Looking after your pet that is having surgery

There are a few ways you can help to ensure the surgical procedure is as safe as possible for your pet. 

As in people, surgery in pets involves the use of a general anaesthetic and as in people, anaesthetics are not without risk.

You will be asked to bring your pet into the clinic for an admission appointment, during this time you will have paperwork to complete which will provide consent for the surgical proceudre. You cat needs to be in a secure cage and your dog needs to be brought into the clinic on a lead.

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If your dog is dirty, please have it washed a few days before surgery if possible. After surgery normal grooming and bathing is discouraged until sutures are removed.


Please try to walk your dog for toileting and give your cat access to a litter tray if they are locked in before or after surgery.

The night before surgery

Please give your pet a light meal and remove all food by 10pm. Water is still allowed. If your pet is currently taking medication please double check with a member of VetEnt’s staff when the last dose should be given.

Pre-Operative Examinations

Your pet will have a comprehensive examination prior to the surgery.

For all patients a blood and/or urine test is recommended to provide important information about your pet’s health, including hydration levels, liver and kidney function. Generally these blood tests can be performed at the clinic before your pet’s surgery and they will help determine the readiness of your pet for surgery.

If there is a problem detected on the blood or urine tests, the veterinarian will contact you and make sure the best plan for your pet is undertaken.

Fluids during surgery

For all surgeries it is strongly recommended that your pet receives intravenous fluids (a drip into their vein – just like humans) whilst anaesthetised.

The drip helps support your pet’s kidneys, maintains their blood pressure and helps flush the anaesthetic from their blood stream allowing a quicker recovery. As the drip is placed straight into the vein, if your pet has an anaesthetic emergency (which is very rare, but does happen) it gives us instant access to administer life saving medications promptly.

Together with the safe drugs we use, the intravenous fluids will give your pet the gold standard treatment.


The vet or nurse will contact you once your pet’s surgery has been completed and advise how the procedure has gone, if you have not heard from the clinic by early afternoon, please ring us.

In some instances your pet may stay in the clinic overnight. This is to monitor for any post operative complications or to ensure your pet is not having any undue discomfort or pain.

Upon discharge you will be given comprehensive discharge instructions, including instructions for medication, exercise restrictions, diet and post operative care.

    Sutures and Staples

    Where these are required they can be itchy, sore or cause irritation. Some pets will try to remove them. An Elizabethan collar can be provided by the clinic to try to stop your pet pulling its sutures out. If you are concerned about your pet’s sutures please ring or see your clinic.

    Usually sutures and staples are removed by a nurse or veterinarian 10-14 days after surgery.

    Infection or wound problems

    Licking of the wound will lead to it quickly becoming red and swollen. The tongue is harsh and causes damage to an already sensitive area.

    Please make sure you discourage your pet from licking by using an Elizabethan collar. If your pet is uncomfortable or still off their food on the day following surgery, or if there is any discharge from the wound, please make an appointment to see your clinic as soon as possible.

    Other complications of anaesthetic

    Even with all the care and attention that we place on every animal during their time at VetEnt, any of the following complications can still occur:
    • Mild cough due to the ET tube being placed down the trachea
    • Blood clots
    • Air emboli
    • Kidney compromise
    • Anaesthetic reactions
    • Excessive bleeding

    If you are at all concerned please talk to one of our staff

    Proactive Animal Care for Pets

    Animal care is not just about building a great relationship with your local vet; animal care is about understanding your pet’s health.

    At VetEnt, our animal care team recognise that you want highly knowledgeable and skilled veterinarians, who will also take the time to ensure you understand what is happening with your pet at every step. We’re always there to help you reach a decision that is right for you..

    Care is about treatment as much as it is about prevention. At VetEnt, our aim is to keep your pet in optimal health by being proactive through offering immunisation programs, dental work, neutering, flea treatments worming products, and appropriate nutrition. If your pet requires veterinary attention, you can rest assured that you’ll find an animal care team of experienced vets and passionate vet nurses, equipped with the latest technology. Your local VetEnt animal care team pride themselves on being committed to providing a service that will ensure your pet lives an enjoyable and healthy life.

    Regular visits will help our veterinary health care team provide for your pets best interests.

    Click here to find your local VetEnt clinic.
    Make an Appointment

    For emergencies or urgent appointments within the next 24 hours, please phone the clinic directly.