Preparing Your Pet For Surgery
Please bring your pet to the veterinary hospital between 8am and 9am the morning of your booking, unless otherwise arranged with the vet. Dogs will be walked during their stay, but please take him or her out for a short walk before coming to the hospital, to ensure he or she has a comfortably empty bladder and bowels. Cats should be transported safely confined in a cat carrier. It is best not to let your cat outside that morning to avoid the risk of him or her escaping (litter trays will be provided in the hospital).
It is very important to fast your animal on the day of surgery. He or she can have dinner the night before as normal, but please remove any remaining food by midnight and do not give any food on the morning of the operation. This is because anaesthetics and sedatives should only be given to fasted animals. Water can be left down overnight. Your pet may have individual requirements which may mean these guidelines do not apply, such as diabetes or other health conditions. If so, these would have been discussed with your vet. If you are unsure, please do not hesitate to ring the hospital for advice.
You will be required to sign a consent form when you drop off your pet.
Pre-anaesthetic blood testing: a blood test is recommended in all animals receiving an anaesthetic, and is particularly important in older animals. This can be done on the day or before the procedure. The type and costs of the blood tests vary, but all provide valuable information on your animal’s internal organs, particularly about the kidneys and liver. It is important for the vet to know that these organs are functioning efficiently prior to making a choice of which anaesthetic or sedative combination to use. It is not unusual for apparently healthy animals to have some internal abnormalities when blood tested and this has an impact on their treatment. If significant abnormalities are found, you will be contacted and the vet will discuss them with you. The cost of pre-anaesthetic blood testing ranges depending on the type of test carried out (this may have already been factored into your estimate). Please don’t hesitate to ask the vet or veterinary nurses for more information.
Fluid therapy: routine administration of intravenous fluids is recommended in older animals and those who will undergo longer procedures. It is mandatory for most sick animals undergoing surgery. It has several functions, but maintaining the animal’s blood pressure, reducing the side-effects of the anaesthetic and speeding up recovery are some of the main reasons fluids are given.
Other procedures such as nail clipping, microchipping or heartworm testing can also be carried out at the same time. Please discuss this with the vets or nurses. If your pet is being desexed at the usual age of 6 months or so, this is an ideal time to have a preventative heartworm injection. Please call the hospital if you need to reschedule your animal’s procedure or have any questions or concerns
Caring For Your Pet After Surgery
In most cases, your pet will go home the evening of the procedure or the next day. He or she may be sleepy the night of the operation. Pain relief will have been provided but please don’t hesitate to ask or call the hospital if you have any questions or concerns. Most animals can eat the night of the operation. Bland food is preferable, such as cooked chicken breast and white rice or other similarly digestible food. Most animals can go back onto their normal diet the next day. While surgical wounds are generally easily managed, some simple home care tips will help the healing process and reduce the risk of any problems developing.
To ensure complete and safe recovery, the following care is essential:
- Keep your pet warm and rested for at least 24 hours.
- Give only a light small meal that evening. Water should available at all times.
- Keep your pet quiet until stitches are removed 10-14 days after the operation. Dogs may have limited exercise on a lead. Depending on the type of surgery that was performed there may be special requirements, your vet will discuss this with you.
Check the wound daily. Please call immediately for advice if:
- You notice swelling or bleeding around the wound area.
- The pet is licking the wound constantly, or the wound appears red and inflamed.
- Your pet is not responding to treatment as you feel he or she should be.
- You need to wash your pet or treat him/her for fleas before the stitches are removed.
- You have any questions about your pet’s health at all.
If you’re worried about your pet’s health, call Hurlstone Park Veterinary Hospital to make an appointment today.