PREPARING YOUR PET FOR SURGERY
So you’ve just been told by the vet that your pet needs
surgery. Here are a few tips and guidelines you should follow in order
to prepare your pet for his/her procedure, and also put your mind at
1. Fast 12 hours before
Animals can vomit whilst being put under, or when waking up
from a general anaesthetic.
And because anaesthetic drugs also “switch off”
the swallowing reflex, any fluid or substance vomited out can then be
inhaled into the lungs. Stomach contents are acidic (pH 2) and contain
bacteria. So you can imagine what will happen to the lungs- acid burns
and bad infections!
Therefore, no food can be given after 8pm the night before,
and no breakfast either! So your pet comes in with an empty stomach.
Even if you have to suffer through those woeful, hungry eyes staring at
you all night, at least you know you will have protected your pet from
a potentially dangerous anaesthetic complication.
2. Water should be withheld from the morning of the day of
Hydration is very important, however, and so water should be
continually refreshed and made available for the night before the
surgery. But we encourage water being withheld on the morning of the
day of the procedure.
Once your pet comes into the clinic, water is also withheld
so that whatever water is in the stomach will be allowed to empty in
preparation for surgery.
3. Keep your pet indoors the night before
Cats especially, are able to sense danger and so often run
away the night before. Or they become really difficult to locate or
catch in the morning. So keep them in so you know where they are and
don’t have to chase them around the house.
If you are stressed, they will be stressed too. So do
everything possible to make sure they stay calm and collected, rather
than arrive fearful and stressed. If they are stressed, they will
become unmanageable and that can make this entire experience, otherwise
a minimally stressful one, a very bad and frightening day for your pet.
For non-elective surgeries like fractures or wounds, make
sure they are kept quiet and their wounds clean.
4. Notify the vet of any current medication or supplements
your pet is on
If your animal is being medicated, especially if it’s a
long-term type of medication, you must let your vet know. Sometimes it
can slip their mind, or if it’s something that is unusual, like a
supplement, they may not think to ask. Therefore it is your
responsibility to let them know, as you know your pet, and its history
5. Be on time
There are procedures and preparations that need to be done
before your pet can undergo his/her operation, so please arrive at the
clinic at the specified time so you do not delay your pet’s, or
that of another’s operation.
If you are going to be delayed, or are unable to make it,
please phone ahead to let us know so we can make alternative
arrangements for you, and for our other patients.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give us a
call at 62737573.
NOTE OF CAUTION: If you have more than one pet, it is
important you isolate the pet that is scheduled for surgery. This
way, it will not eat the food laid out for the other pets without your
knowledge. Do remember your pet can also climb on the dining table and
eat your food too.