Beaverdale Veterinary Clinic

3510 Beaverdale Rd
Cambridge, ON N3H 4R6

(519)658-4981

beaverdalevet.com

What You Need to Know Before Surgery

Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help.  It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.


Is the anesthetic safe?

Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past.  Here at Beaverdale Veterinary Clinic, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness will not be a problem.  We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. 

Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing.  If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. 

 Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery and if serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected

It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia.  You will need to withhold food from 9:00 pm the night before surgery, water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.


Will my pet have stitches?

For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin.  These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later.  Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches.  With either type of suture, you will need to check the incision daily for swellings or any discharge.  Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem that should be monitored.  If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 7 - 10 days after surgery.  You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.


Will my pet be in pain?

Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals.  Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they may not whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it.  Before starting any surgical procedure, pain medication is given to the animal thus reducing the amount of anesthetic required. The level of pain medication needed will depend on the surgery performed.  Major procedures require more pain relief than minor prodedures.

Any animal that appears painful will receive pain medication. Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.


What other decisions do I need to make?

While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip.  If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time.  This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care.

When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need 5 to 10 minutes to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available.  When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs.

We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have.  In the meantime, please do not hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery.