with them about the procedure. We are always happy to answer their questions or assist in any way we can.
What is the best treatment for my dog's torn cruciate ligament?
The gold standard treatment that we perform at AOC is called a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. There is a great video on our “Cruciate Package” page that explains all about this surgery, the recovery, and the outcomes.
Will my pet need a bandage after surgery?
In most cases, your pet will just have a light dressing for a couple of days after surgery. Some pets do need a bandage or a splint, but this is uncommon, and we will discuss this with you at the consultation.
Does my dog need to be confined after surgery?
Your pet needs to be carefully confined after surgery. If they run, slip, or jump, they risk breaking the construct or setting their recovery back significantly. A crate or a small room with non-slip flooring and nothing they can jump on will work. Whenever your pet is not confined they need to be on a lead, preferably a harness.
Crates can be sourced from Kmart, and most pet stores, or your vet clinic may loan crates to their clients.