Please read all of these instructions after scheduling your pet's procedure.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR PET'S SURGERY:
- Discontinue fish oil supplements 2 weeks prior to the scheduled surgery, if possible. Fish oil can slow down blood clotting.
- If your pet receives other medications, verify which ones are safe to give the night before and the morning of surgery.
THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY:
- Dinner is ok, but your pet should not have access to food for 8 hours before surgery (we recommend that you pick up any food before midnight). No need to remove water.
- Do not administer amlodipine, benazepril, enalapril, furosemide or sildenafil tonight or tomorrow morning.
- If the doctor performing your pet's surgery has prescribed a premedication protocol for home use (for example gabapentin and/or trazodone), administer the prescribed medication at bedtime the night before and 2 hours prior to getting in the car on procedure day.
THE MORNING OF SURGERY:
- If gabapentin and/or trazodone were prescribed, administer them 2 hours prior to getting in the car. It's ok to give medication in a tiny smidge of food.
- Please walk your dog to allow urination and bowel movements.
- When you return home, your pet should go to a quiet room to rest and recover. They can go outside for urination (possibly increased since we give intravenous fluids during surgery) and bowel movements (possibly delayed or decreased as a result of pain medications) that night. The next day they should have restricted activity. Usually pets can return to normal activity levels 2 days after a procedure.
- A small meal can be offered upon returning home. For 2-10 days after surgery (depending on the specific surgery), your pet should not put anything other than soft food in his or her mouth. If dry food is typically fed, it can be soaked in hot water or broth for 20-30 minutes before offering. Changing the diet can cause gastrointestinal distress, so only offer canned food if your pet receives it regularly. Raw diets should not be offered for 48 hours, as general anesthesia can suppress the immune system, and the bacteria typically found in raw diets could cause illness if your pet's immune system is not functioning optimally.
- An endotracheal tube is always placed during surgery to deliver gas anesthetic agents, protect the airway from fluid and bacteria, and to allow us to control breathing if needed. The ET tube may cause tracheal irritation, and a cough is not unusual for 1-2 days after intubation. Please call if coughing is severe or does not resolve in 2-3 days.
Oral surgery is associated with some mild postoperative bleeding and bloody drool. Bloody sneezing and mild nasal bleeding is common after certain oral surgeries. If bleeding is severe (more than 1 drop every 10 seconds), apply mild pressure with a soft cloth and seek veterinary attention.
If your dog picks things up when out and about on walks, eats feces, or chews shoes, furniture or other inappropriate objects at home, you should purchase an OutFox FieldGuard or a basket muzzle to prevent them from injuring or contaminating their surgical sites.
- We use local nerve blocks to help reduce pain, but you should administer any prescribed pain medications the night you return home and continue for 1-5 days (depending on the surgery; you will receive specific guidance on your discharge instructions).
- There is no need to rinse the mouth or to remove the sutures inside the mouth.
Although rare, postoperative complications can include swelling, severe bleeding, infection, and dehiscence (opening of the surgical sites). Anesthetic agents can cause short-term dysphoria, disorientation, whining or howling, incoordination, loss of control of bladder or bowels. Possible long-term complications (exceedingly rare) include loss of vision or hearing, persistent nerve tingling (which may cause pawing at the mouth), persistent drooling, inability to chew large treats or certain foods, decreased ability to pick up toys. Patients with no remaining teeth should not be fed chunky foods, as these pose a choking hazard.