My Pet Needs Surgery. What Do I Need To Know?

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 No pet parent wants to hear that their fur baby needs surgery. Even if it’s just a routine procedure, such as spaying or neutering, the thought of surgery can be very scary for the people and pets involved.

Choosing the right veterinary practice to do the surgery is the first and most important step. Once you have peace of mind about the professionals you have chosen, you can entrust your pet to their care. Knowing your pet is receiving compassionate treatment will ease your mind when your pet is in surgery. 

To make your pet’s surgery the least stressful for you and them, here are some important guidelines.

How To Prepare For Your Pet’s Surgery

Your pet’s surgical journey will begin with a consultation. Your pet may need one of the following surgical services:

  • Spaying or neutering
  • Removal of foreign objects from the digestive tract
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Soft tissue repair 
  • Removal of tumors or other masses

Here are some things you may need to discuss with your vet prior to your pet having surgery:

Become Fully Informed

Before your appointment, write down all the questions you have so you don’t forget to ask. Our staff will gladly answer any questions you have. Being well-informed will help you provide the best care possible for your fur baby.

Make sure the veterinarian knows of anything about your pet that could be important.

  • Does the pet have a history of allergies, heart murmur, or other health issues that could make surgery more dangerous? 
  • Have they had surgery before?
  • Has your pet been eating and drinking normally? Are they having normal bowel movements and urinating without problems?  This information will help the veterinarian diagnose the problem and determine how safe surgery will be for your pet.
  • Are there any options besides surgery? 
  • If not, how long will the surgery take? 
  • How long will they have to stay in the hospital? 
  • How quickly will my furry friend be back to normal?

If it’s determined that surgery is the best option then you need to prepare yourself and your furbaby.

Getting Your Pet Ready For Surgery

The veterinarian will provide you with pre-operation instructions. Make sure you fully understand them before you leave the office. Put them in a place that you can readily access them. Make sure everyone in the family knows to follow the instructions.

For planned surgeries, schedule the procedure so you or someone else will be able to closely watch the pet for a few days afterward.

Follow the pre-operation instructions exactly. 

The Day Before

  • If the instructions say do not feed or provide water after a certain time, the pet must not have anything to eat or drink, no matter how much they beg. And they will!
  • Make sure your pet cannot sneak in a snack or a drink when you are not looking. The pet’s stomach must be empty when they are put under anesthesia or complications could occur. You may have to confine the pet the night before.

Day Of The Surgery

  • If your pet is currently taking any medication, ask if you should give their normal dose or not on surgery day.
  • Be sure to arrive with your pet at the appointed time on surgery day. 
  • If your pet is hard to catch, confine him or her the night before, so you are not trying to coax them out of an impossible-to-reach hiding place when it’s time to leave. 
  • Animals are very perceptive when it comes to their human’s emotions. The calmer you are, the calmer your pet will be.

Provide the front desk staff with multiple ways to reach you and let them know how you prefer to be contacted. Our staff will provide updates about your pet when available. When you choose our vet office, you can be confident that we are passionate about seeing your pet return to health.

Recovery times will vary according to the overall health of your fur baby, how complicated the surgery was, and other factors, such as possible reactions to medications, the length of time under anesthesia, etc.

Taking Care Of Your Pet After Surgery

Following the surgery, your pet will be brought to a recovery area where they will be closely monitored as they come out of the anesthesia. Our trained staff members all have keen eyes and will see if there’s a problem.

Back At Home

When it’s time to bring your pet home, make sure you understand all you have to do for post-operative care. Some things to consider include:

  • Will the pet need to be confined? If yes, for how long? The animal may start to feel better and want to play a little too hard, too soon. It’s hard but you have to make sure your pet does not do too much, too soon.
  • If medication has to be given, do you understand how to, and are you capable of giving it? Some pets can be very difficult to medicate. Can the medication be mixed with food?
  • Will you have to return with your pet to have sutures or staples removed? 
  • Will the pet need to wear the cone of shame to prevent them from licking the incision?
  • What are the signs of complications you should be watching for?
  • Can you take your pet’s temperature? Do you know what a normal temperature is?

Getting Your Pet Back On Their Feet

Surgery may not be easy on your pet, or you, but when it’s needed, you can be confident that your pet is getting the best care possible and the veterinarian wants the best outcome as much as you do.

Remember, don’t hesitate to call if you think there is a problem or you don’t understand something. 

If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation for your pet, please give us a call at 662-502-5854.

veterinarian with animals in little rock
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Beige Blob

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