Due to illness, disease or trauma, your pet may one day require surgery. While potentially stressful (for both you and your pet) there are a few basic guidelines that you can follow that will make the process as complication-free as possible and put your pet on the fast road to recovery.
Depending on the type of surgery, whether minor or major, your veterinarian will advise you when your pet can resume his normal lifestyle.
- Your veterinarian will do a check-up on your pet before the surgery to determine if there are any pre-existing conditions that may interfere with the surgical procedure.
- Make sure your pet is current on his annual vaccinations.
- Your veterinarian may suggest a blood test to screen for disease not apparent from a physical exam.
- You may need to administer antibiotics several days prior to major surgery to increase your pet’s ability to fight off infection.
- Speak with your veterinarian or nurse to find out what are the restrictions for food and water. Generally we like food to be withheld for 12 hours (e.g. overnight), and water to be withheld for >2 hours prior to admission (e.g. from 7am).
- Chances are your pet will be weak or groggy after surgery. Do not let him get too excited.
- Restrain your animal with a leash or put them in a carrier when leaving the clinic. This will protect them from additional injury.
- Keep away any other pets or small humans that may want to play with them.
- Keep them warm and calm, as most pets will need to rest overnight after general anaesthesia and/or surgery.
- Try them with a little food once they are clearly awake and alert. Limit the amount to about one half of a normal meal on the first evening home. Soft food is often easier to swallow. Too much food and water can lead to upset stomachs or vomiting.
- If a special post-surgical diet has been prescribed, follow all instructions carefully.
- Limit your pet’s exercise. Climbing stairs, jumping or running may open up sutures or cause nausea.
- Your veterinarian may prescribe medication to administer during your pet’s recovery. Follow all label instructions carefully.
- Sutures are usually removed approximately 10 days after surgery. Check the area around the incision twice daily for any redness, swelling or discharge. If you detect any irritation, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Prevent your pet from licking or chewing on the wound, as this can cause infection and in the worst case they may break open the incision ..... If this is difficult to do, you might need to provide a physical barrier by placing an "Elizabethan collar" around their head.
- Do not allow any vigorous exercise for at least 14 days after surgery; this maybe even longer for more complicated operations like orthopaedics e.g. fracture repairs.
- If you have any concerns please call us immediately.