Pet hospitals are known for their emergency care, but that isn't all these facilities provide. The vets in animal hospitals are trained surgeons. If your pet needs surgery for a tumor, heart condition, or trauma treatment after an accident, you will likely be referred to a vet hospital. Here are four things you should do when your pet is scheduled for surgery at the hospital.
1. Bring your pet to a pre-surgery appointment.
Before performing surgery on your pet, the veterinary team will want to ensure your pet is healthy enough for the operation. General anesthesia carries some risks, so if your pet is suffering from an illness or infection, the vet may want to wait for that issue to resolve before proceeding. During a pre-surgery appointment, your vet will perform a typical exam which will include a weight check, blood test, and physical exam.
2. Consider the risks and benefits.
Every medical procedure has some risks, no matter how routine the surgery is. Your vet will lay out the likely outcome of the surgery. They will also talk to you about potential risks and side effects. Based on the vet's medical advice and warnings, you can decide if you want to move forward with the operation. Surgery can reduce pain, cure dangerous conditions, and allow pets to live their lives to the fullest. In many cases, it is in animals' best interest, but the choice is still yours to make.
3. Prepare your pet for surgery.
You will be given directions for the day of the surgery. If general anesthesia will be administered, you may be told to withhold food and water from your pet for a certain amount of time leading up to the procedure. Making sure your pet's stomach is empty is a matter of safety; if your pet vomits during the procedure, an empty stomach will keep them from aspirating liquid.
4. Follow all aftercare instructions.
Once your pet is in stable condition, they will be discharged from the vet hospital into your care. Your pet's surgeon will give you a list of instructions to follow. Depending on the surgery your pet received, this may include a list of restrictions. You may have to put an Elizabethan collar on your pet after surgery to keep them from licking or biting at their sutures. Aftercare instructions will likely include a temporary modified diet and a list of prescription medications that must be administered. You will be told to bring your pet back for a checkup once healing has progressed. Your pet's surgeon may want to check on your pet's progress themselves, or they may refer you back to your pet's regular veterinarian.
For more information, contact a local vet hospital like Sylvan Corners Pet Hospital.