Preparing your pet for surgery

16 October 2017
 Categories: , Blog


When your pet is scheduled for vet surgery, it is important to take a number of easy steps to prepare your dog or cat for the impending surgical procedure. By adhering to the following tips, you can ensure everything goes on well on the day of surgery.


If the surgical procedure requires the use of anaesthesia, then fasting is needed. But why pet owners may ask? Well, tranquilisers, as well as anaesthesia drugs reduce the swallowing reflex of cats and dogs. If your dazed dog vomits because of the drugs, there's an increased threat of inhaling or aspirating the vomit into the dog's lungs which may result in a deadly pneumonia type known as aspiration pneumonia. Consult your veterinarian about the time duration for fasting or withholding food from your pet. Obviously, your pet may raise complains, however, do not give in because it is for the safety of your pet. Your pet is allowed to take as much as water as possible, until you leave for the vet clinic, to avoid dehydration.

An exception to the fasting rule applies to kittens and puppies because they lack adequate energy in reserve. Therefore, your vet may suggest you feed them something small on the day of the surgery. Moreover, pets diagnosed with diabetes may also require a small meal in the morning, together with insulin.


Probably your pet is on medication. In this case, you want to consult with your vet if it's okay to give these medications in the morning before the surgery or to skip. Additionally, ask whether you can drop off your dog's medicine or food on the scheduled day of surgery. It's good to let pets have their normal food, whether it's a special diet or generic food.

The morning of surgical treatment

It's always better to drop off your pet early in the morning, although the surgical procedure may not take place until later. There are several reasons, based on your dog's specific condition. Your vet may look to run a physical examination or blood work, place an intravenous catheter, administer intravenous fluids, take X-rays or determine anaesthesia drug doses.  These are just a few examples of the things that need to be done prior to vet surgery.

At the vet clinic, you will be expected to read and append your signature on a consent form to ensure everybody is reading from the same script. You should ask the veterinarian about anything that is unclear. After dropping off your pet for surgery, it's time to do other things to keep your mind occupied.