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Surgery in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

If your dog is scheduled for surgery, you may have some questions and concerns. Today our, Port Jefferson vets explain everything you need to know about surgery on dogs.

In regards to canine healthcare, there are two distinct classifications of surgical procedures: mandatory and elective. It is of utmost importance that you comprehend the rationale behind the recommendation of a surgical procedure so that you may make well-informed decisions regarding the health of your dog.

Common Dog Surgeries

Some of the most common elective surgeries in dogs include:

  • Spay
  • Neuter
  • Dental extractions
  • Benign growths of the skin

Likewise, some of the more urgent care surgeries for dogs include:

  • Skin lacerations or abscesses
  • Intestinal obstruction from a foreign body
  • Internal bleeding
  • Torn cruciate or ACL ruptures
  • Fracture repair
  • Malignant skin tumors
  • Bladder stones/urethral blockages
  • Spleen cancer

In most of these situations, a dog would need emergency surgery to save its life.

Typically, a variety of concerns are apprehensively awaiting the outcome of surgery, including the possibility of complications. Notwithstanding this, it is highly improbable that your dog will suffer severe complications from the majority of surgical procedures, as veterinary care has progressed to incorporate all contemporary considerations.

Preparing Your Dog for Surgery

Your dog will be examined by the veterinarian to confirm that they are healthy and ready for surgery. If your pet is overweight, the vet may suggest a weight-loss regimen. Carrying additional weight raises the dangers of general anesthesia and may make it difficult for your pet to move about after surgery.

It is a good idea to have your pet bathed or groomed in the week leading up to surgery so that they are clean and ready for surgery. You'll need to keep the incision dry while it heals, so your dog or cat won't be able to be groomed for a period after surgery. Radiographs and ultrasounds are two tests that your veterinarian may order.

Plan transportation ahead of time, based on the type of surgery your dog will undergo and their expected level of mobility after the procedure. If you are unsure about the best way to transport your pet home after surgery, consult with your veterinarian. If your pet will need crate rest, have an appropriately sized crate ready for when he or she returns home after surgery.

Can a dog have water before surgery? Should dogs eat before surgery?

You may be wondering whether or not a dog should consume food or water prior to surgery. Typically, you will be instructed to refrain from giving your pet any food or liquids after midnight in the evening prior to their scheduled operation. Consult your veterinarian if your dog is currently taking any medications to determine whether or not you should withhold the medication until after the procedure. Additionally, some veterinarians may require that you overnight your pet at the veterinary hospital.

Check-in with the staff at reception and ensure that they have your correct phone number so that they can keep you updated while your four-legged friend is in their care. Try to arrive on time and stay calm and relaxed while dropping off your pet. Your veterinarian may recommend additional testing before surgery to ensure that your pet does not face any additional anesthetic risks.

Dog Care After Surgery

It is crucial to understand how to care for your dog once they have adjusted in order to facilitate their prompt return to their regular routine. It is essential to adhere to and comply with the veterinarian's instructions for a successful and safe recovery. Please provide clarification if any of the suggested steps are unclear to you. The course of action may vary, with in-house surgery or referral to a veterinary specialist being the alternative.

Following surgery, your dog may experience a temporary loss of appetite. Instead, you could serve a half-size portion of a light meal like chicken or rice. Your dog's appetite should return within 24 hours of its operation. If your dog hasn't eaten in more than 48 hours after surgery, contact your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian may prescribe pain relievers or medications for your dog following surgery to help with post-surgery discomfort or pain. Follow these instructions carefully to avoid unnecessary pain while your dog recovers. Never give human medications to your dog without first consulting your veterinarian. While medications help us feel better, they are harmful to our dogs and other pets.

Most vets will recommend limiting your dog's movements as excessive stretching or jumping can interfere with recovery and cause incisions to reopen. Most dogs will be able to stay inside for a few days, only going outside for bathroom breaks.

If you are unable to provide direct supervision, it may be difficult to prevent your dog from climbing stairs or jumping on furniture. If your dog is recovering from orthopedic surgery, he or she may need to be confined to a laundry-sized or smaller pen with gradually increasing amounts of exercise as the recovery process progresses.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

If your dog is having surgery or recovering from surgery and you have any concerns, contact our Jefferson Animal Hospital vets today.

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Jefferson Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Port Jefferson companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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