Preparing Your Pet For Surgery

Things to know about surgery and dentistry for your pet


No one likes the thought of their pet under going surgery but there are certain problems and routine procedures which require surgical intervention. Do not be overly concerned. There have been many recent advances in veterinary medicine and surgery. Diagnostics, anaesthesia, monitoring and surgical techniques have been developed to help ensure your pets recovery.


Presurgical testing

Pre-operative testing is often recommended to help us uncover any problems not readily apparent. These tests may include blood tests (blood cell counts and blood chemistry), urinalysis or X-rays . Any abnormalities detected may need to be corrected prior to surgery or may merely indicate a change in the choice of anaesthetic or pre-surgical treatment. In this way we can minimise surgical and anaesthetic risk. Your veterinarian will advise what testing may be appropriate for your pet.


Standards of quality

We use many of the same anaesthetic agents that are used in human surgery. Surgery is performed with the highest standards of sterility and your pet’s heart, lungs and other vital functions are closely monitored. We may recommend fluid therapy for some patients. A decision is made for each individual patient usually after the results of any pre-anaesthetic blood tests are available. These represent our normal protocols. We seek to provide high standards of quality veterinary care and will not lower them for any reason.


Pre surgery instructions

  • Please give no food after 8pm the evening before surgery and take water away one-hour before admission. No treats and no cheating! An empty stomach is critical for safe anaesthesia. Please DO NOT however, restrict food or fluids for rabbits and other small mammals.
  • If your pet is taking medication, give the normal dosage at the usual time unless otherwise directed. If your pet is diabetic, please ask the veterinarian for special instructions.
  • Surgical patients are admitted to the practice between 8:30am and 9:00am on the day of surgery.
  • Allow your pet exercise and time to empty bowel and bladder before being admitted unless otherwise instructed

Other considerations

When your pet is undergoing anaesthesia for one procedure it is worth considering whether the opportunity should be taken to carry out any other procedure. If there is any degree of dental disease and if circumstances permit, the veterinary surgeon might advise that the appropriate dental treatment should be attended to at the same time. When large breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia are neutered we may advise survey X-rays of the hips.

This may also be an ideal time to have your pet permanently identified by the implantation of a microchip to allow identification if he or she is ever lost or stolen.




Be prepared to spend a few minutes with the veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse on the morning of admission. A pre-surgical examination will be performed, pre-anaesthetic laboratory work will be discussed and there will be an opportunity for any last minute instructions to be communicated to the surgeon. A pre-anaesthetic sedation is normally given shortly after admission.

We really do want you to understand what we are doing and why. If you have any questions about our procedures or your pet’s condition, please don’t hesitate to ask. Last but not least, try not to worry!! Your special pet is in good hands.