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Pre-anaesthetic information for dogs and cats

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

If your pet has been booked in for a procedure which requires sedation or an anaesthetic, then you need to ensure they are ready for the procedure. So, please follow the instructions below. For further clarification or advice please speak to a nurse or vet:

Feeding prior to your pets procedure – Important – Please read

· Please feed your pet as normal (i.e morning and late afternoon) the day before their procedure, followed by a small easily digestible meal (no more than ¼ of a normal meal) either last thing before you go to bed OR early in the morning (no later than 6am)

This is particularly important for very young (<6months), old (>8yrs) or short nose breeds (Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih-tzus, etc).

Suitable home prepared foods would be, white meat or fish, scrambled/boiled egg, rice, pasta or mashed potato. Alternatively we stock Hills id tins/pouches for convenience. This is the food they will be offered on recovery and is available for you to purchase. If your pet has any special dietary requirements, please notify the nurse on admission.

· Leave your pets water bowl down as normal.

· Keep cats inside overnight before the procedure, with a litter tray available. They will be required to stay inside overnight after the procedure. Transport cats to the surgery in a suitable escape proof basket/box.

· Ensure dogs have had a short walk to give ample opportunity to empty their bladder and bowels before admission.

· Where possible please ensure dogs are reasonably clean and free from sand and mud.


You will have an admission appointment scheduled with a nurse. They will go through a consent form with you, please allow around 15minutes for this and bring contact numbers for the day with you.

There are two additional procedures offered on the consent form (please be aware there is an extra cost for each procedure). To enable you to make a decision, please consider the following information:

Pre-operative bloods - which check the blood glucose level and basic liver and kidney function prior to the anaesthetic. This involves taking a small amount of blood from your pet, usually from either the neck or front leg. This requires a small patch of hair to be shaved from the area.

Why is this offered? - Anaesthetic agents are metabolised through the liver and kidneys. Impaired kidney or liver function can lead to anaesthetic complications. This is particularly relevant in older or unwell animals.

Intravenous fluids (drip) - This provides circulatory support, assists in maintaining blood pressure and helps to support the liver and kidneys in excretion of anaesthetic products. This involves placing an intravenous catheter into your pets leg (a patch of hair will be shaved) and fluids administered through a drip line. This would be recommended for major operations and procedures requiring long anaesthetics. This includes some routine procedures such as bitch spays and extensive dental work.

Further information - You will be asked if your pet is on any medication and if so, when it was last given. There will be opportunity to ask questions. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us for advice beforehand.

Post op care

If your pet is having a surgical procedure. It may be necessary to prevent your pet from interfering with their wound while it heals. During the admission the nurse will discuss the options available that are most suitable for your pet. Options available to purchase include; traditional Elizabethan collar, inflatable collar, pet-shirt and sleeves. Full post-operative instructions will be given when you collect your pet.

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