Before an animal comes in for surgery it is very important that it has been starved since 8 pm the evening before.
Your pet doesn’t need to have been denied water for the same length of time but don’t let them have anything to drink on the morning of the operation.
An animal should have an empty stomach when it comes in for surgery for the same reasons humans are required to fast before a hospital operation. An empty stomach reduces the chances of vomiting under anaesthesia, which could lead to serious problems afterwards; and an empty stomach puts less pressure on the chest when in the lying position.
However, rabbits and other vegetarians need to eat almost constantly and should not be starved before operations.
When animals have just undergone anaesthetia and/or surgery they need extra care.
Please follow the advice given below to ensure the fastest recovery for your pet.
1) For the first meal after anaesthetia or surgery offer about half of the normal amount of food, this is important as many animals feel sick after anaesthetic. If your pet shows no interest in eating don’t worry but offer food some hours later. If your pet has shown no interest in food after 24 hrs please ring us for advice.
2) Do not let your pet lick or scratch any stitches (sutures) as the wound needs time to heal undisturbed. If your pet persists in attacking the stitches please ring the surgery for advice.
3) Do not bathe any stitches unless you have been told to do so. Many stitches are now soluble and bathing will cause them to dissolve too soon; this might lead to the wound opening up.
4) Keep an eye on the wound, if it is easily visible, to make sure there is no swelling, weeping, or insecure stitches.
If you think the wound isn’t healing properly please ring the surgery.
5) After surgery, exercise may need to be restricted. If your pet has had any surgery which affects its ability to move about as usual then it is your responsibility protect it. For example, dogs should be exercised on a lead and cats kept indoors, until their usual mobility returns. Please do not allow them to over-exercise as it will make the healing process take longer or may even lead to a breakdown of the wound.
6) Bring your pet back for the follow-up appointment as detailed overleaf so that appropriate after care and/or stitch removal can be undertaken. Sometimes we use sub-cuticular (under the skin) stitches which you will not be able to see, but we will still want to see your pet for the follow-up appointment.
Please note that the bare patches on one or both front legs, or on the neck, are where areas have
been shaved in order to allow injection of anaesthetic.