Before Surgery
 

  • Understand why surgery has been recommended, and try to organize questions.
     

  • Do not feed your pet breakfast on the appointment day.  It is important for the stomach to be empty prior to general anesthesia.  In addition, fasting is requested before all appointments, in case labwork or sedation for any minor procedure is necessary.  Please ask Dr. Pooya or your veterinarian about recommendations if your pet is very young, weighs less than 5 pounds, or is diabetic.
     

  • Water is allowed until the appointment time.
     

  • It is very important to share information about your pet’s medical conditions, such as a heart murmur, or any previous seizures or reactions to medications.
     

  • Please bring any medications and supplements that your pet is currently being given.
     

  • The appointment is time for Dr. Pooya to examine your pet, review any diagnostics like lab work and x-rays, and discuss recommendations.  Your pet needs to be at the appointment with you.

 

Day of Surgery
 

  • Please be sure that all of your questions or concerns have been addressed. Feel free to call or email, because it is important that everything be understood before proceeding with any type of surgery.

 

  • Do not feed your pet breakfast on the day of surgery.  It is important for the stomach to be empty prior to general anesthesia.  Please ask Dr. Pooya or your veterinarian for alternate recommendations if your pet is very young, weighs less than 5 pounds, or is diabetic.

 

  • Water is allowed until your pet is dropped off.

 

  • Please bring any medications or supplements that your pet is currently being given.

 

  • If your pet has any dietary restrictions, please bring a small amount of food, especially if we are planning to hospitalize overnight after surgery.


We routinely wait until after surgery, and often until your pet is completely awake after anesthesia, to call you.  Even though we may ask that your pet arrive early in the morning, surgery and anesthesia may not be finished until later.  Remember that we will call promptly to discuss anything unexpected, and we will call immediately if there is a problem.

 

Post-Op Care
 

  • Please see your pet’s discharge instructions for specific recommendations.  Call or email with additional questions; please contact your local emergency clinic with urgent concerns after-hours.  
     

  • It is important that your pet rest after surgery.
     

  • Recovery from orthopedic surgery typically requires strict rest for two to three months until healing is complete.  Running, jumping, climbing furniture, and playing must be prevented during this time.  Unsupervised time is best spent in crate confinement or in a small area without access to furniture or stairs.  Time outside should be limited to short, leash-controlled walks only for the purposes of elimination and pets should be taken back inside immediately following elimination.
     

  • Following soft tissue surgery, activity should be limited for approximately two to three weeks while the surgery site heals.
     

  • Please monitor the incision for increased bruising and swelling or discharge.  If any of these signs of inflammation develops, please call or email for advice.  Because licking or chewing at the incision is detrimental, Elizabethan collars should be in place at all unsupervised times until the incision has healed. Elizabethan collars should also be used to protect bandages, since chewing or ingesting bandage material is detrimental.
     

  • Inflatable ProCollars or or Zen Collars are often a more pleasant alternative to lampshade Elizabethan collars.  Both are good brands and can be purchased on Amazon and online at drsfostersmith.com. If you prefer to use an inflatable collar, please be sure that your pet can’t reach around the collar to the incision or bandage.
     

  • Bandages must be kept clean and dry:  they must be covered with a plastic bag when your pet goes outside, and the bag needs to be removed each time your pet comes inside again.  Please monitor bandages carefully for wetness, slipping, odor, or sudden irritation or discomfort.  These could all be potential signs of irritation and would mean that an appointment for recheck examination and bandage change should be scheduled promptly.
     

  • Cold compresses applied to the incision will help decrease inflammation and improve comfort. This may be done as frequently as you choose, assuming your pet tolerates it easily, during the initial postoperative time.
     

  • Bowel movements may be delayed after illness, anesthesia, or surgery.  Several days may be needed before the gastrointestinal system returns to normal, and bowel movements are likely to be small and infrequent until your pet is eating with a normal appetite. If you are concerned about constipation, canned pumpkin can be added to the food to help speed the process.
     

  • Please call or email if your pet appears to be in pain. Individuals vary in their pain level and narcotic tolerance, and doses or medications can be adjusted.

© 2019 Hooman A. Pooya, DVM, LLC