Animal Surgery

Elective and Emergency Surgical Procedures: Veterinary Surgery

Whether you are a pet owner, rancher or breeder, you may have to make difficult decisions regarding veterinary surgery. Any surgical procedure is likely to pose some level of risk to the animal. It is therefore important to get as much information as possible regarding the potential risks and advantages so you can make an informed choice. One of the important steps to take is to speak with a veterinarian you can trust. A competent veterinary surgeon can provide specific information and insight that will help you make your own decision about the matter.

While some surgeries are elective, such as spaying and neutering, in other cases surgery may be needed in emergency situations. In any event, if your pet requires surgery it will be important to be prepared for the day of the surgery and the time following the procedure.

Before Surgery

Before your pet goes into surgery you should already have spoken to your vet about the procedure, unless of course your pet is rushed into the operating room following an emergency illness or injury. It is important to ask your vet if there are any pre-surgery instructions you'll need to follow, such as not giving your pet food and/or water the night before the surgery. You should also ask your vet to clarify any questions or concerns you have regarding your pet's pre or post-operative care. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard right before or after your pet goes into surgery.

Your vet may also require your pet to undergo certain testing before the procedure. If this is the case, you will need to gather the test results and bring them to your vet's office, as well as any other paperwork you need to fill out.

After Surgery

While your pet is in surgery, there is not much to do until the veterinarian has finished. Sometimes animals are kept overnight for monitoring, but for minor surgeries you should be able to bring your pet home that same day. Once your pet is home from surgery, that's where the hard work begins. You will need to ensure your pet gets plenty of rest and does not overexert itself, which can be difficult if your pet is normally very active. You will also need to closely monitor the amount of food and water your pet is consuming. Protecting and cleaning the wound area is also important for a successful recovery, as is making sure your pet is given any medications that have been prescribed. Because your pet cannot communicate any new symptoms that may develop, it is important to keep a watchful eye.

Find a veterinarian who specializes in the type of surgery your pet requires.