Are pet surgeries at your veterinarian office the same as human surgeries?

When your pet is a family member, you want her to have the best medical care possible. But, just as with your human family members, some conditions need only medication to heal. Others require surgical intervention. 

Veterinarians understand that surgery is usually a difficult choice, so they don’t take it lightly. Instead, they recommend surgery only when it’s the best option for correcting severe orthopedic conditions, complex fractures, oral complications, physical trauma, and other serious issues. 

Pet surgeries at your veterinarian office are similar to human surgeries. You and your veterinarian discuss the condition and review the options. When you agree to a surgical procedure, you work together to help make your pet’s experience as safe and stress-free as possible. 

Preparing for pet surgeries at your veterinarian office

Just as with human surgeries, your pet must comply with pre-surgery restrictions. As pets have limited self-control, it’s up to you to do what’s necessary. Here are a few things to consider. 

  • Limit your pet’s food intake. Limiting helps your pet avoid discomfort and vomiting during surgery. In addition, it minimizes the chance that food will interfere with their breathing or disrupt the surgical process. In most instances, your vet will recommend that you at least avoid your pet’s morning meal.
  • Limit liquid intake. Your vet can tell you what time to take away your pet’s water supply. 
  • Wash and groom your pet to remove tangled hair, soil, and contaminants. These details can potentially complicate a surgical procedure or cause an infection. 
  • Keep your pet calm before surgery. Please don’t run, jump or play, or overexcite your pet before dropping them off at the vet’s office. Weeks ahead of surgery, work to increase your cat’s tolerance for riding in a carrier. Even a short trip to the vet can anger or excite a cat on surgery day. 
  • Be sure to leave your emergency information with the vet’s office if they need to reach you during surgery. 

Depending on your pet’s temperament and diagnosis, your veterinarian may recommend other pre-surgical preparations.

Before pet surgeries at your veterinarian office

Your vet will prepare your pet for surgery in ways similar to how your human doctor prepares you. 

  • Complete pre-operative examination and bloodwork
  • Conduct additional pre-admission testing
  • Shave your pet’s skin to prepare for an incision 
  • Administer premedication 
  • Administer anesthesia

Your pet’s comfort is always a primary concern. Your veterinarian has a variety of medications to relax and anesthetize your pet before and during the procedure. Vets follow anesthesia guidelines that best meet your pet’s needs. 

If you have questions about your pet’s specific pre-surgery medication and anesthesia protocols, be sure to discuss them with your vet. 

During pet surgeries at your veterinarian office

Vets undergo comprehensive training for veterinary surgery. They use the same care and precautions as human surgeons observe with their patients. During surgery, vets use state-of-the-art equipment to perform surgery and monitor your pet’s heart, lungs, and vital organs. 

After surgery

After pet surgeries at your veterinarian office, your vet completes a number of tasks before releasing your pet to return home.

  • Discuss your pet’s prognosis
  • Provide recovery care tips 
  • Explain any required precautions
  • Prescribe post-surgery medications
  • Schedule a follow-up visit

At home, you become your pet’s primary caregiver. You help your pet feel comfortable and monitor her progress during her recovery. Be sure to contact your vet to discuss any questions or concerns. 

Hebron Veterinary Hospital

Contact us for more information about our veterinary surgical services. If your pet needs medical attention or preventative care, call us at (860) 228-4324 to schedule a visit.