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Surgery in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

You may have questions and concerns if your dog is scheduled for surgery. Today, our veterinarians in Turlock explain everything you need about dog surgery.

When it comes to your dog, canine surgical procedures are divided into two categories: elective and mandatory. We believe it's essential that you understand why surgery is recommended so you can make informed decisions about your dog's health.

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 situations, emergency surgery is required to save the dog's life.

Surgery often raises a host of concerns, from potential complications to the prospects of recovery. However, it's worth noting that, thanks to advances in veterinary care, the likelihood of your dog suffering serious consequences as a result of surgery is extremely low.

Preparing Your Dog for Surgery

The vet will examine your dog to confirm that he is healthy and ready for the surgery. If your pet is overweight, the vet may suggest a weight-loss diet. Being overweight increases the risk of general anesthesia and can make it difficult for your pet to move around after the operation.

It is advisable to bathe or groom your pet the week before the operation so that it is clean and ready for the procedure. As the incision must remain dry during the healing process, your dog or cat cannot be groomed for some time after the operation. X-rays and ultrasounds are two tests your vet may order.

Plan transportation in advance, depending on the type of surgery your pet will undergo and the expected mobility level after surgery. If you're not sure how best to transport your pet home after surgery, consult your veterinarian. If your pet needs to rest in a crate, prepare an appropriately sized crate for them to return home after surgery.

You may be wondering whether a dog can drink water before surgery or whether he should eat before surgery. In most cases, you will be asked not to give your pet anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the operation. If your dog is taking medication, consult your vet to find out whether you should wait until after the operation to give it to him. Some vets may also ask you to bring your pet to the veterinary hospital overnight.

Check with the reception staff that you have your telephone number so that they can keep you informed of your four-legged friend's progress while he is in their care. Try to arrive on time and remain calm and relaxed when dropping off your pet. Your veterinarian may recommend additional tests before the operation to ensure that your pet runs no additional anesthetic risk.

Your Dog's Recovery From Surgery

Knowing how to care for your dog once he's settled in is essential to helping him get back to his routine as quickly as possible. Following and obeying your veterinarian's instructions is essential to a safe and successful recovery. If you don't understand any of the suggested steps, please specify. Depending on the procedure, you may be referred to a professional veterinary surgeon, or the operation may be carried out in-house.

After the operation, your dog may experience a temporary loss of appetite. You can serve him half a portion of a light meal such as chicken or rice. Your dog's appetite should return within 24 hours of surgery. Contact your veterinarian if your dog has not eaten for more than 48 hours after surgery.

Your veterinarian may prescribe painkillers or medications for your dog after surgery to help him cope with post-operative discomfort or pain. Follow these instructions carefully to avoid unnecessary pain during your dog's recovery. Never give your dog human medication without first consulting your veterinarian. Medicines make us feel better, but they can be harmful to dogs and other pets.

Most vets recommend limiting your dog's movements, as excessive stretching or jumping can interfere with healing and cause incisions to reopen. Most dogs will be able to stay indoors for a few days, coming out only to relieve themselves.

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 may need to be confined to a laundry-sized enclosure or smaller and get more and more 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 to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.

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

New Patients Welcome

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

(209) 634-0023

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