What You Need to Know Before Your Pet’s Upcoming Surgery
There are many questions about the various aspects of your 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.
He has been performing surgery since 1994, from routine spays and neuters, to complicated procedures, as well as emergency surgeries. Safety and a comprehensive pain management are a the top priority.
Is the anesthetic safe?
Here at Pets First we exclusively use Sevofluorine, the safest gas inhalant.
Today’s modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Pets First Veterinary Center, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure a safe procedure.
Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet needs blood testing 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.
You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water should be accessible for your pet even 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 or staples. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge.
Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 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.
Routine spays and neuters won’t have sutures that have to be removed, since we use skin glue for the top layer of the skin.
Will my pet be in pain?
Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don’t whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than minor lacerations.
For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflamatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset and can be given even the morning of surgery.
We believe strongly in pain management, since it will not only provide the comfort needed, but also promotes healing.
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 an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet’s care.
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 home care needs.
We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet’s health or surgery.