Before Surgery: 6 steps to prepare your pet.
1. Please make an appointment. Surgeries are carried out every morning, Monday to Friday.
2. Fast your pet. Please do not feed your dog or cat from 9pm the evening prior to surgery. Leave them with a drink overnight and allow dogs to go to the toilet before admission. Pets must be kept indoors or confined so fasting can be guaranteed. Also cats have an uncanny sense of an impending trip to the vets and can often be missing on the morning of surgery! Animals 4 months or younger may have food until 6am the morning of surgery. Rabbits should not be fasted.
3. Be on time. Please check in at 9am, or as close as possible to this time. The shop is open from 8.30am. We have to follow a schedule in order for your pet to be ready to go home the same day. Animals are ready for collection between 4pm and 8pm. Alternative arrangements can be made if these times do not suit you, e.g. admitting the animal the evening before.
4. All dogs must be on a leash and all cats must be in a carrier. If you do not have a carrier we can loan you one for a deposit.
5. You must complete a consent form. Tell us everything you know about your pets current condition and their temperament.
6. Vaccination. We recommend your pet be up to date on their annual vaccination including canine(kennel) cough for dogs, to ensure that they do not contact disease from an unvaccinated animal. If your pet is not vaccinated we can administer the vaccine at the time of surgery, however they will not be protected on the day. You can alternatively have your pet receive their vaccines 2-3 weeks (3 days for canine cough) prior to your scheduled surgery at our clinic.
Unless you are told otherwise all external sutures are non-absorbable and you will need to return in 7-10 days to have these removed. Stitch removal is a fast, simple and pain free procedure, carried out by the vet or nurse. There is no extra charge for this. Ring for an appointment to ensure minimum waiting time. Male cats which are after neutering do not have stitches. Feral cats which cannot be handled without sedation will have absorbable sutures placed. If your pet is likely to lick at the wound or starts to lick when you get him home, you can purchase a buster (lampshade) collar from us. Licking is NOT ALLOWED.
Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet. It is very important that you limit your pet’s activity for the next 7-10 days after routine surgery. No running, jumping, playing, swimming or other strenuous activity during the recovery period. Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean. dry and warm. Do not bathe your pet until stitches are removed. Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats must be kept inside. Keep your pet quiet. Any strenuous activity could disrupt the healing process.
The healing process takes at least 7 days.
Your pet may want a small snack the night of their surgery. Feed them a reduced amount of their regular food. Do not change your pets diet at this time to table scraps, milk or any other people food. Lethargy lasting for more than 24hrs after surgery, diarrhoea or vomiting are not normal and you should contact us.
Pre-anaesthetic blood screen
We strongly recommend a pre-anaesthetic blood test which may help to identify any existing medical conditions that could complicate the procedure and put your pet at risk. This testing can uncover internal health concerns that cannot be detected from a physical exam alone. When we know of problems in advance we can make modifications in anaesthesia that protect your pets life. The blood test is carried out on the morning of surgery before anaesthesia is administered. While we advise this at any age we particularly recommend it for the geriatric patient (over 7s).
The risks of anesthesia, while RARE, may range from minor allergic reaction, undetectable and temporary injury to certain organ systems, to death.
All vets know this and most of us have a great deal of empathy for your concerns.
We are fortunate in that older less predictable anesthetics have been replaced by compounds that are very predictable and safe when properly used. The sedative we use has its own reversal agent and the gas anaesthetics we use are quickly reversed by ventilation as your pet breathes them out of its system. These agents have dramatically reduced the risk to your pet.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions regarding your pet’s surgery. Make sure you understand what the procedures are and what to expect.