Tips for Getting Your Dog Ready for a Vet Surgery

Whether it’s a routine dental cleaning or a more complex procedure like a hip replacement, preparing your dog for surgery is never easy. There is an abundance of information to remember. Your dog could be interested in the leftovers from your dinner. 

Does it require any particular medication? Can we skip any pre-op tests, or are there certain ones that must be taken before we go under? This page provides information to address all of your concerns.

Instructions for Preparing Your Dog for Surgery

Even though your veterinarian may give you specific advice, you may feel overwhelmed. To aid you in your preparations, we have summarized the essentials.

A Week Before

It may seem excessive to start thinking about prepping a whole week before your dog’s operation. Still, your veterinarian could demand extra tests that need to be done before your canine pet goes under general anesthesia. 

Pre-operative diagnostics in a veterinary laboratory are performed to ensure the safety and success of surgery for your dog. See your veterinarian if you are concerned about whether or not it is due for new immunizations. Depending on your dog’s health and history, your vet may decide against vaccination.

Planning your dog’s transportation to and from the veterinary hospital for surgery is also a great idea at this time. You may also consider giving your dog its normal wash or a trip to the groomer a few days before the treatment since you will be asked to keep the incision dry after the operation.

On the Eve

Each dog is unique, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about what to do the night before an operation. If they aren’t answered in your discharge instructions, you should inquire about the following.

  • Is putting my dog on medicine okay?
  • How long until my dog should quit eating and drinking?

If you want to get your house for the next day, there’s no better time to do it than the night before. Plan and set aside a space for your dog to rest and get better. If your dog has unique dietary needs, you may need to ensure that any necessary pills and food are packed and ready to go with him to the veterinarian. 

You may also wish to wash your dog’s bedding to reduce the likelihood of infection. You can see this page to learn more about pet care.

Post-Operative Care

After your dog’s operation, your vet will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for him. If your dog has had an incision, your vet may prescribe pain medicine and antibiotics and recommend that you use an E-collar to keep the area clean at home. 

Even though your dog probably won’t appreciate wearing the “cone of shame,” doing so will help prevent the incision from opening again before it’s ready. The dog may be on a limited exercise schedule at the vet’s advice. This is especially challenging with high-energy breeds, but it’s essential for a speedy recovery. 

If your dog is anxious, you may want to confine him or consult your physician for a tranquilizer or see a veterinary radiology specialist to check on his internals. Avoid getting the incision wet or bathing your dog during the first two weeks after surgery (or until the sutures come out).

To End

If you follow your vet’s orders, your dog should fully recover. Keep an eye out for any distress or strange behavior symptoms, keep him from rubbing the incision area and get in touch with your doctor or the nearest emergency veterinary facility if you’re worried.