Many pet owners have questions regarding their pet's surgery. We have provided some frequently asked questions regarding this information and the decision you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.
Is my pet safe under anesthesia?
Prior to your pet's surgery, Dr. Haberstroh performs a thorough physical exam and preanesthetic blood testing before administering anesthetics. This ensures the pet's health and detects any possible illness or health issue your pet may have. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well. The type or amount of anesthetic is adjusted depending on your pet's health or pre-existing medical conditions. Please refer to the anesthesia handout to review this in greater detail.
Will my pet have stitches?
Some of surgeries, especially our orthopedic and tumor removals, do require skin sutures or staples. These types of sutures will be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. For some surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own and do not need to be removed later. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.
Will my pet be in pain?
Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.
For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. We use medications that are less likely to cause stomach upset and can be given even the morning of surgery. We use narcotic patches for some surgeries in dogs as well. For cats, we may recommend oral pain medications for better pain control after surgery, on a case by case basis. We administer a pain injection 10 minutes prior to surgery for better pain management. Injectable pain medications may also be used after surgery on both dogs and cats. Any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication. Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.