Cats 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 cat is acting abnormally in any respect please tell us when it is admitted. It is important that cats 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.
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 animal’s age. Pre-operative blood testing can highlight hidden issues and is particularly important in older patients. Renal disease is very common in cats over eight years of age. Anaesthetising a cat with renal disease can exacerbate underlying renal damage. This can be prevented by administering intravenous fluids. We advise that all cats over eight years of age have a pre-anaesthetic blood test and are given intravenous fluids before, during and immediately after anaesthesia. Cats with existing kidney disease are routinely anaesthetised successfully, but we advise they remain hospitalised on intravenous fluids until the day after the anaesthetic.
This is very much dependent on the surgery that was undertaken but there are some general guidelines. Your cat should be kept in a room temperature environment on a comfortable, clean pet bed. Disturbance should be kept to 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 cat 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 cats resent having these collars fitted, but all cats will adapt to them given sufficient time. They are the only reliable method of preventing self trauma which can have extremely serious consequences. A cat is quite capable of opening an abdominal incision within minutes allowing the exteriorisation and damage of internal organs. Cats should be confined to the house until the skin sutures are removed and should not be allowed out with a buster collar fitted.
Its is a common myth that a cat’s lick has healing properties. This is a total fallacy. Licking a wound will cause a suture line infection. This can result in the incision opening requiring a repeat surgery with the associated costs.