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Pre-op & post-op care

Pre-op & post-op care

Prior to admission

Cats and dogs

Please starve your pet from 9pm the evening before. Water may be left down overnight, and picked up first thing in the morning.

We ask that you take dogs for a short walk prior to admission to allow them to empty their bladder and bowels. Please bring your dog in with a secure collar and lead.

Cats should be kept in the night before the procedure to prevent them from helping themselves to food from elsewhere and to make it easy to find them in the morning! Please bring your cat into the clinic in a secure carrier.

Please feel welcome to bring any cleaned special blankets or cuddly toys with your pet, if you feel it will help them settle better.

You may want to consider having a pre-operative blood profile performed prior to surgery. The results of these blood tests may alter various supportive care decisions that are made during your pet’s anaesthetic and surgery, and so optimise the speedy recovery of your pet.

These tests may be able to be done on the morning of the operation, but if your admission time is 7:30am, this may need to be done in advance. Please call the surgery for further information or to arrange.

Lungworm infection is contracted by dogs when they eat infected slugs or snails. As it can cause breathing problems and poor blood clotting an infected dog is at much higher risk of serious surgical complications. For any dog not on routine lungworm medication we recommend a blood test to check for lungworm. Please call the surgery for further information or to arrange.

Rabbits and other small pets

Please do not starve. Your pet must be allowed to eat and drink as normal until you bring them to the clinic.

To aid the rapid recovery of your pet, please bring along a small bag of their normal food to eat after the operation, particularly their favourite nibbles. Also bring in their usual drinking container.

While your pet is under anaesthetic it is an ideal time to microchip them so please let us know on admission if this is needed. The same applies to clipping claws.

Watch out for any signs of illness not related to the procedure to be carried out and let the vet or nurse know on admission if you have any concerns.

Please inform us on admission if your pet is on any current medications, including over the counter preparations, and let us know when the last dose was given.

We will require a contact phone number where you can be reached at all times during the day your pet is with us, and will obtain this on the morning of the operation from you.

Before any anaesthetic or surgical procedure can begin, we must have a consent form signed by the owner or an agent acting on their behalf. This signature will be obtained on the morning of the surgery and must be from someone aged 18 years or over.

Please note that payment will be required at the time of collection of your pet from the surgery, unless previously agreed otherwise.


Your pet will be admitted at either 7:30 or 8:45 on the morning of the procedure.

A nurse will go through the consent form as well as going through the procedure with you. Please feel free to ask any questions if there is anything at all you are unsure of. Allow yourself 15 minutes or so to allow for this admission appointment.

Once admitted, your pet will be weighed to ensure accurate drug dosing and then settled into comfortable accommodation while they await their operation.

Prior to their procedure they will be thoroughly checked by the vet. If having a general anaesthetic they will then be given a premed injection, which contains both a sedative and pain relief, and significantly reduces the amount of anaesthetic required, thus making the anaesthetic much safer.


Your pet will be carefully monitored after their procedure, and given further pain relief if required.

You will either be given a time to phone or advised that a nurse will call you to let you know how your pet is getting on. An appointment with a nurse or vet will be arranged for the collection of your pet and to discuss the procedure, and post-operative care.

There may be sutures and your pet may need to be kept indoors, or have restricted exercise. You may be asked to make appointments for post-operative checks and sutures out.

Your pet will have been anaesthetised or sedated and may still be a little sleepy so keep them warm and quiet for the next 24 hours. You may need to keep young children or other pets away during this time.

They may have a slight cough caused by the placement of a breathing tube during the anaesthetic. If the cough persist for more than two days, please contact us for advice.

You can offer your pet food and water as soon as soon as they return home, unless instructed otherwise. It is best to give a small, light, bland meal such as plain boiled chicken or white fish. We can supply you with a tinned equivalent if you would prefer. Do not worry if they are not very hungry, but you should try and encourage them to drink water little and often.

Your pet may have either sub-dermal sutures, which will not be visible and will dissolve, or external sutures, in which case they will need an appointment for these to be taken out.

If your pet has had surgery please check their wound daily for any excess swelling, irritation or wound discharge, and contact us if you do see this.

The wound should be kept dry for up to two weeks, and your pet should be prevented from licking it. If you think they will lick or chew at the wound please ask us for a Buster collar or a special pet onesie to protect the wound.

If your pet has a bandage please check the dressing twice daily. If there is any damage, moistness, swelling, chafing, discharge, smell or if your pet suddenly becomes very bothered by the dressing, please report this to us as soon as possible.

It is very important the dressing is kept dry. You can cover the dressing with a plastic bag for walks outside but they must not be left on for long periods of time. Ensure that your pet does not chew the dressing.

For many procedures we will advise restricting exercise for a period post operatively. You will be advised of this when your pet is discharged.

Following neutering, male and female dogs can have a tendency to put on weight. We suggest that you may want to try a lighter version of your dog’s normal.

We also recommend bringing your dog in for regular weight checks with our nurses – they’re free of charge too!


Please contact us on 023 80406215 if you have any concerns at all, or if you notice any of the following:

  • Excessive swelling of the operation site

  • Excessive bleeding or discharge

  • If your pet is not eating normally by the following day

  • If your pet is generally unwell or off colour

  • If your pet appears to be in a lot of pain or is very uncomfortable