What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery
Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help. It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.
Is the anesthetic safe?
Our heart rate and oxygen machines assist us in monitoring your pets during surgical procedures to reduce the risk of problems arising while under anesthesia. We do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that there are no health concerns before a pet goes into surgery.
Preanesthetic bloodwork is important in reducing risks while under anesthesia. Every pet needs bloodwork before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications.
We require bloodwork before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. It gives the doctor the information to ensure the safety of your pet. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.
It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 10 hours before surgery. A small amount of water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.
Will my pet have stitches?
Depending on the type of surgery the doctor may choose to close the surgical site in different ways. Some surgeries do require skin stitches or dissolvable stitches. With either type of suture you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Some dogs and cats may want to lick, scratch or chew at the surgical site. Owners will want to monitor pets to ensure they do not reopen surgical incisions, an e-collar can be provided if necessary. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. Pet's activity level will need to be reduced during the healing process.
Will my pet be in pain?
Pets may experience some discomfort in the healing process. All pets do not exhibit discomfort in the same way but will sometimes show symptoms such as: whining, crying, pacing, panting without cause and restlessness. Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers may be provided for post-surgery care depending on the type of surgical procedure performed.
What other decisions do I need to make?
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting a microchip. If you would like an estimate for any services, we can provide one once an exam has been performed. Please ensure that the person dropping off the pet is aware of any information that needs to be passed on to our staff before surgery.
When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet’s post surgery aftercare.