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Dog Pre-op Care Owner Info

Guidance on looking after your pet before an operation

The day before – at home

No food should be consumed after 8pm in preparation for the procedure. We require a tummy that’s free of food to prevent possible aspiration of food during/after the procedure. If food has been consumed, we may have to postpone the procedure to another day. It’s ok for water to be drunk.

Please ring up and book an admission appointment with one of our nurses so that we can keep waiting times to a minimum in the morning.

On the day – before you arrive

  • Food must not be eaten before the procedure. It’s ok for water to be drunk.
  • Feel free to bring in a blanket/comforter so they have something familiar to cuddle up to during their stay with us.
  • Give ample opportunity for toileting before it’s time to be admitted.
  • Please provide any special food that is required for feeding after the procedure and any medication that is normally given during the day i.e. eye drops, cream etc.

On the day – on arrival

  • During your admission appointment, a vet or nurse will talk you through the procedure, answer any questions you may have, and get you to sign our consent form.
  • Please ensure we have an up-to-date mobile/home telephone number that we can contact you on at any time during the day. We may need to speak to you about the treatment and get permission for anything else that is necessary during the procedure.
  • The admitting vet or nurse will talk you through the option of having a pre-anaesthetic blood test. This test can give the veterinary surgeon a clearer picture of the internal organs’ ability to metabolise and excrete the anaesthetic drugs that we use. It can also show the state of the red blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues of the body and white blood cells that indicate infection within the bloodstream. We offer preoperative blood tests to all pet owners before a procedure, and strongly advise this for pets over 8 years old as their internal organs may be degenerating with age. If you would like a preoperative blood test done, this would be an additional cost to the procedure itself.
  • Some pets may get too stressed before a procedure to take a blood sample and so it may only be possible to do this under sedation – this is different from a general anesthetic.
  • Depending on the procedure, we may be able to provide other services whilst your dog is under general anaesthetic, such as microchipping, anal gland expression, and nail clipping. Our nurse will talk to you about this.
  • We will also discuss the option of a pet t-shirt, which is a more comfortable alternative to the buster collar.

The procedure

  • Once admitted, we have separate comfortable dog/cat wards that are under the care of our nursing team throughout the day.
  • A relaxing preoperative medication will be given approximately 30 minutes before the procedure is due to commence.
  • We are unable to give an exact time of procedure beforehand, as this will depend on the appointments list and/or any emergencies that are admitted.
  • In order to prepare the skin and ensure it’s as clean and sterile as possible for the procedure, we may need to shave more than one area of fur.
  • Our veterinary team will be monitoring the anaesthetic at all times during the procedure.

After the procedure

  • After the procedure and once in recovery, we will call you to let you know how everything went. To ensure a smooth and sufficient recovery period, we prefer our patients to stay with us for at least a couple of hours post-op. You will be given a time or called later in the day to come and collect your pet.
  • When you come to collect, the discharging vet or nurse can answer any questions you have following the procedure.
  • You will be given any post-op medication needed and an advice form explaining what to expect, wound/dressing care, feeding, aftercare, and the number to call in case of an emergency – our Out of Hours Emergency Care service operates 24/7.
  • If an overnight stay is required for any reason, this will be discussed with you. Our patient wards at our Bromsgrove practice are monitored 24/7 by our nursing team.
  • If the procedure or veterinary surgeon requires it, you will be given a follow-up appointment in a few days so that our team can check any wounds, remove stitches, and/or review progress.

We hope that you find this information useful and helps you to relax regarding your pet’s procedure. Our highly experienced team is on hand 24 hours a day to ensure your pet receives the best care possible.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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