Surgical FAQ's

What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery

This can be a stressful time for you and your family and we understand you may have questions about various aspects of your pet's surgical procedure and recovery.

 

We hope the following information may alleviate some concerns and explain some of the decisions you may need to consider before your pet's upcoming procedure.

 

Is the anaesthetic safe?

A thorough physical examination of your animal will be conducted prior to any anaesthesia, and the type of anaesthetic used will be selected with your pet's health in mind. Anaesthetic monitors are just one method our team uses to ensure your pet's anaesthesia and surgical procedure are as safe as possible.  



Our Vets may suggest Pre-anaesthetic blood testing if your pet is older or may have a chronic health condition, as this can be used to reduce the risk of anaesthesia.  Even animals that appear perfectly healthy may have undiagnosed health problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. Your pet will recover best when their liver and kidneys are in optimal condition. Intravenous fluids may also be suggested in older or health compromised animals to assist in anaesthetic recovery. 



You have the option of one of three in-house blood tests prior to your pet's procedure, though the more comprehensive screen will give the Vet the most information to best ensure the safety of your pet. Additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, x-rays or ultrasounds may also be suggested where necessary.   



It is important that your pet has an empty stomach prior to their surgical procedure. You will need to withhold food from 8pm the night before, though your animal may have access to water until 6am on the morning of surgery.





Will my pet have stitches?

For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin.  These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later.  Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches.  With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge.  Most dogs and cats will lick excessively or chew at the incision, this is why we will normally fit an "Elizabethan collar" to your pet after surgery.  If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 days after surgery.  You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery. 





Will my pet be in pain?

All surgical patients receive an analgesic prior to surgery in order to best minimise pain. After surgery, further pain medication is given on a case by case basis, though our staff will always give further pain relief if your pet seems uncomfortable.

 

Depending on the procedure to be performed, your pet may be sent home with oral pain medication, particularly after a major surgery. Oral anti-inflamatories may be required after orthopaedic surgery to minimise discomfort and swelling.  If you notice any side effects after giving a medication, please contact our staff.

 

Remember - It is VERY dangerous to give dogs, and especially cats, Human drugs. If you are at all concerned about pain relief for your pet, just ask our trained Vet Nurses at the time of discharge. 

 



What other decisions do I need to make?

Other minor procedures may be performed while your pet is under anaesthesia such as yearly vaccinations and heartworm injections, dentistry, ear cleaning, microchipping or nail trimming. For prices on any of these services please ask our staff when booking your appointment, or alternately during admission.  



When dropping in your animal for a surgical or dental procedure please allow 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and discuss other requirements. Our trained Vet Nurses will also spend 10 minutes with you when you collect your pet, to detail home care needs and any pain relief required. 

© 2013 by The Gap Veterinary Surgery. All rights reserved.

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