News & Advice

Pre-surgery preparation and Frequently Asked Questions

Feb 28, 2023 | Cats, Dogs, Pet Health

Your pet has a procedure booked. We understand that you may have some questions or concerns – to help ensure your pet is well-prepared, please read through and let us know if you would like further information.


The night before surgery

  • Please feed dinner before 8.00pm and no food after 8.00pm until the time of surgery – this means no breakfast
  • Leave water down


The morning of surgery

  • You will have been given an admission time to drop off your pet the morning of surgery. This appointment will take approximately 5 – 10 minutes.
  • At the drop-off appointment, the nurse will run through a few questions, so here’s a preview:


Would you like your pet to have pre-anaesthetic blood tests?

Pre-anaesthetic testing provides information otherwise unavailable, such as liver and kidney function, your pet’s red and white blood cells and health status before anaesthetic and surgery. The vet uses this information better to understand the pet’s health status for surgery and consider whether the surgical plan needs amending.

Once testing is done, you will only be contacted if there are any abnormalities prior to surgery, otherwise, we will discuss the results at discharge.

Would you like your pet to have Intravenous fluid therapy (IVFT) for surgery?

An intravenous catheter is placed into a vein to give your pet fluids during anaesthetic and surgery. Having intravenous fluids supports blood pressure and organ function while under anaesthetic. It also provides vein access in the unlikely event of an emergency and helps with a smoother recovery by aiding the removal of anaesthetic drugs.


What contact number can we reach you on?

Please provide us with a number you can be readily reached on and not voicemail. We will use this number to contact you should something show up on blood tests if the vets and nurses have any concerns or additional findings in their pre-anaesthetic check-up or in the unlikely event of an emergency.


Is your pet on any current medications?

This includes any medications we / or other clinics have prescribed/ supplements you may be giving at home. This information is important as certain medications do not react well together, so it helps with constructing our surgery plan.


Would you like anything else done while your pet is under anaesthetic?

Some owners like some procedures done while the pets are asleep – Microchipping, nail clipping, hernia repair and removal of retained baby teeth. These are an additional cost.


Post surgery

  • We will endeavour to get you surgery notifications and discharge times as soon as possible, but this can be affected by urgent cases and emergencies which may delay pick-up times.
  • When your pet is in recovery, the vet nurse will call you and book a discharge time with a nurse or vet.
  • We recommend taking home an Elizabethan collar after surgery to help stop your pet licking at their surgery wounds. These are be purchased at the clinic.
  • Surgery pets have pain relief on the day of surgery and we recommend additional pain relief to go home with.



At home after surgery

The vet nurse will provide you with discharge instructions. Please follow these and keep your pet quiet for 10 – 14 days post-surgery to allow wound repair.

  • Environment: Ensure you have space set aside to confine your pet. We do not want them damaging themselves or their surgery wounds by climbing and/or running during the post-operative period.
  • Feeding: Offer your pets food and water – they may not want to eat the first night but should by the next morning.
  • Toileting: On the first night home – lead walk your dog out to the toilet. Provide kitty litter for your cat.


If you have any questions or concerns, please call the clinic as soon as possible – we are here to help.



Other resources you may find helpful:

Why does my vet recommend pre-anaesthetic testing?

Share This