Caring for Your Pet Before and After Surgery

Image of dogs after surgery.

Is a surgery in your pet's future? If it is, you probably have a few questions about pre- and post-surgery care. Paying close attention to care recommendations will help you ensure that the surgery is just a minor disruption to your pet's normal routine.

Before Surgery

Stop Food

Your pet will need to stop eating prior to surgery. If your dog or cat eats prior to surgery then vomits, stomach contents can travel to the lungs and cause infections, pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome. The exact time your pet must stop eating will vary depending on when the surgery is scheduled. In most cases, your furry friend can still drink water.

Some pets will need to eat light meals the morning of surgery. If your pet has diabetes, your veterinarian may recommend a small amount of food to prevent blood sugar fluctuations. Young animals may also need to eat small meals before surgery. Do not feed your pet unless you are specifically asked to do so.

Dig Out the Leash or Carrier

The morning of surgery is not the ideal time to try to locate a missing leash or carrier. Your morning will be less hectic if you find these items the day before surgery. If you have a cat that turns into the Tasmanian devil at the sight of the carrier, allow a little extra time in the morning for cat wrangling.

Pack Food and Medication

Ask your veterinarian if you should bring your pet's medications and a small supply of food with you. Although the hospital can provide food, introducing new food can cause an upset stomach.

Drop Your Pet Off Early

The day of surgery is a busy day for your pet. You will be asked to drop off your companion early in the morning to ensure that there is enough time for these essential procedures:

  • Physical examination
  • X-rays or EKG (electrocardiogram) if needed
  • Blood tests
  • Placement of a catheter
  • Administration of IV fluids
  • Preparations for anesthesia

After Surgery

Prepare a Comfortable Resting Place

Your pet needs a comfortable place to recover from the surgery and the effects of the anesthesia. Bring your companion's pet bed or crate to the first floor of your home if it is not already there. If you have small children, you may want to find a quiet room for your pet to ensure that he or she gets plenty of rest.

Limit Activity

Although your pet may be a little groggy, a little thing like surgery probably will not keep him or her from trying to resume a normal routine. Keep your pet away from stairs or other obstacles until the anesthesia wears off and try to discourage running or jumping. If your pet absolutely must rest, a crate is a good solution, although your furry friend may not be happy about being confined.

Make Bathroom Trips Easier

Pets often receive fluids before, during or after surgery, which causes frequent urination in the first few hours that they are home. Take your dog outside frequently and make sure that a litter box is easily accessible for your cat.

Follow the Medication Schedule

If your pet came home with antibiotics or other medications, make sure you follow dosage instructions and schedules to ensure that your pet has an uncomplicated recovery.

A positive surgical experience for your pet is our goal. Be sure to contact us if you have any questions about your pet's surgery or need answers to general health questions.



Sources:

Pet Health Network: How Do I Prepare for My Dog or Cat Having Surgery?, 05/14/14
http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-surgery-a-z/how-do-i-prepare-my-dog-or-cat-having-surgery

VetStreet: Caring for Your Pet After Surgery, 03/21/14
http://www.vetstreet.com/care/caring-for-your-pet-after-surgery

Mercola: Top 10 Reasons Pets Go Under the Knife, 11/25/10

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/11/25/prevent-pet-sicknesses-to-lessen-pet-surgeries.aspx

Peteducation: Surgery on Your Pet
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2116&aid=2647

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Special Hours to Keep Serving your Pets Safely!

Monday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • ""I absolutely love Bellalago Vet. I have taken all three of my cats there and have not had any problem. They are very accommodating with their appointments and get back to me within 24 hours if I have any concerns or questions. Excellent Vet and Hospital.""
    Amanda N.
  • ""Caring and affordable healthcare. Great with dogs and my cats. Fair prices and knowledgeable vet and staff. Goes the extra mile when they are sick.""
    Dawnita B.
  • ""Absolute gems at this hospital. They love your pet just like it's their own. A little on the pricey side but definitely worth it.""
    Natalie L.
  • ""I have to say that this team is absolutely outstanding! Honestly, please know that you all do an amazing job at what you do and your care, compassion and help towards the animal community is truly inspiring. I happen to know Jim has been amazing to me on multiple occasions. Please know that all the work that you do is truly meaningful and appreciated by very many people. You guys are ROCKSTARS!!!""
    Maria P.
  • ""Their the best veterinarian in this area ,and their like a family ,they treat your fur babies like if they are theirs and they have great prices""
    Evelyn C.
  • ""Whatever animal you bring to this Veterinary I'll tell you this they are in safe hands these people are wonderful the staff the doctor very respectful and very understanding explain everything to you in detail I cannot imagine bringing my dog and a place house well worth the trip wherever you're coming from.""
    Luis P.
  • ""Thank you so much for everything you do. We love and trust you with both of our fur babies. Lilo is especially familiar and enjoys going on rides to visit you guys which is a testament to how well you treat her. Thank you guys!!""
    Ronnie H.
  • ""Your veterinary hospital is, hands down, the very BEST animal hospital I’ve ever encountered.
    In all of these years, in all of these places of residence, I have never found and used the services of a veterinary clinic or hospital quite like Bellalago Veterinary Hospital.""
    Linda R.
  • "We have been going to Bellalago Veterinary Hospital for 2 years now. They simply are the best! Dr. Young and staff, are all very caring and knowledgeable. I love the wellness packages that they offer, too."
    Jennifer B.
  • "This Veterinary hospital treated my dog Sofia great. Love the customer service from when we walked in until we walked out, we were treated very well. You can tell that everyone from the receptionist to the nurses love their jobs. The doctors were also great explained everything to us and even called us after my dog had surgery to let us know how she did. I will keep taking my dogs here."
    Yamaris R.