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Caring for Your Pet Before and After Surgery

pets surgery care

3 Most Common Pet Surgeries

At some point in time, your pet will probably benefit from one or more of these surgeries.

Spaying or Neutering

Spaying (for the female) and neutering (for the male) stops pets from reproducing. In addition to preventing unwanted litters, the surgeries also offer other benefits, such as a reduction in aggression and marking and prevention of some forms of cancer.

Dental Surgery

Tooth decay is not just a problem for people. If you do not brush your pet's teeth, decay can occur. If it's extensive enough, the tooth will need to be removed during surgery.

Tumor Removal

Surgery may be needed to remove tumors and masses that form on your pet's skin. Luckily, most tumors and masses are benign. Surgery can also be helpful if your pet has a wound or abscess that has not healed on its own.

Is a surgery in your pet's future? If it is, you probably have a few questions about pre- and post-surgery care. Paying close attention to care recommendations will help you ensure that the surgery is just a minor disruption to your pet's normal routine.

Before Surgery

Stop Food

Your pet will need to stop eating prior to surgery. If your dog or cat eats prior to surgery then vomits, stomach contents can travel to the lungs and cause infections, pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome. The exact time your pet must stop eating will vary depending on when the surgery is scheduled. In most cases, your furry friend can still drink water.

Some pets will need to eat light meals the morning of surgery. If your pet has diabetes, your veterinarian may recommend a small amount of food to prevent blood sugar fluctuations. Young animals may also need to eat small meals before surgery. Do not feed your pet unless you are specifically asked to do so.

Dig Out the Leash or Carrier

The morning of surgery is not the ideal time to try to locate a missing leash or carrier. Your morning will be less hectic if you find these items the day before surgery. If you have a cat that turns into the Tasmanian devil at the sight of the carrier, allow a little extra time in the morning for cat wrangling.

Pack Food and Medication

Ask your veterinarian if you should bring your pet's medications and a small supply of food with you. Although the hospital can provide food, introducing new food can cause an upset stomach.

Drop Your Pet Off Early

The day of surgery is a busy day for your pet. You will be asked to drop off your companion early in the morning to ensure that there is enough time for these essential procedures:

  • Physical examination
  • X-rays or EKG (electrocardiogram) if needed
  • Blood tests
  • Placement of a catheter
  • Administration of IV fluids
  • Preparations for anesthesia

After Surgery

Prepare a Comfortable Resting Place

Your pet needs a comfortable place to recover from the surgery and the effects of the anesthesia. Bring your companion's pet bed or crate to the first floor of your home if it is not already there. If you have small children, you may want to find a quiet room for your pet to ensure that he or she gets plenty of rest.

Limit Activity

Although your pet may be a little groggy, a little thing like surgery probably will not keep him or her from trying to resume a normal routine. Keep your pet away from stairs or other obstacles until the anesthesia wears off and try to discourage running or jumping. If your pet absolutely must rest, a crate is a good solution, although your furry friend may not be happy about being confined.

Make Bathroom Trips Easier

Pets often receive fluids before, during or after surgery, which causes frequent urination in the first few hours that they are home. Take your dog outside frequently and make sure that a litter box is easily accessible for your cat.

Follow the Medication Schedule

If your pet came home with antibiotics or other medications, make sure you follow dosage instructions and schedules to ensure that your pet has an uncomplicated recovery.

A positive surgical experience for your pet is our goal. Be sure to contact us if you have any questions about your pet's surgery or need answers to general health questions.

Sources:

Pet Health Network: How Do I Prepare for My Dog or Cat Having Surgery?, 05/14/14
http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-surgery-a-z/how-do-i-prepare-my-dog-or-cat-having-surgery

VetStreet: Caring for Your Pet After Surgery, 03/21/14
http://www.vetstreet.com/care/caring-for-your-pet-after-surgery

Mercola: Top 10 Reasons Pets Go Under the Knife, 11/25/10

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/11/25/prevent-pet-sicknesses-to-lessen-pet-surgeries.aspx

Peteducation: Surgery on Your Pet
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2116&aid=2647

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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