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Surgery in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Surgery in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

We realize how frightening it might be to be told that your dog needs surgery. It is critical to understand that we do not make this suggestion lightly. Our Phoenix emergency vets discuss surgery in dogs.

Canine surgical procedures are divided into two categories: elective procedures and those that are obligatory. We believe it is critical that you understand why a surgical procedure is being advised and that you can make informed decisions about your dog's health.

Common Dog Surgeries

Some of the most common elective surgeries in dogs include:

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

Likewise, some of the more urgent care surgeries for dogs include:

  • 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.

Surgery often raises a slew of anxieties, from potential complications to the outlook for recovery. 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

Your dog will be examined by the veterinarian to confirm that they are healthy and ready for surgery. If your pet is overweight, the vet may suggest a weight-loss regimen. Carrying additional weight raises the dangers of general anesthesia and may make it difficult for your pet to move about after surgery.

It is a good idea to have your pet bathed or groomed in the week leading up to surgery so that they are clean and ready. You'll 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.

Plan transportation ahead of time, based on the type of surgery your pet will undergo and their expected level of mobility after the procedure. 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.

You might be wondering if a dog can have water before surgery or if dogs should eat before surgery. In most cases, you will be asked not to give your pet any food or drink after midnight the night before their surgery. 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.

Check-in with the staff at reception and ensure that they have your correct phone number so that they can keep you updated while your four-legged friend is in their care. 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.

Your Dog's Recovery From Surgery

Understanding how to care for your dog after they have settled in is critical to assist them in returning to its routine as soon as possible. Following veterinarian instructions and obeying them is critical to a safe and successful recovery. If you do not understand any of the steps suggested, please ask for clarification. Depending on the procedure, you may be referred to a professional veterinary surgeon or the surgery may be performed in-house.

Following surgery, your dog may experience a temporary loss of appetite. Instead, you could serve a half-size portion of a light meal like chicken or rice. Your dog's appetite should return within 24 hours of its 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.

Most vets will recommend limiting your dog's movements as excessive stretching or jumping can interfere with recovery and cause incisions to reopen. 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.

If your dog needs emergency veterinary care or surgery, contact our Phoenix emergency clinic to schedule an appointment or let us know you are on your way.

New Patients Welcome

At Phoenix Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center, we are accepting new patients and referrals for our emergency and specialty services. Our team of experienced veterinarians and on-staff specialist are passionate about the health and well-being of pets in the Phoenix area. Contact us today to inquire about appointments or find out about the referral process.

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