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For 30 years, Dr. Dieden has provided skilled surgical care to pets across the country and here on Whidbey Island. She has regularly performed a wide range of routine procedures and decades of emergency work have gained her expertise in many life-threatening surgical conditions, including:

  • Spays and neuter, including cryptorchid and monorchid procedures

  • Mass removals (external and internal)

  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat)

  • Splenectomy

  • Caesarian sections and pyometra

  • Gastrointestinal surgery (foreign body and mass removal from stomach or intestine, volvulus, and intussusception)

  • Bladder surgery (bladder stone removal, rupture repair)

  • Thoracic surgery (diaphragmatic hernia, collapsed lung)

  • Eye surgery (cherry eye, enucleation, proptosis)

  • Stabilization and repair of major trauma injuries


From soft tissue surgeries to minor orthopedic procedures, the Animal Hospital by the Sea can provide dogs and cats with the surgical care they need. There are, however, situations when it may be in your pet’s best interest to seek expertise beyond the scope of our general practice. In order to safeguard your pet’s health and maximize the chances of recovery, we will then refer to one of the area’s many veterinary specialists with advanced training and equipment. The Animal Hospital by the Sea maintains an excellent relationship with many of the area’s specialists, facilitating a seamless transition. Count on us to do what is right for both you and your pets.


The Animal Hospital by the Sea makes every effort to ensure that your pet’s surgery experience is as safe and stress-free as possible. Prior to surgery, your pet will have a complete physical exam and a pre-operative blood panel may be performed to evaluate his or her fitness as an anesthesia candidate. We are equipped with a wide selection of modern anesthetic drugs to care for your pets. During the procedure, we are able to monitor your pet’s blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygenation using state-of-the-art technology to ensure that the anesthesia is as safe and routine as possible.

Most routine surgery can be scheduled Monday through Friday on the days you choose to accommodate your busy schedule. We feel that pets recover best when in their familiar environment and make every effort to get them home to you as soon as it is safely possible, in most cases that same evening.



we will conduct a comprehensive exam and any recommended pre-operative can be performed to evaluate fitness for anesthesia. Each animal is assessed on an individual basis to determine the safest anesthetic protocol we can provide. We strive to protect our patients from harm throughout every step of the surgical process.


all our patients receive injections that help relieve their stress and prevent pain. These “pre-anesthetic” medications also decrease the amount of the anesthesia drugs required and allow our patients to experience smoother transitions and recovery. Which medications are chosen will depend on your pet’s physical condition, personality, and the extent of the procedure being performed.


patients are maintained on an anesthetic gas and oxygen, with their vital signs monitored to be sure their condition remains stable throughout their procedure and recovery. At the Animal Hospital by the Sea, we are able to monitor heart rate, ECG, blood pressure, core temperature, and blood oxygen levels to be sure your pet is safely handled. We also provide accurate intravenous fluid support to keep your pet hydrated and help maintain his or her blood pressure. 

We will do everything we can to ensure that your pet is comfortable before, during, and after surgery. Once the procedure is complete, our patients continue to be monitored during their recovery in the hospital.


that it is important for your pet’s well-being to get him or her home as soon as possible. In order to accomplish this, we routinely use ultra-short acting anesthetics, so our patients will be awake and moving about within an hour of the surgery.


when they go home. It is not unusual for pets that have had extensive surgery to remain groggy for up to 24 hours. If this is the case, it is important to remember to let your pet rest and remain in a safe area during home recovery. Medications dispensed for pain or to prevent infection should always be given as prescribed.

Through the use of modern suture material, it is now possible to close most incisions without skin sutures. If this is possible we may avoid the need for the dreaded “Buster collar” when sending your pet home and will decrease the need for our busy clients to make a return visit.

Our clients are always able to call the hospital during business hours for advice, and either our doctor or a trained staff member familiar with your pet will respond immediately. After hours we are often available via email, or you may have your questions referred to a local emergency facility staffed 24 hours a day.

Sometimes, a surgery requires your pet’s return to the hospital for a follow-up visit. We are available evenings and Saturdays to more easily facilitate your schedule. At the Animal Hospital by the Sea, we make it a point to routinely send home and/or email written discharge instructions.


Once your pet’s surgery is complete, the Animal Hospital by the Sea will give you a post-operative pain management plan designed to make your pet’s recovery as smooth and comfortable as possible. We will routinely check in after your pet leaves our care to make sure your companion is recovering well after the procedure. After hours we are usually available via email to answer any questions you may have. Alternately, you may be referred to one of the area’s veterinary emergency centers that are staffed 24 hours a day to answer your concerns.

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