At some time in your pet’s life, they will most likely need an operation. While it can be a worrying time, understanding what to expect will help put your mind at ease, and will also help to ensure the procedure runs smoother on the day.
In this blog, we step you through the key steps involved in an operation at Moorabbin Veterinary Hospital – including the preparations you need to take, what to expect on surgery day, and how to care for your pet post-procedure.
Preparing your pet for surgery
All operations will require your pet to be placed under anaesthetic. Prior to their procedure, your dog or cat will need to fast overnight (from 8pm onwards) before being brought to the clinic the morning of the procedure. Water is fine during the night; however, this should also be stopped a few hours before you drop your pet off. When your pet is booked in for their operation, we will advise you on the exact time to stop offering water. Fasting is an important part of keeping your pet safe while under anaesthesia.
If your pet takes regular medication, you will also be advised whether to skip this on the day of surgery or to take it as usual.
If your pet is over 7 years of age, we will also perform a blood test prior to their procedure as a further check that they are healthy enough to be sedated. We offer this option for younger animals as well.
The day of your pet’s procedure
Before coming into the hospital, take your pet for a walk to allow them to go to the toilet. Typically, we will ask you to bring in your cat or dog at a specified time between 8am – 9am. This gives our vets plenty of time to make sure they are fit to be operated on.
Once we are happy with the results of the pre-op check-up and blood test, we will place your pet under anaesthetic and commence the operation. All anaesthetics are given, along with intravenous fluids and pain relief. We use the latest in anaesthetic machines and monitoring equipment which are operated by our well-trained veterinary staff.
Post-surgery, our vet nurses will keep a close eye on your pet while they come round from the anaesthetic. While staying with us, we ensure pets are kept at a comfortable temperature to aid the healing process, decrease pain and the chance of infection, as well as speedy anaesthetic recovery.
Once they are a bit more alert, we will give you a ring to let you know how the operation went and advise you when you can pick them up. Most of the time this will be later in the afternoon. We will also usually give your pet something to eat and drink to make sure they can tolerate it, and dogs are also taken for a walk before sending them home.
Your pet’s aftercare
Your cat or dog will have been given pain relief prior to being picked up, so they may be a bit sleepy at first. Regardless of the type of operation your pet had, it’s important that you follow the aftercare instructions we provide to you. This will ensure they recover as quickly as possible and minimises any potential infections or other issues that can arise.
Key aftercare tips:
- To promote a quick recovery from the anaesthetic, give your pet food and water after arriving home, as well as making sure they are kept warm and comfortable.
- Isolate your pet from any small children or other pets – this is particularly important for the first 24 hours as they may still be under some influence of the sedation medication (this may be longer depending on the procedure performed).
- Discourage your pet from licking, biting or scratching their stitches. An e-collar is the best way to help prevent this from occurring, and a potential infection developing.
- Check the wound daily, and let us know if it appears to be red, swollen or you notice any bleeding.
- Limit your pet’s range of activities until the stitches come out. Take dogs for gentle walks on a lead only and try to keep cats from jumping on and off higher surfaces.
Proud to be a leading surgical veterinary hospital
Moorabbin Veterinary Hospital’s highly trained veterinarian surgeons perform an extensive range of different surgeries. This includes desexing, lump removals, dental procures, caesareans, orthopaedic surgery, abdominal surgery, biopsies and wound repairs.
To book your pet’s surgery call us on 03 9555 4808 or drop into our veterinary hospital at 328 South Road, Hampton East.