Pre & Post-Operative Pet Care

Pre & Post-Operative Pet Care

Before the operation

Nil by Mouth

An empty stomach is essential for a safe anaesthetic so it is important that you do not allow your pet to eat after 9pm the previous night. Water can be left down until the morning of the operation. Please note this does not apply to rabbits and other small mammals, only take food away on the morning of the operation and bring some to the surgery with you (we like rabbits to eat as soon as possible after an operation).

Take them out

Please do not let your cat out overnight. Take your dog for a short walk before arriving at the surgery to allow your pet to relieve itself but try not to go anywhere that is muddy.


Your pet will be admitted by a Veterinary Surgeon or Nurse. You will be asked to sign a consent form for the planned procedure and to supply a contact telephone number. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to voice them at this time. We may recommend that a blood sample be taken before the operation, especially in older animals.

Contact Us

Please telephone between 1pm and 2pm to arrange a collection time for your pet. Post-operative care will be discussed and a free check-up will be made for your pet 1-3 days later.

After the operation

On Collection

Your pet will be conscious and able to walk without excessive discomfort. All surgical sites are washed after the operation but some seepage through a wound may occur in recovery. It is best to leave this for 24hrs before gently bathing in warm salt water.

Pain Relief

All patients are given pain relief before and during operations but you should expect some sensitivity around the operation site. To help minimise discomfort, we can show you how best to handle your pet and we are happy to help lift heavier animals into cars.

At Home

Please keep your pet warm and as quiet as possible. Do not allow him or her to be disturbed by children or other animals.

Expect some drowsiness for the first 24hrs, this is normal but if full recovery is prolonged, you should inform the surgery.

Most pets have a shave mark on one or both fore limbs and at the operation site. Monitor all shaved areas for “clipper rash” and inform the surgery if any soreness is seen.

Please discourage your pet from licking or chewing any shaved areas, even if there are no skin stitches (we often use dissolvable stitches under the skin). Plastic head collars may be purchased from the surgery to prevent excessive interference.

After Collection

On the evening after collection, offer your pet a small drink of water and a small light meal (e.g. fish/chicken/scrambled egg). Do not worry if this is not accepted as many pets will not wish to eat until the following day.


Cats should be kept in overnight with a litter tray to allow the anaesthetic to wear off completely and dogs should be allowed a small lead walk in the garden to pass urine and faeces the evening after the procedure.

Healing Process

Depending on the nature of the operation performed, exercise restriction is necessary to help the healing process. We will advise you at the time how strict this exercise restriction needs to be for your pet.

Surface stitches, where present, are usually removed after 10 days. Please check the wound daily and telephone the surgery if you notice any discharge or swelling.

Most pets recover uneventfully but due to the unpredictable nature of living tissues and the possibility of self-trauma, further treatment may be required which may incur additional costs.


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