What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Upcoming Surgery
Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help. It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.
Is the anesthetic safe?
Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Hebron Cat Hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure other illness won't be a problem. 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. The doctors at Hebron Cat Hospital recommend every pet should have blood testing prior to anesthetic procedures. Any abnormalities will be discussed with the owner before proceeding with elective surgical procedures. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. We offer different levels of blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. Our doctors prefer the more comprehensive screen, because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.
It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.
Will my pet have stitches?
Depending on the surgery, there may be absorbable or non-absorbable sutures. Most pets do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to monitor/observe. We have elizabethan collars if your pet is licking/chewing at the incision. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 14 days after surgery.
Will my pet be in pain?
Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Animals may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; most likely they will hide, show a loss of appetite, become quiet/lethargic. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. One of Hebron Cat Hospital's highest priority is pain management and that your pet is comfortable and pain free after any anesthetic/surgical procedure. Our patients are comfortable, warm and placed on thick bedding after surgical procedures. Pain management is important before the patient becomes painful, so our GOAL is to PREVENT pain and not react to it afterward.
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 ear cleaning, Xrays (good for a baseline to compare to in the future), implanting an identification microchip, or nail trims. Our surgery forms are available online and submitted online (you do not have to print and remember to bring them with you). This will save you time the morning of drop off. Please call if you have any questions regarding the form.
We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery.