Pet admissions advice and post op care
Is your pet being admitted to the surgery?
information for Pet Parents.
We realise it can be a worrying time when your pet is to be admitted for surgery or procedures - we want to assure you we will take every care with them and do everything possible to limit their stress and minimise risk. We will talk to you about what to expect post-op so you can prepare at home, but if you have any specific concerns please do ask, we are always very happy to talk things through. The following is some advice to help things run smoothly on the day.
Preparing for surgery
Cats and Dogs
Do withhold food overnight prior to admission if requested to do so.
Do keep your cat indoors during the night with a litter tray - try to make the cat carrier experience as stress free as possible by letting your cat get used to it beforehand. The following link gives access to some great videos to help you prepare your cat for travel. also we recommend a pheromone spray should be used on their travel blanket and we can also pop this in their kennel.
Do allow free access to water until your pet is admitted.
Do allow your dog the opportunity to go to the toilet on the morning of admission prior to your appointment.
Do bring their 'letter from home' - with their personal information, their favourite blanket and toy and also their favourite food - these things will really help us get to know them and care for them in a way that is familiar to them.
Exotics, Birds and Small Mammals
Do not withhold food or water (for any period prior to admission) this is not necessary for small animals and birds
Do let the vet or veterinary nurse know what your pet normally eats and bring a small bag with you if possible. Fresh greens or herbs are best for rabbits and guinea pigs -but whatever type of pet you have please bring their favourite snacks. Its also a good idea to get them used to their carriers before needed - leaving them in the home environment for the to play in really helps.
Do bring their normal cage and home comforts if you can, this will help them feel safe
Do bring their 'letter from home' with all their personal information, this helps us to care for them
Do bring their bonded friend if possible - many small animals have a bonded partner - we really encourage you to bring them along as this will help them cope with things.
Upon arrival please book your pet in at the reception desk - We accept admissions between 8.00am and 10.30am on the day of your pet's procedure/surgery although we prefer appointments to be made before 9.30 where possible. If you have already been issued with a consent form please bring it with you, but if you have lost your consent form we will print you a new one off when you arrive so don't worry. Please do ask any questions at this time, we are happy to talk to you about any concerns you may have.
Pre-medication - In almost all cases you will see a veterinary surgeon before your pet is admitted, they will examine your pet and go through things again, as sometimes a pet's health status will change and we may decide upon a different plan - we will always do what is best for your pet. Depending on procedure a pre-medication will be given.
For most dogs being admitted for general anaesthesia we ask you to wait with them for 10-20 minutes after pre-medication to allow it to take effect. For dogs that get very excited in the waiting room then it is often best to admit them straight away - or you could sit in a separate room with them - let us know if you would prefer to do this. Also, if you are pressed for time we can admit your pet to the ward straight after you have seen the vet. Cats are generally admitted following the pre-medication consultation and the nurse will take them through and settle them in to our cat ward.
Worrying about leaving them - Its normal to worry, but be assured our friendly nurses will settle your pet in and make them feel as reassured and as comfortable as possible; every pet is an individual with their own unique personalities and our team will do their utmost to meet their specific needs and limit their stress and upset - most dogs and cats are very calm after their pre-meds and not too worried about things. For rabbits, exotics and small furry friends we have a quiet, separate ward to make them feel at ease.
Estimate of cost - If you haven't already been given an estimate and require one then please do ask the vet during the admit appointment and also ask any other questions you may have. Its also very important to ensure we have a number we can contact you on at all times while your pet is with us. We will usually ask you to give us a call in the afternoon so we can update you on things and make a discharge appointment - but it is equally important we are able to contact you should we need to the whole time your pet is with us.
Leaving the Hospital
After your pet has recovered from their anaesthetic you may receive a call from the veterinary surgeon or ward nurse to update you. If you haven't received a call we request that you call us at about 2pm and the ward nurse will arrange a discharge appointment for you.Your pet will be discharged as soon as the case veterinary surgeon and ward nurse feel that they are recovered enough to go home. Occasionally after longer or more involved surgical procedures or in older or juvenile patients your pet may be required to stay in the hospital for overnight monitoring.
You will have a discharge appointment with a vet or a nurse so feel free to ask any questions you have at this time - You should be provided with a discharge sheet outlining exercise, diet, medication and wound management instructions if you haven't already received one. You should be provided with any medication they require and shown how to administer it - also you may be given a recovery diet to feed them for the next 48 hours.
An appointment should be made at this time for their post-operative check-up within the next day or two. Most animals will be subdued or sleepy for the first 24 hours after anaesthesia and this is normal but the nurse will ask you to call us if you're worried. Some animals, particularly older animals may take a few days until they are fully back to normal depending on the procedure. It is important to allow them to rest during this period and keep other animals and children away from them.
If you have any concerns at all during this recovery period then please do contact us.
The nurse will give you specific advice tailored for your pet when you collect them -The in-patient care nurse will explain things you need to be aware of in detail depending on your pets procedure - but general advice will be to keep them calm, quiet and rested, feed them a light meal and keep an eye on their surgical site for any signs of bruising, bleeding or swelling - please contact us immediately if you notice this or if you think they seem unwell or in discomfort.
You will notice a clipped area on their leg where the intravenous catheter was placed and also a clipped area around any incisions. Some patients can develop irritation where the hair has been removed and may lick excessively. If this is occurring please bring them back to see us so that we can take a look and provide something to ease the symptoms, it could be pain or a reaction causing them to lick. You will usually receive a call from the nurse the next day to check how they are doing, most pets recover nicely without complications, but its important to let us know if you have any concerns.
The incision may have staples, sutures, invisible sutures or a dressing covering it - It is very important that your pet does not interfere with this incision as they can remove sutures by licking or chewing and they will introduce bacteria from their mouth into the incision making infection likely. We have several methods to help prevent your pet bothering the wound site such as pet shirts and buster collars.
Exercise will be restricted during the recovery period whilst they heal and we will usually advise rest for at least 10 days. Post-operative checks will be performed at 2 days after surgery then as advised by the vet or nurse, depending on the case. These are to check that your pet is recovering nicely and healing as we expect. Stitches or staples will be removed after 10 days or as advised.
If you have any problems or concerns at all please do call us.