How Do Veterinarians Get Animals Ready for an Operation?

Preparing your pet for surgery could be a difficult experience. When your pet requires even routine veterinary care or an involved surgical procedure, it’s only natural to worry. If your pet needs surgery, your veterinarian will give you specific instructions on how to get ready. This will ensure that the day of the treatment goes off without a hitch.

Fasting Before Surgery

Your pet will need to fast before surgery if sedation is to be used. This is because drugs like anesthetics and tranquilizers inhibit the body’s natural response to eating and drinking. Let’s say a pet who’s been ingesting these drugs throws up. Aspiration (inhalation) of vomit into the lungs can cause aspiration pneumonia, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.

Your vet or cat dentist will advise you on how long your cat or dog should go without eating; during that time, your pet may become agitated. However, following this rule religiously will ensure your pet’s safety.

While this is generally the case, there are a few notable deviations. Due to their low resting metabolic rates, young dogs and cats should consume only a small breakfast on the morning of surgery. However, detailed instructions will be provided at the time. In addition to their insulin, diabetic pets will need a little breakfast, but specific feeding instructions will be provided on that day.

Since pets have trouble chewing and swallowing, water is a good option for keeping them hydrated overnight since they can’t eat.

Surgery Preparation

Talk to your vet from places like Dix Animal Hospital about what medications can be administered on the morning of the surgery. Some of them may be obligatory, while others can probably be disregarded. You should also inquire whether dropping off meals or medication on the day of the treatment is required. Instead of trying something new, it’s best to stick with your pet’s regular diet.

You have undoubtedly already been informed about the length of time and the specifics involved with confining your pet following surgery. Make sure a spot is ready for your pet when he returns to the house.

The Morning of the Operation

Your pet must be dropped off the morning of surgery, no matter how late in the day the procedure is scheduled to be performed. Numerous reasons exist for this, contingent on the circumstances.

The vet may order diagnostic imaging (such as X-rays), laboratory testing (such as blood and urine samples), an electrocardiogram (ECG), intravenous (IV) fluids and a catheter, the initiation of specific medications, and the determination of anesthetic drug dosages for more information. Depending on the specifics of the surgery, there may be more choices beyond those listed above.

The veterinarian and nurses will need to fill out several forms detailing the anesthesia procedure, physical examination, and other treatments that your pet will need. It’s also possible that the surgery could start earlier than expected if preparatory steps are completed early, or the schedule is modified. The veterinary team must be prepared to guarantee your pet’s safety during treatment.


At the clinic, you could be asked to read and sign a consent form, cost estimate, and other documents to ensure everyone is on the same page. Please read these documents carefully, ask any questions you may have, etc., before signing them. Include a contact number where you can be reached if necessary. It is essential to understand that any time an animal has anesthetic and surgery, there is a slight but real possibility of something going wrong. Preoperative preparation cannot eliminate the likelihood of complications, but it can greatly reduce them. It’s a straightforward measure that can ensure a successful operation and speedy recovery for your pet.