Your Pet’s Upcoming Surgery: 5 Tips

Your Pet’s Upcoming Surgery: 5 Tips

Facing your pet’s upcoming surgery can be stressful, especially if it is unexpected. Abdominal, orthopedic, neurological, and even reconstructive operations may seem overwhelming, but knowing what to expect may help you feel more relaxed about any procedure. We at the Pet Hospitals of Hawaii can offer you peace of mind, no matter what kind of surgery your companion pet needs, and provide you with a few useful tips for post-surgical care once it arrives back home for recuperation.

1. Learn About the Surgery 

Knowing the details about your pet’s surgery can take some of the uncertainty out of the process, especially if it is an unplanned procedure. For example, if your dog swallowed a foreign object and cannot pass it naturally, you can ask our knowledgeable surgeons about what the operation involves, how long it could take and how difficult the object may be to remove.

Even if the surgery is a planned one, you may still feel a certain amount of anxiety; this is normal, and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Older animals sometimes require orthopedic surgeries to repair problems with their spines or joints, and if your cat needs this type of surgery, it may involve several different areas of connective tissue, such as:

•       Ligaments 

•       Tendons 

•       Cartilage

We can offer you pre-operative instructions and tips on how to care for your pet the evening before and the morning of the surgery so your cat arrives prepared and ready for the procedure.

2. Keep Your Animal Calm 

Your pet may be in pain or anxious on the way to the surgery, but it is important that you remain calm. Many animals, even small mammals, can sense when their human companions are upset, and this may increase their anxiety and fear. If you are bringing in your bird for neurological surgery, such as to correct leg or claw weakness caused by a genetic disorder, you may want to cover the cage with a familiar covering to block out distractions.

If your pet is bothered by travel and you use holistic products to keep it calm, you may want to ask our veterinarians about administering such products directly before surgery, as they may interfere with anesthesia. Using other methods, such as a dog coat that reduces feelings of anxiety, may be useful instead.

3. Ask About Anesthesia

Any kind of pet surgery will likely require anesthesia, which can affect different companion pets in a variety of ways. You might be concerned about your pet failing to wake up after a procedure, but the actual risk of reaction is low in pets who are healthy otherwise. There are a few risk factors that may cause a negative reaction, including:

•       Failure to follow preoperative directions 

•       Obesity 

•       Previous issues with sedation 

If you have any concerns about your pet and its reaction to anesthesia, our veterinarians can help advise you about the possible risks and outcomes as we plan the surgery. Depending on the type of surgery your pet needs, it may need to stay at our office overnight. If this is the case, you will be notified so you can prepare a list of questions regarding the aftermath, including how well your pet might recover from sedation.

4. Prepare for Pain Management 

If your pet had a surgery that will require extensive recovery time, such as a reconstructive operation to repair an injury, then preparing to practice pain management can help you feel more confident when the animal arrives home. We will provide you with whatever medications your pet needs, and there are a few actions you can take to make it feel more comfortable as it recovers, such as:

•       Allowing for extended rest 

•       Providing a quiet place to sleep 

•       Offering approved supplements

Allow your pet to guide you when it comes to its recovery, as it will likely rest as much as it needs to and give you cues when it is feeling better, such as looking for affection and returning to its usual daily routine.

If your pet seems to be in an unusual amount of pain once you take it home, feel free to call our office for advice. Trust your instincts as your pet trusts its own, and do not hesitate to reach out if you feel that something is wrong.

5. Offer Plenty of Loving Care 

Your dog, cat or small mammal may require reassurance and plenty of attention as it recovers. Allow your pet time alone if it wants to rest, but otherwise offer plenty of hugs and kisses. You may want to restrict treats based on our recommendations.

The more you know about your pet’s surgery, the more prepared and confident you can feel about its outcome. Schedule an appointment today to find out more about our surgical options.


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