Knowing that your dog needs surgery can make you feel apprehensive. Our Santa Barbara vets are here to tell you about the types of surgery for dogs and how you can prepare.
When it comes to your dog, canine surgical procedures are divided into two categories: elective procedures and those that are absolutely obligatory. We believe it is critical that you understand why a surgical procedure is being advised and that you are able to make informed decisions about your dog's health.
Common Dog Surgeries
Some of the most common elective surgeries in dogs include:
- Dental extractions
- Benign growths of the skin
Urgent Care Surgeries For Dogs
There are a number of surgeries that can be performed on an urgent and emergency basis including:
- Internal bleeding
- Intestinal obstruction from a foreign body
- Skin lacerations or abscesses
- Fracture repair
- Malignant skin tumors
- Torn cruciate or ACL ruptures
- 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
Before surgery can even be scheduled, your dog will need a thorough examination to ensure they are healthy and ready for surgery. If your pet happens to be overweight, your vet might first recommend a weight loss program. Being overweight can increase their risk of developing issues while under anesthesia, and it can lead to more difficulty moving 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 for surgery. You'll need to keep the incision dry while it heals, so your dog or cat won't be able to be groomed for a period after surgery. Radiographs and ultrasounds are two tests that your veterinarian may order.
Plan your pet's transportation well ahead of their surgery. If they are going to have difficulty with mobility after surgery, this will need to be taken into account when it comes to getting your pet back into your car. 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.
In many cases, your pet will not be allowed to eat or drink the night before your 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 their routine as soon as possible. Following vet instructions and obeying them is critical to a safe and successful recovery. 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.
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 their operation. If your dog hasn't eaten in more than 48 hours after surgery, contact your veterinarian.
Your veterinarian may prescribe pain medications for your dog to reduce their pain after surgery. Make sure to follow 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 such as stretching or jumping which can interfere with recovery and even cause incisions to reopen. Most dogs will be perfectly fine staying inside for a few days and 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.