11 things to consider before bringing your pet to surgery

Unfortunately, your pet needs veterinary treatment, and you have elected orthopedic surgery together with your veterinarian as the right treatment option for your pet. The healing process can be long and stressful, so it is best to not only understand the surgery but to be prepared before going in. Here are 11 tips to consider before your pet goes under the knife.

Obedience Training

1. Prior to the surgery date, this is a great time to brush up on your obedience skills with your pet. Things to practice are basic commands such as sit, down, stand and stay. Stay will be important initially after the surgery so if you need to leave your pet for a moment, they will not follow you around the house. Sit, stand and down will be great after your pet has recovered and is given the okay from your veterinarian to be more active. Having your pet go from sit to down to sit to stand will be a great exercise to help maintain muscle mass.

2. Leash work is also an important skill to practice as your pet should only be taken out to the bathroom on a short leash. You will not want your pet to pull, either. Stay away from retractable leashes as they allow your pet to move freely without your control.

Prepping a Safe Healing Space

3. Choose an area in the house that keeps your dog social but has limited traffic. We do not want your pet to feel secluded from you.

4. Make sure you have a crate ready for when you return home with your pet. The crate should be large enough for your pet to be able to stand and turn. Put lots of comfortable padding and blankets inside so they are not lying on a hard surface.

5. If you have slippery floors, such as hardwood, find some carpet that you can place on areas where your pet may need to walk.

6. If your pet reacts to the doorbell or knocking, it might be a good idea to make a sign for guests letting them know not to ring or knock. However long you can prevent your dog from getting up abruptly will be best for their recovery.

Setting up the Car

7. Along with a comfortable area at home, you will want a comfortable area in the car.

8. Plan to have two people to bring your pet home. It will be good to have one person to drive and one to sit with your pet to keep them calm. Depending on the size of your pet, you may need two people to lift your pet in and out of the car.

9. If you have a large pet it may be worth purchasing a ramp. They will need to get in and out of the car for follow-up visits and possibly rehabilitation.

Clean Pet

10. Your pet’s surgery site will be clipped, cleaned and sterilized right before heading into surgery. You can help the technicians by bringing in a clean pet. The longer they take to clean the site, the longer your pet is kept under anesthesia.

An Empty Stomach

11. This may be the most important thing to do before surgery. Your veterinarian will advise you not to feed your pet after 10:00 p.m. the night prior to the surgery. They should not eat any treats or snacks the morning of the surgery. Feeding your pet can cause serious complications while your pet is under anesthesia.

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