Dogs that are presented for routine surgery such as neutering should be fit and healthy. Every animal is examined prior to the administration of an anaesthetic but if you feel your dog is acting abnormally in any respect please tell us when it is admitted. It is important that dogs have an empty stomach when they are anaesthetised. We request that no food is offered after 7pm on the day before surgery. Water should not be withheld at any point. Please make sure your dog is clean and dry. A bath is not required but a good brush is recommended. It is helpful if you can give your dog the opportunity to empty his bowels before coming into the surgery.
We use the safest anaesthetic agents currently available and your pet is monitored very closely during the whole process. However, any general anaesthetic carries an element of risk. This risk can be increased by obesity and concurrent disease which is not detectable on a physical examination alone. For this reason we may refuse to carry out routine procedures on grossly obese animals until a weight loss regime has been successfully implemented. We can advise you on how to achieve this safely. The possibility of undetected concurrent disease increases with an animals age. Pre-operative blood testing can highlight hidden issues and is particularly important in older patients.
This is very much dependent on the surgery that was undertaken but there are some general guidelines. Your pet should be kept in a room temperature environment on a comfortable, clean pet bed. Disturbance should be kept to a minimum. The anaesthetic agents are metabolised very quickly but some of the drugs used in common pre-med injections can have effects lasting 24hrs. This may result in your pet being quite sleepy the evening after an anaesthetic. Water should always be available and a light meal should be offered later in the evening. Pain killing medication would have been dispensed if it was considered appropriate. However, if you feel your pet is uncomfortable please contact us.
If your pet has skin sutures it is vital that they cannot traumatise the surgical site. An Elizabethan or buster collar would have been provided if appropriate. Some dogs resent having these collars fitted, but all dogs will adapt to them given sufficient time. They are the only reliable method of preventing self trauma which can have extremely serious consequences. A dog is quite capable of opening an abdominal incision within minutes allowing the exteriorisation and damage of internal organs. Exercise should be restricted to lead walking only if you dog has sutures.
It is a common myth that a dog’s lick has healing properties. This is a total fallacy. You only have to consider some of the delightful things our pets find to eat when out for a walk to appreciate the absurdity of this statement. Licking a wound will cause a suture line infection. This can result in the incision opening requiring a repeat surgery with the associated costs.