Common Questions About Surgery

Veterinary surgery is an ever-advancing field, which means we know more and can do more than ever before for pets’ health and safety. Throughout the years, those of us in the business of caring for beloved pets have heard and answered plenty of questions. Some are simple, some are weird, and all are welcome. Here are some of the most common questions about surgery answered.  

Why is Pre-Surgery Bloodwork Necessary?

Before surgery, it’s important to assess a pet’s state of health. Part of this includes bloodwork. It gives us a picture of overall health, organ function, possible underlying disease, and other risk factors we need to know about before administering anesthesia and performing the operation. 

Why is Pre-Surgery Fasting Necessary?

Emergencies happen which require unplanned, immediate surgeries.  However, whenever possible, we need to have pets’ stomachs empty before surgery. Some of the medications we use to sedate pets cause nausea. If a pet vomits during surgery they can aspirate, which is when foreign material (regurgitated food in this case) makes its way into the lungs. This can then lead to aspiration pneumonia. It may feel bad to make your dog miss a meal but it’s for the best. 

Why Send My Pet to Another Veterinarian Instead of Doing It Yourself?

Surgery is a vastly diverse field. Different types of surgeries require different skillsets, just like in human medicine. Some veterinarians and clinics only specialize in soft tissue surgery while others specialize in muscular skeletal surgery. When necessary, a good veterinarian will recommend other trusted veterinarians and hospitals in order to get the best care for their patients. 

Is Anesthesia Safe for My Pet?

Just as in human medicine, anesthesia in veterinarian medicine carries some risk. However, these risks are minimal and the benefits and necessity far outweigh them. Professional veterinary staff, strict protocol, close monitoring, and thorough pre-anesthesia testing all help ensure the best outcome.

What Happens If My Pet is Deemed Too At-Risk for Anesthesia?

In this case, we have a conversation with clients about risks versus benefits. If we can treat and correct the condition causing concern before surgery, we will. If that’s not possible, it comes to weighing the risks. We speak with clients, making sure they have all information and grasp what it means. We discuss all possible avenues. Then, it comes down to client decision. 

When making decisions about your pet’s care, it’s best to have all information available and understand why we do what we do. If you have any questions about your pet’s health needs, talk openly with your veterinarian about the best path to the best outcome.  

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