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Surgery in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

While your vet focuses on preventive care and managing conditions before they require complex treatments, there may be times when invasive procedures are the only option. Here, our vets in Yucaipa talk about the common types of dog surgeries, why they may be needed, and what to expect during and after your pup's surgery.

When it comes to your dog, canine surgical procedures are divided into two categories: elective procedures and those that are obligatory. One way that we can help put your mind at ease when it comes to your beloved companion having surgery, is by thoroughly explaining the reason and what to expect during the procedure and recovery.

Common Dog Surgeries

Some of the most common dog surgery types are:

  • Spay
  • Neuter
  • Dental extractions
  • Benign growths of the skin

If your dog experiences a veterinary emergency or urgent care situation, they may require surgeries to treat issues like:

  • Skin lacerations or abscesses
  • Intestinal obstruction from a foreign body
  • Internal bleeding
  • Torn cruciate or ACL ruptures
  • Fracture repair
  • Malignant skin tumors
  • Bladder stones/urethral blockages
  • Spleen cancer

In most of these situations, a dog would need emergency surgery to save their life.

We understand that sending your dog for surgery can cause anxiety but you should rest easy knowing that your vet will always act with your pet's best interests in mind. However, it should be noted that, because veterinary care has advanced to include all modern considerations, the likelihood of your dog experiencing serious consequences from most surgery are extremely low.

Preparing Your Dog For Surgery

The first step if your dog is due for surgery will be to perform a complete examination and diagnostics which will include bloodwork. You will also be given pre-surgery recommendations such as helping your dog to lose weight. Carrying additional weight raises the dangers of general anesthesia and may make it difficult for your pet to move about after surgery.

We recommend bathing and grooming your dog about a week before a scheduled surgery to ensure they are nice and clean. You'll also need to keep the incision dry while it heals, so your dog won't be able to be groomed for a period after surgery. Radiographs and ultrasounds are two tests that your veterinarian may order.

Always try to arrive at least 10 minutes early to your dog's surgical appointment. If you are unsure about the best way to transport your pet home after surgery, consult with your veterinarian. If your pet will need crate rest, have an appropriately sized crate ready for when he or she returns home after surgery.

Can a dog have water before surgery or should dogs eat before surgery? Generally, you will be asked to refrain from feeding your dog for 8 to 12 hours before the procedure. If your dog is on medication, consult with your veterinarian about whether you should withhold the medication until after the procedure. Some veterinarians may also request that you bring your pet to the veterinary hospital overnight.

Provide the vet clinic staff with current contact information in case they need to get in touch at any point during your dog's procedure. Try to arrive on time and stay calm and relaxed while dropping off your pet. Your veterinarian may recommend additional testing before surgery to ensure that your pet does not face any additional anesthetic risks.

Dog Care After Veterinary Surgery

It is important to know what to expect and how to care for your dog in the time after their surgery. You will need to  If you do not understand any of the steps suggested, please clarify. Depending on the procedure, you may be referred to a professional veterinary surgeon or the surgery may be performed in-house.

You may notice that your dog doesn't have much interest in eating after they've had surgery. You could opt to serve a half-size portion of a light meal like chicken or rice. Your dog's appetite should return within 24 hours of their operation. If your dog hasn't eaten in more than 48 hours after surgery, contact your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian may prescribe pain relievers or medications for your dog following surgery to help with post-surgery discomfort or pain. Follow these instructions carefully to avoid unnecessary pain while your dog recovers. Never give human medications to your dog without first consulting your veterinarian. While medications help us feel better, they are harmful to our dogs and other pets.

While your dog is recovering, you will need to prevent them from running around and jumping. This can help keep their wounds from reopening. Most dogs will be able to stay inside for a few days, only going outside for bathroom breaks.

If you are unable to provide direct supervision, it may be difficult to prevent your dog from climbing stairs or jumping on furniture. If your dog is recovering from orthopedic surgery, he or she may need to be confined to a laundry-sized or smaller pen with gradually increasing amounts of exercise as the recovery process progresses.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

So you have questions about your dog's upcoming surgical procedure? Contact our Yucaipa team. We're here to answer any questions you may have.

New Patients Welcome

At Oak Glen Animal Hospital, we are always accepting new patients. Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of your pet. Contact us today to book your first appointment and learn more.

Book Online (909) 500-4350