Surgical FAQ’s

What You Need to Know Before Your Pet’s Upcoming Surgery

Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet’s surgery, and we hope this information will be helpful.

Is the anesthetic safe?

Today’s modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Clarion Animal Hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won’t 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. Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even 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. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected. Pre-anesthetic ECG is also recommended before administering anesthesia. This screening will evaluate your pets heart rhythm. An abnormal rhythm can seriously affect your pet’s ability to tolerate anesthesia. 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 for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.

Will my pet have stitches?

Yes, your pet will have sutures that will need minimal care for 14 days at which time they will need to be removed by our technicians. You will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. You will also need to limit your pet’s activity level for a time and no baths are allowed until the sutures are removed.

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 usually don’t whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications are included with all spay and neuter procedures. Major procedures may require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations. The cost will depend on the size of the dog. Injectable pain medications may also be used after surgery on both dogs and cats. Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.