YOUR PET NEEDS SURGERY?

Our mission at The Natural Vets is to get your pet on their Path to Wellness.

Sometimes surgery is required for optimal outcomes.  If a surgical procedure has recommended for your fur baby, please read the following information prior to the big day.  It will help alleviate any concerns and ensure the best outcome possible.

 

PRIOR PREPARATION REQUIRED

A blood test that checks internal health and organ function is required (if not already done).  This assures us that an anaesthetic will be as safe as possible.

If any changes are noted we may need to modify the surgery/anaesthetic plan or change our surgery timeframe and treat identified issues first.  Additional diagnostic tests may be recommended if changes are found on bloods.

The better we prepare for an anaesthetic, the safer it will be.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE BIG DAY

We admit patients early in the morning.  They get checked over, vital parameters recorded, and blood tests done if not already performed.

All our surgical patients are put on intravenous fluids.  This enables emergency access to a vein and aids anaesthetic safety and recovery.

We administer a sedative to relax them, then the Vet injects an anaesthetic drug which makes them sleepy and places their breathing tube.  All surgical patients are maintained on a safe gaseous anaesthetic while the surgery is taking place.

An assigned nurse monitors the anaesthetic and recovery vigilantly, watching critical parameters like heart rate and rhythm, pulse quality, breathing rate & depth, anaesthetic depth, oxygenation, temperature and blood pressure.

We administer pain relief as often as required to keep your pet comfortable.  They are discharged with additional pain relief to ensure post-op comfort.

Once the operation is complete, our veterinary surgeons usually close incisions with sutures under the skin, which reduces irritation during recovery.  Most of the time by doing this we can avoid the dreaded lampshade collars!

We administer intravenous Vitamin C post-op to speed recovery, healing and reduce any infection risk.  This is a unique offering at The Natural Vets.

We keep your pet cosy, calm and warm throughout the day, and administer supportive natural medicines for anxiety, bleeding, and discomfort.

Our Nurses closely monitor your pet’s recovery, and we reassure your pet (and you!) throughout their stay so they feel relaxed and at ease.

 

WILL I RECEIVE UPDATES ON MY PET?

We will be in touch throughout the day.  You will be advised by SMS when your pet’s procedure is starting, updated during the procedure if necessary, then advised once complete.  You will receive a phone call from your pet’s Nurse once they are stable in recovery.

The surgery vet will update you on any complex matters.  Then at the discharge appointment your pet’s Nurse will run through any post-op care required.

 

IMPORTANT THINGS TO BE AWARE OF

Some procedures require a large amount of fur be clipped off, so please be prepared for that.

The timing of your pet’s procedure will be triaged on the day dependent on all our patient’s needs and critical status.  Your pet may stay with us for a full day.

If your pet is prone to stress/anxiety, advise us in advance so we can plan our day accordingly and reduce their time in hospital.

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO ON THE DAY?

Remember not to feed your pet on the morning of the procedure (no food after dinner the night before).

We admit all surgery patients between 7-8am and discharge in the afternoons unless advised otherwise.

Book in on a day when you can arrive at your scheduled admission time with time to sign the admission form and pick up (unless advised otherwise) between 3pm and 5pm.

For canine parents, please take them for a sniffing walk outside on arrival and allow an opportunity to wee/poo before coming into the clinic.

If you have any questions or concerns please discuss these with us on admission.

Nail clips, ear cleaning, anal gland expression and grooming can usually also be done so advise us on the day if anything extra needs doing.

Be contactable all day in case we need to communicate anything to you urgently – keep your phone on you!

Understand that every anaesthetic has an element of risk.  We do all we can to mitigate the risks and manage critical patients safely.

Try not to worry!  We will update you throughout the day.

Keep your pet close to you the night following the procedure to monitor their recovery.

Have the emergency number on hand should you need any advice overnight.  Critical patients will require transfer to the emergency hospital 5 minutes away for overnight care.

 

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS FOR WHEN YOUR PET COMES HOME

Bandages

Your pet may have a pressure bandage on their leg from where the catheter was removed from their vein.   You can remove it once you arrive home.  If you leave it in place the paw may swell.

If your pet has a pain relief patch applied, there may also be a bandage present. Do NOT remove this bandage without veterinary guidance.

If you have any questions about bandages please call!

 

Food and Water

Offer water only, in small amounts (1/4 cup or less at a time) for the first few hours.  If your pet happily drinks water without vomiting it back up, after two hours you can allow free access to fluid.

Offer a fluid meal the first night if your pet seems hungry.  Bone broth is a great option to have on hand.

If your pet is after more food, offer something easily digestible eg Prime 100 roll, cooked turkey & pumpkin mix.

If your pet is quiet and resting, it is better not to burden their body with the task of digesting food.

The following day if your pet still has no appetite, continue with bone broth, offered a few times throughout the day.  Bone broth provide nutrients and hydration without burdening the digestion excessively, freeing up energy needed for the healing process.

Within 2-3 days your pet’s appetite should have returned and you can begin feeding easily digested meals as directed.  Recommended foods may vary depending on the procedure you pet has undergone.

 

Elimination

Your pet has received intravenous fluids and vitamin C and so you may notice an increase in urine production.  It is important to take your pet out to their preferred toileting spot more frequently than usual and change their bedding if necessary.

It may be 2-3 days before a stool is passed, and the first stool may be smaller than usual.  If it has been 3 days and you have not seen your pet pass any stool, or if your pet is straining to pass stool and nothing is being produced, please contact us.

 

Environment

Your pet may have difficulty regulating their body temperature for the first 24 hours so ensure they are kept warm or cool, depending on the ambient temperature.

Ensure your pet’s bedding is in a quiet area during recovery that is free of draughts, and they have plenty of blankets to snuggle into.

 

Exercise

Limit exercise as directed by your Vet/Nurse.  Usually for a minimum 5-10 day period post-op leash-restricted exercise is advised.  Do NOT allow jumping, climbing, or overly rambunctious behaviour.

 

Surgery Site

Your pet may have sutures under the skin or on top. There will likely be a sticky bandage placed that can be removed on day 2-3.  Check the incision twice daily for any swelling, discharge, or excessive bleeding.

External sutures need to be removed 10-14 days post-op.

Ensure the sutures / wound stays dry (no swimming/bathing) and your pet doesn’t chew or lick at the surgical wound.  Use a lampshade collar or wound suit to prevent this.  Licking/chewing will impede healing and can also cause more serious complications such as total wound breakdown.

 

PROBLEMS TO WATCH FOR

Please call us immediately if any of the following occur:

  • Repeated vomiting
  • Excessive swelling or discharge at the surgical site
  • Bleeding
  • Continued discomfort or pain
  • Extreme lethargy or disorientation
  • Persistent cough
  • Inappetance of >3 days duration
  • Straining to pass stool post-op

Note that a slight cough post-op for 1-3 days may be encountered due to irritation from the tube placed in your pet’s airway.  This should resolve on its own without intervention.

 

 

​AFTER-CARE

You will receive a phone call the following morning so we can check in on your pet.

If at any stage you are concerned about your pet’s recovery please get in touch.  You can phone us during business hours on 5476 7674.

If you need advice after-hours please phone the Animal Emergency Service in Tanawha on 5445 1333.

We provide a free post-surgery nurse consult within 7 days of surgery.  Even if your pet is recovering smoothly and you have nothing to be concerned about,  please ensure you return for this appointment, so we can make a big fuss of your pet, reward them for how brave they were, and give them a joyful experience to remember us by.