We realize how frightening it might be to be told that your dog requires surgery. It is critical to understand that our veterinarians do not make this suggestion carelessly. Today, our Harrisburg vets discuss surgery in dogs, types of surgery, and even dog care after surgery.
When it comes to your dog, canine surgical procedures are divided into two categories: elective procedures and those that are absolutely obligatory. We believe it is critical that you understand why a surgical procedure is being advised and that you are able to make informed decisions about your dog's health.
Common Dog Surgeries
Some of the most common elective surgeries in dogs include:
- 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.
Surgical procedures frequently generate numerous concerns, ranging from the possibility of complications to the prognosis for recovery. It should be noted, however, that because veterinary care has evolved to include all modern considerations, the likelihood that your dog will experience serious complications from the majority of surgical procedures is extremely low.
Preparing Your Dog for Surgery
Your dog will be examined by the veterinarian to confirm that they are healthy and ready for surgery. If your pet is overweight, the vet may suggest a weight-loss regimen. Carrying additional weight raises the dangers of general anesthesia and may make it difficult for your pet to move about after surgery.
It is a good idea to have your pet bathed or groomed in the week leading up to surgery so that they are clean and ready for surgery. You'll need to keep the incision dry while it heals, so your dog or cat won't be able to be groomed for a period after surgery. Radiographs and ultrasounds are two tests that your veterinarian may order.
Plan transportation ahead of time, based on the type of surgery your pet will undergo and their expected level of mobility after the procedure. If you are unsure about the best way to transport your pet home after surgery, consult with your veterinarian. If your pet will need crate rest, have an appropriately sized crate ready for when he or she returns home after surgery.
You might be wondering if a dog can have water before surgery or if dogs should eat before surgery. In the majority of cases, you will be instructed not to feed or water your pet after midnight the night before surgery. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if you should withhold the medication until after the procedure if your dog is on medication. Some veterinarians may also request that you leave your pet overnight at the animal hospital.
Check in with the staff at reception and ensure that they have your correct phone number so that they can keep you updated while your four-legged friend is in their care. Try to arrive on time and stay calm and relaxed while dropping off your pet. Your veterinarian may recommend additional testing before surgery to ensure that your pet does not face any additional anesthetic risks.
Your Dog's Recovery From Surgery
Understanding how to care for your dog after surgery is crucial if you want them to quickly return to their routine. Following vet instructions and obeying them is critical to a safe and successful recovery. If you do not comprehend any of the suggested steps, please explain. Depending on the nature of the procedure, you may be referred to a veterinary surgeon or the surgery may be performed in-house.
Following surgery, your dog may experience a temporary loss of appetite. Instead, you could serve a half-size portion of a light meal like chicken or rice. Your dog's appetite should return within 24 hours of their operation. If your dog hasn't eaten in more than 48 hours after surgery, contact your veterinarian.
Your veterinarian may prescribe pain relievers or medications for your dog following surgery to help with post-surgery discomfort or pain. Follow these instructions carefully to avoid unnecessary pain while your dog recovers. Never give human medications to your dog without first consulting your veterinarian. While medications help us feel better, they are harmful to our dogs and other pets.
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.
If you are unable to provide direct supervision, it may be difficult to prevent your dog from climbing stairs or jumping on furniture. If your dog is recovering from orthopedic surgery, he or she may need to be confined to a laundry-sized or smaller pen with gradually increasing amounts of exercise as the recovery process progresses.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.