Surgical Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any special at-home care instructions for my dog or cat before undergoing surgery?
Please do not feed your pet after 10pm the evening before a scheduled procedure. There is no restriction on drinking water. Plan to arrive at the office at 8:00 AM and allow 15-20 minutes for check-in procedures.
When my pet is having surgery, when should I expect an update on my pet?
Why does my pet need to be admitted several hours before a surgical procedure?
How will you manage my pet’s pain during surgery?
My pet is older, is anesthesia safe?
Anesthesia in otherwise healthy, older pets is considered safe. It is important to have recommended pre-operative testing performed prior to anesthesia to check the status of major organ function and allow us to tailor the anesthesia to any pre-existing medical conditions.
Answers To Common Questions About Post-Surgery Behavior
Difficulty having bowel movements can be expected after illness, anesthesia, or surgery. It may take a few days for the gastrointestinal system to return to normal function. Fortunately, it is not vital for your pet to pass a stool on a regular daily basis. Please contact us if your pet has not passed a stool within 72 hours of discharge from the hospital or appears to be straining to defecate.
This is commonly seen after surgery. It may indicate soreness but is often due to anxiety. Please call us so we can help determine whether additional pain medication is required. We will be happy to recheck your pet for your peace of mind.
This is a very common response to physiologic stress after surgery, injury, or any other health procedure. The amount of shaking or trembling may be dramatic, but it does not imply severe pain, cold, or distress. It may involve the entire body or just the area of surgery. It is most noticeable in the first 5-7 days post-operatively and typically subsides in 1-2 weeks. Please call us if your pet shows signs of pain, such as restlessness, lack of appetite, or crying out.
Some pets may vomit after surgery or seem unable to control it. This is usually temporary and may be a side effect of medication, anesthesia drugs. If your pet has not stopped vomitting for more than 12-24 hours, please call our office 239-466-5555.
Bandage, Cast or Splint
Seroma (Fluid Pocket)
In any healing surgical area, fluid produced during the healing process may accumulate and form a seroma (fluid pocket). Fortunately, this is not painful and does not delay the healing process. Eventually, the body will reabsorb the fluid, so if the seroma is small, we typically will leave it alone. If it is large, we may remove the fluid with a needle and syringe or place a drain if necessary. If you notice a seroma developing, please call our office. We may wish to recheck the area to ensure there is no infection.
Some pets may urinate less after surgery or seem unable to control urination. This is usually temporary and may be a side effect of medication, anesthesia drugs, or difficulty assuming “the position” to urinate. Many pets initially drink less after returning home, but if your pet has not produced urine for more than 12-24 hours, please call our office 239-466-5555.