Over the course of your pet’s life, they will probably need to undergo some sort of planned or emergency surgery. Vets in Cranbourne has sophisticated surgery facilities with a dedicated team of highly experienced veterinary surgeons on hand to ensure your pet receives the best possible care. However, the outcome of surgery is not just dependent on what happens in the operating theatre but also on the before and after care they receive at home.

This page provides a rundown of some of the most frequently asked questions about caring for your pet before and after surgery.

What do I do before the surgery?

To properly care for your pet after surgery, it’s important to first understand how the surgery works, the likely recovery period, and the type of post-operative care required. Your vet will explain all of this to you as well as answer any questions or concerns you have when you book your pet in for surgery.

General anaesthetic is administered for most operations to ensure your pet remains comfortable and enable the surgeons to do their work. Anaesthesia does have some risks associated with it, such as airway obstruction as a result of vomiting. To minimise the likelihood of this occurring, we advise you not to feed your pet after 10:00pm the night before surgery. Your pet can still have water right up until they are admitted.

If your pet is undergoing a complex surgery, or has a health condition which may make recovery slower or more difficult, you might want to consider taking a few days off work. This is a matter best discussed with your vet.

What happens at the admission appointment?

A vet nurse will admit your pet and answer any last minute questions you might have. They will also get you to read and sign a consent form and will discuss extra care options if applicable.

You will also need to provide a phone number you can be contacted on throughout the day so that you can remain informed and we can get in touch with you as soon as your vet wakes up!

How can I make the surgery safer for my pet?

A pre-anaesthetic blood test can provide us with a more complete picture of your pet’s current health by checking the function of major organs. These tests sometimes pick up previously unknown conditions which may affect the anaesthesia dosage requirements.

Our in-house pathology services enable us to test your pet upon admission and get results within the hour so the procedure is not delayed. We offer pre-anaesthetic blood tests at an additional cost of $90.

When will my pet be able to come home?

Most standard procedures (dental cleaning, de-sexing, lump removal) require only a day admission to our hospital. Some of the more complicated surgeries may require an overnight stay. Either way, you will receive a call or text from us as soon as your pet is awake to inform you of their condition.

Upon discharge, a vet or vet nurse will provide you with detailed care instructions including letting you know when your pet will be able to eat and drink again. A follow-up appointment will also be scheduled.

How do I care for my pet when I bring her home?

Set your pet up at home in a quiet, warm room where they can stay for the duration of their recovery. Cats should be kept indoors for the first 24 hours and dogs should only be let out for supervised toilet breaks. Your pet may be a little unsteady on their feet, uninterested in food, or a bit dopey; this is very common for animals who have undergone sedation. During the procedure, a tube is sometimes inserted into your pet’s throat to aid in breathing and this can irritate the windpipe, causing coughing for a few days after surgery.

It’s fine to give your pet half their normal amount of food if they are hungry. If vomiting occurs, just make sure your pet has plenty of water and don’t feed them for the next 24 hours.

After the first 24 hours, it’s still preferable to keep your cat indoors and refrain from walking your dog until their stitches are removed.

What do I watch for? Is there anything I need to be worried about?

Call Vets in Cranbourne immediately in the case of repeated vomiting, extreme lethargy or restlessness as well as bleeding or discharge from the wound.

How do I stop my pet chewing out the stitches?

The wound needs to remain clean and dry to heal properly, so try to keep your pet from licking or chewing their stitches. If you are struggling to keep your pet from doing this, you can get an e-collar from your vet.

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