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How to Prepare Your Dog For Surgery

How to Prepare Your Dog For Surgery

No matter how big or small, surgical procedures for our beloved companions can be incredibly stressful. Luckily, there are some things you can do leading up to the procedure to help put your mind at ease and make it a smooth experience. Our veterinary surgeons in Los Angeles talk about how you can help prepare your dog for surgery in the time leading up to their procedure.

Preparing Your Dog For Veterinary Surgery

Regardless of the type of surgery you are expecting your pet to have, it can cause an abundance of nerves. That's why we've compiled a list of some of the most common questions our Los Angeles vets are asked by worried pet parents in the days leading up to their pet's veterinary surgery.

How can I help prepare my dog in the months before surgery?

Leading up to your pet's surgery, you will likely have a few visits with the vet. At these appointments, your vet will ask you a series of questions to get a good understanding of what health issues or injuries your pet has had in the past, any treatments currently being administered, and any behavioral concerns.

Your vet will also take this time to perform a complete physical examination of your pet in order to determine that they are healthy enough to undergo the procedure.

If your pet is overweight, your veterinarian may recommend a weight-loss program before pet surgery. Carrying extra weight increases the risks associated with general anesthesia may make it difficult for your pet to move around after surgery and may lengthen recovery time.

What should I do in the days leading up to my dog's surgery?

At this point, your vet surgeon may recommend bloodwork to check your companion animal's organ function and overall body health. These blood tests can help vets detect any internal issues that are too subtle to pick up with just a physical examination. These blood tests are an important part of reducing the risks posed by a general anesthetic. along with this bloodwork, your vet surgeon may also ask to have diagnostic imaging done to support the findings of the physical examination.

It is a good idea to have your four-legged friend bathed or groomed in the week leading up to your pet's surgery so they are clean and ready for surgery day. Because you'll need to keep the incision dry while it heals, you won't be able to get your dog or cat groomed for a while after the surgery.

You will need to decide how your pet will be transported to and from the veterinary clinic. While this may not be a significant issue for cat owners, transporting a large or giant breed dog home from surgery may be difficult. Plan ahead of time based on the type of surgery your pet will undergo and their expected level of mobility following the procedure. If you're unsure about the best way to get your pet home after surgery, consult with your veterinarian.

Prepare a quiet area with a comfortable bed for your pet's return. If your pet will need crate rest, have an appropriately sized crate ready for when he or she returns home after surgery.

What do I need to do to help prepare my dog the night before a surgical procedure?

Your veterinary surgeon will give you specific instructions for your pet and the surgical procedure that they will undergo. However, in most cases, you will be asked not to feed or drink anything to your pet after midnight the night before their surgery. If your dog or cat is on medication, consult with your veterinarian about whether you should withhold the medication until after the procedure.

If your pet will be staying overnight at the vet's after surgery, bring any foods, medications, or other items that the team caring for your animal will require to provide the best possible care.

In some cases, you may be asked to bring your pet to the veterinary hospital to stay overnight before their surgery.

What should I do to prepare my dog the morning of their surgery?

You will need to prevent your dog from both eating and drinking on the morning of their surgical procedure. Eating and/or drinking could cause your pet to aspirate while under anesthesia, which could be fatal.

Your veterinarian will schedule a time for you to drop off your pet for surgery. Remember that surgery day at your animal hospital will undoubtedly be busy, so try to arrive on time and remain calm and relaxed while dropping off your pet.

Your vet surgeon may wish to do further testing before surgery to make sure that your pet does not face any increased anesthetic risks.

Check in with the staff at reception and make sure that they have the correct number to reach you at so that they can provide you with updates while your four-legged friend is in their care.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you have any questions at all leading up to your pet's surgery, please contact our Los Angeles vet surgeons. We are always happy to answer any questions our clients may have about dog or cat surgery.

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