If your dog or cat is having surgery, it can be a confusing and distressing time for you. However, there are a number of vet approved tips that can help you prepare your pet for the procedure:
1. Withhold food for at least 8 hours
The best thing to do in order to prepare your pet for surgery is to withhold their food from 9 pm onwards on the night before the surgery. Dog fasting before surgery is necessary to ensure that the pet does not vomit due to anesthesia. If your dog accidentally eats before surgery, he could choke on the vomit post anesthesia which could lead to pneumonia and other complications. Inform your vet if your pet has had food or water just before surgery.
2. No water before surgery
Many vets also disallow pets from drinking water before surgery. However, some kinds of anesthesia can be very dehydrating. In such a case, you may be allowed to keep fresh drinking water for your pet at night before surgery. If your dog drank water before surgery to not have babies, it is fine in most cases and especially for older dogs or those with kidney problems. Do speak to your vet if you have any concerns. In case of dental surgery, check with the vet whether your dog can have water.
3. Confine your cats
Cats could scavenge for food when they roam outdoors at night. So confine your cat to a wire cage the night before the surgery. As with a dog, it is important to withhold food from your feline companion as well.
4. Blood tests
Rule out any diseases and underlying health issues which could worsen due to anesthesia. Some breeds are prone to bleeding issues, congenital problems etc. Your vet will advise which tests to conduct prior to the surgery.
5. Bathe the pet
It is important to bathe your pet before he undergoes major dog surgery. This is necessary to get rid of dirt and bacteria from the coat to prevent infections at the site of surgical incision.Bathing the dog is necessary since they tend to get smelly due to the bodily fluids discharge and you are not allowed to bathe them for at least 10 days following the procedure. In case of cats, bathing is not necessary, since cats are natural self-groomers. Simply brush the cat’s coat well.
6. Make sure your pet ‘goes’ before admission
Some pets tend to lose bladder or bowel control owing to fear or pain. The germs from the feces and urine could lead to infections at the surgical site. So make sure your pet goes potty just before he is admitted. Provide a litter tray to your cat. If your pet is already vomiting due to an illness, inform the vet/staff about it.
7. Give all medicines as advised
Your vet will give you a list of medicines your pet needs. In case of older pets taking medicines, continue giving them as always. Just make sure you speak with your vet first. Diabetic pets could need a shot of insulin. As with healthy dogs, you must not feed solids to your diabetic pet prior to the procedure. Also, some pets with severe diabetes could need glucose drip during the procedure.
8. Arnica and homeopathic remedies
Many holistic vets these days prescribe arnica and Rescue remedy to dogs before and after surgery to speed up healing. Speak to your vet if your pet can benefit from these remedies prior to surgery to not have babies.
9. Do not bring toys, blankets etc to the hospital
Avoid taking your pet’s bedding or toys with them during the procedure to the hospital. These could actually be a source of anxiety for your pet. Most pet hospitals also provide the lead, collar and blankets as needed for each pet.
To summarize: preparing your dog for neutering or other major dog surgery is done by fasting the dog. Allow the pet to have water the night before-but make sure your vet approves of it. Get all blood tests done on time. Admit the dog/cat at the designated time and do not bring along any toys or pet bedding etc. Make sure the pet has emptied his bowels before the procedure. We wish your pet a speedy recovery following major surgery.