What happens when your pet needs an operation?
Pets coming in for surgery are fasted from 8pm the night before. There is no need to withhold water until the morning of the surgery. On the morning of surgery please make sure your pet has had a chance to go to the toilet before he/she is admitted. If possible please ensure that your pet is relatively clean before coming in for an operation – sterility is very important at surgery so ideally heavily soiled coats would be washed prior to surgery.
On the morning of the surgery one of our staff will admit your pet. You will be asked to sign a consent form – a legal document similar to human medicine permitting us to perform an anaesthetic on your pet.
You will also be offered the option of a pre-anaesthetic blood test, which is done in the clinic before the operation. This gives us important information on your pet’s kidney and liver function – the organs which will process the anaesthetic. In younger animals we would expect them to be normal but there are exceptions. While physical examination tells us a lot about your pet’s health it doesn’t tell us everything. We would urge all pet owners to consider pre- anaesthetic blood testing, but particularly in animals over 7 years of age.
After your pet is admitted the vet will do a full physical examination. Your pet will then get a premedication injection which will relax them. Shortly after they will have an IV line placed through which they will get their anaesthetic – just like human medicine. Throughout their operation they will receive a gas anaesthetic through a tube in their throat-an ET tube – just like human medicine! Our surgery nurse monitors our patients throughout surgery and until they have recovered completely from the anaesthetic. Every pet is wrapped up warmly as they recover in their kennel.
We do lots of different surgeries every day at Firhouse Vets from neutering and lump removals to cruciate ligament repair and caesarean sections.
We contact owners promptly post surgery – we know how worrying it is when your pet is having an operation.
What to expect after an operation?
Most pets will go home on the evening of their surgery. Your pet will most likely be sleepy on the night of their operation. Often pet owners forget that we need to shave our patients hair in order to take blood samples, place IV lines and do surgery! It is necessary for sterility and doesn’t take long to grow back!
Most patients leave us wearing a buster collar – the cone of shame! We urge pet owners to leave these collars on as pets can sometimes pull out stitches, resulting in visits to the emergency clinic and another anaesthetic.
Our surgery nurse will dispense pain tablets and any other medication that is required. Every pet will be booked in for a post op check and for their stitches to be removed. These appointments are usually included in the cost of surgery.
We encourage our pet owners to call us or bring their pet in post surgery if they have any concerns no matter how trivial they may seem.