What You Need to Know
Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery
Is the anesthetic safe?
Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. We perform a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet.
Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. We recommend 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's better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. We offer different levels of in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. For senior or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.
It is important that surgery be performed on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. We ask that you withhold food and water after midnight the night before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.
Will my pet have stitches?
If your pet's surgery involves sutures there are a few things you will have to watch out for. Please keep an eye on the incision site for swelling, redness/inflammation, or discharge. It should be kept clean and dry at all times. NO BATHING OR SWIMMING. Most surgeries require a suture removal 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a few days following surgery.
Will my pet be in pain?
Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations. We may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and inflammation.
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 nail trims. 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 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 to 15 minutes going over your pet's home care needs.
Please don't hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery (415-897-8380)