Operations – Before

Most operations or procedures will involve a full general anaesthetic or sometimes a profound sedative, depending on the case. The preparations for both of these are very similar.

If your dog is being admitted for an operation or procedure please ensure that it is clean, as this will reduce the time your pet spends under anaesthesia. Some dogs may require bathing a couple of days before coming in.

Do not give your pet anything to eat from 8.00 pm the evening before the scheduled procedure or in the morning before coming in.  Please make sure water is always available. Remember to pick up all food bowls and feed any other pets separately. Please tell the reception staff if you think your pet may have eaten anything overnight. If your pet is on medication, give that as normal.

Take your dog for a short walk in the morning to allow it to go to the toilet before coming in – don’t let cats out!

Please bring your pet to the Reception Desk in the main Hospital between 8.10 am and 9.00 am on the morning of your appointment. You may be asked to bring in your pet at a certain time, to enable us to admit each animal in turn.

A nurse will go through the Consent Form with you, which we will ask you to sign before your pet is admitted. The consent form identifies your pet and lists the procedures required. We will also record any other important pieces of information and will be careful to get a contact phone number from you where we can contact you throughout the day. This is very important as we may need to discuss aspects of the procedure with you while your pet is under anaesthetic. If we cannot contact you we will make decisions based on the best interests of your pet. Our staff will be pleased to discuss any concerns you may have. Please tell our staff if your pet is already taking prescribed medication or if you think your pet is unwell.

Your pet will then be weighed, and taken through into the Preparation Room to be checked and to receive its pre-med injections. These combine pre-operative pain relief and a calming agent to ensure a smooth pain-free anaesthetic. Your pet will then be placed on a vet bed in an individual kennel until it is ready to go to Theatre.

The kennel nurse will ring you when your pet has recovered from its anaesthetic to arrange a time for you to collect your pet. Depending on our operating schedule, this may not be until the afternoon. Should there be any delay in scheduling your pet’s procedure, for example due to an emergency case coming in, we will do our best to let you know. We operate all day and if your pet has been one of the later ones on our list it may not be discharged until the early evening. The nurse will discharge your pet and go through any particular instructions following the procedure that you need to be aware of. In most cases, the nurse will arrange an appointment for a post- operative check in the next 2-4 days.

Occasionally, it may be necessary to keep some patients in overnight.