At Five Valleys Vet Clinic, we understand how important your pet is to you, and we know that it can be difficult to face a situation wherein your pet requires surgery. We seek to make the entire process easier for both you and your pet by providing exemplary service from the moment you first check in through to the point where your pet is fully recovered. To that end, following are some important points to understand about the surgical process:
- You will be instructed to withhold food from your pet starting at around 10:00 p.m. the night before their surgery. It is critical that your pet arrives for surgery without food in the stomach in order to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after surgery. Do not withhold water as proper hydration is important prior to surgery.
- Your pet will undergo a thorough physical exam before being administered anesthesia to minimize the risk of complications and ensure that the amount and type of anesthetic used is appropriate to your pet’s individual needs. Blood testing ensures that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic and that pets who need IV fluids during surgery can receive them.
- Many surgeries include absorbable sutures underneath the animal’s skin. These sutures will dissolve naturally on their own, and so will not need to be removed later. However, some surgeries, such as tumor removals, require skin stitches that will need to be removed usually ten to fourteen days later. In either case, it is important to limit your pet’s activity level for some time after surgery and keep an eye on the incision site in order to determine whether there is any swelling or discharge and to ensure that your pet does not excessively lick or chew at the incision.
- While your pet may not whine or cry, there is a chance that they will experience discomfort or even pain after surgery. Pain medications may be recommended and prescribed in those cases where your pet has undergone a more major surgery. Dogs may need oral anti-inflammatory medications for several days post-surgery in order to reduce discomfort and swelling. Cats are often far less tolerant of pain medications and therefore any pain medication will be recommended on an individual basis.
- When you come to pick up your pet, it is important to set aside enough time to receive important surgery discharge information and get answers to all your questions.
Dr. Wood and her team can safely remove tumors, repair wounds and injuries, perform exploratory abdominal surgery and much more. We are happy to answer any and all questions you may have regarding your pet’s surgical needs and overall health.