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Surgery in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Surgery in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

It can be quite scary for pet owners when their dog has to undergo surgery. Today, our White Hall vets discuss surgery in dogs including common types of surgery, and how to care for them after their procedure.

When it comes to your dog, surgical procedures are divided into two categories: elective procedures and those that are obligatory. We believe you must understand why a surgical procedure is being advised and that you can make informed decisions about your dog's health.

Common Surgery Procedures for Dogs

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 of these situations, a dog would need emergency surgery to save their life.

Surgery often raises a slew of anxieties, from potential complications to the outlook for recovery. However, it should be noted that, because veterinary care has advanced to include all modern considerations, the likelihood of your dog experiencing serious consequences from most surgery are extremely low.

Preparing for Your Dog's Surgery

Before your pet undergoes surgery, it's important for them to have a thorough examination by the veterinarian to ensure they are healthy and ready for the procedure. If your pet is overweight, the vet may suggest a weight-loss plan as carrying excess weight can increase the risks associated with anesthesia and post-surgery mobility.

To prepare for surgery, it's a good idea to have your pet bathed or groomed in the week leading up to the procedure so that they are clean and ready. However, after surgery, it's important to keep the incision dry, so grooming may need to be avoided for a certain period of time. Additionally, your veterinarian may recommend radiographs or ultrasounds as part of the pre-surgery assessment.

Regarding food and water intake, in most cases, you will be instructed not to feed or give water to your pet after midnight the night before the surgery. If your pet is on medication, consult with your veterinarian about whether to withhold the medication before the procedure. Some veterinarians may also request that you bring your pet to the veterinary hospital overnight.

During check-in at the reception, ensure that the staff has your correct phone number so they can provide updates while your pet is in their care. It's advisable to arrive on time and maintain a calm and relaxed demeanor when dropping off your pet. Your veterinarian may recommend additional tests before surgery to ensure your pet does not face any additional risks related to anesthesia.

Dogs Recovering From Surgery

Knowing how to properly care for your dog after they've settled in is crucial for their speedy recovery. It's important to follow the instructions given by the vet to ensure a safe and successful healing process. If you have any doubts or questions about the recommended steps, don't hesitate to seek clarification. Depending on the type of procedure, you may be referred to a specialized veterinary surgeon or the surgery may be conducted at the vet's facility.

After surgery, it's common for dogs to have a temporary loss of appetite. In such cases, you can offer them a smaller portion of a light meal like chicken or rice. Typically, your dog's appetite should return within 24 hours after the operation. However, if your dog hasn't eaten anything for more than 48 hours following surgery, it's advisable to contact your veterinarian for further guidance.

Your vet may prescribe pain relievers or other medications to help manage your dog's discomfort during the recovery period. It's important to carefully follow the provided instructions to prevent unnecessary pain and promote a smooth healing process.

Never administer human medications to your dog without consulting your veterinarian first, as these can be harmful to pets and should be avoided. Most vets will recommend limiting your dog's movements as excessive stretching or jumping can interfere with recovery and cause incisions to reopen. Most dogs will be able to stay inside for a few days, only going outside for bathroom breaks.

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 for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

Does your dog require surgery and you're looking for more information? Contact our White Hall vets who can advise you on everything you need to know.

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