How to prepare your pet for surgery: planning ahead makes all the difference
We give you a simple, four-step preparation routine to help you stay cool, calm and collected when you take your lovable pet for their procedure.
Getting your pet ready for surgery can be stressful. Whether it's a routine dental procedure or a more intensive type of surgery, every pet owner worries about the well-being of their pet when they go under the knife.
The four-part preparation procedure
1. The week before
One week before your dog’s surgery might seem a little early to start preparing, but serious procedures can be nerve-racking and it’s a good idea to start thinking about the procedure well in advance so that you’ll be cool as a cucumber when the day of the surgery comes around.
Around one week before your surgery is usually a good time to start thinking about any necessary tests that need to be done before your canine companion goes under anaesthetic. Additional tests might be needed to help the vet determine that your pet is in good health and will come through the surgery successfully.
These tests will also pick up any potential issues that could compromise the surgery. Most of the tests are routine and could include a blood work-up, radiographs, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic tests to ensure that your dog’s surgery goes smoothly.
2. The night before
It’s important to ask your vet for clear instruction about the correct procedure to follow the night before your dog’s surgery, as instructions may differ between individual pets. Most dogs can't take their normal medication or eat their normal meals before a surgery. So, that means absolutely no treats for Buster tonight, no matter what kind of cute, puppy dog eyes he gives you.
There may also be restrictions on your pets’ normal exercise routine which will limit his movement in order to prevent excessive strain or unnecessary exertion before his surgery - especially if he is going in for a type of orthopedic surgery.
The night before the procedure may also be a good time to start preparing your home for post-surgery puppy care so that it's ready for your furry friend when you bring him home from the hospital. Make sure you have the necessary medication and any special food requirements for the days to come. It may also be a good idea to set up a separate area for your animal away from any other pet’s in your home while he recovers in order to prevent any injuries or strenuous activity as your dog will still be pretty weak after the procedure.
Another pro tip: wash your bedding the day before you leave for the surgery in order to lower the risk of infection when you get home, since pets are especially vulnerable to bacterial infections after surgery.
3. The morning of the surgery
The most important thing to remember is that, just like us, your pup shouldn’t have food or water before the procedure as it could compromise the surgery. Eating and drinking could cause your dog to aspirate while under anesthesia if food or water enters his airways, which is a pretty scary thing to think about. This could be potentially life-threatening, so it’s important to take your vet’s advice seriously.
It’s also always a good idea to arrive early at the veterinary clinic on the day of the surgery. Consult your vet to check how early you should arrive as some vets may ask you to come an hour or two before the surgery for additional blood tests and catheter placement. Arriving a little early will also give you and your furry best bud a chance to calm down and settle your nerves before the procedure.
4. Post-op care
Your veterinarian will usually give you a set of detailed instructions about how to fully take care of your precious pup post-surgery. Your vet will provide a list of recommended medications to help with any pain and reduce the risk of infection.
If there is a deep incision, your veterinarian may also send your dog home with a cone (poor boy) so that he doesn’t bite the area that has been operated. Unfortunately, that area will most likely be a bit irritated and your pup will feel a bit uncomfortable for a few days after the surgery. If you're a savvy pet parent, you can put your skills to the test and try making your own DIY pet cone at home.
Your veterinarian may also recommend restricted activity for a week or two. This can be hard to enforce when it comes to the more energetic breeds, but it’s crucial for his healing that you start slow after surgery. Try place your dog in his crate or a restricted area of the house for the time being. If that doesn’t work, you may have to chat to your vet about prescribing a sedative.
Over the next few weeks, everything should go smoothly but it’s still essential that you follow your vet’s instructions precisely and continue to keep an eye out for any unusual behaviour that signals that you should take your pet to the vet.
Most importantly, don’t ever be shy to give your vet a quick call if it looks like there’s something up with your pup. It’s always better to have the peace of mind that your pup is on his way to recovery and in good health.
What we cover
We know that dealing with a health-scare can be stressful and highly emotional when it comes to your pet. That’s why Oneplan is always here to lend a helping paw.
Oneplan provides quality animal pet insurance for the thing that matters most in your life - your furry playmate. With our affordable pet insurance, you can choose an animal health insurance plan that provides cover for both illness and accident in-hospital costs.
We’re always here to help you take care of the expenses that can be tough to handle - including necessary treatments that require an overnight stay or any surgical procedures. Our plans include cover for surgical costs related to serious conditions such as cruciate ligament repairs, hip replacements, intervertebral disc, luxating patella and more. This means that you'll be completely covered when it comes time for the big day of your precious pup’s surgery.
Heads up: we unfortunately won’t cover any cosmetic procedures such as tail docking, dewclaw removal, skinfold resection or ear cropping.
Not sure if we cover what you're looking for? Check out our simple guide to your pet insurance policy.
More about Oneplan
- Our original Excess Buster add-on gives you the option to save more than you might expect with any Oneplan pet insurance plan. Forget about all the usual excess costs that come with each claim. With our new Excess Buster, all your applicable excess amounts will be waived instantly. Isn’t that great? That includes excess costs for hospital stay, surgery, blood tests, veterinary care and in-hospital treatments.
- At Oneplan, customer care is our top priority. For any burning questions or simply for a bit of guidance when it comes to choosing the right pet animal pet insurance plan, chat to a friendly Oneplan team member on the app or contact us directly on the website.
- Transparency is important to us, which is why we give you complete access to your policy through the smart Oneplan app so that you always know what to expect when you get started with one of our quality pet insurance plans.
- The best part about joining Oneplan? Skip the call and sign up online instantly. It only takes minutes to get insured with us and, if you choose to sign up online, we’ll discount your first month's premium by 100% and waive the R160 administration fee for your very own Onecard. Isn’t that great?
Why not get your paws on one of our awesome pet insurance plans today?
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