FAQ: What to Expect When Your Pet Receives Surgery (Part 1 of 2)

Prepared by the Staff of the Larchmont Animal Clinic

Almost every pet will undergo surgery at least once during its lifetime, usually to be spayed or neutered. Well-informed pet owners can reduce their own levels of anxiety and provide better care for their animal before and after its surgery. The staff at the Larchmont Animal Clinic in Los Angeles compiled the following answers to common questions people ask about pet surgery and anesthesiology.

Q: What kind of pre-surgery instructions will I need to follow?

A: Depending on the type of surgery, the veterinarian will likely require that you refrain from feeding your dog or cat for eight to ten hours prior to surgery. Be sure to follow the vet’s instructions; failing to do so may result in the animal vomiting during anesthetization.

Q: How safe are anesthetics for an animal?

A: Modern anesthetic monitors make pet surgery a much safer ordeal than it was in past decades. Prior to administering anesthetics to pets at the Larchmont Animal Clinic, the veterinary staff will thoroughly exam the animal to make certain that it does not suffer from any sickness or injury that may cause complications during the procedure. The amount of anesthetics used depends on the general health and size of the pet.

Q: What further pre-surgery precautions do your veterinarians take?

A: Prior to surgery, vets will conduct blood testing on the pet to examine the health of its liver and kidneys. Animals with serious organ problems will likely not be able to handle the anesthetics and surgery will have to wait until these conditions are remedied. The veterinarian may require that some pets receive IV fluids during the operation to reduce the risk of complications.

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