Small Animal Surgery
There are numerous reasons for dogs, cats or other small animals to require an operation at a certain point in time. At Pointer Veterinary Clinic all surgeries are performed by our licensed veterinary surgeon, Nazli Kreft van den Kieboom.
Once the operation has been scheduled, you will be provided with the details pertaining to your pet’s specific operation. To ensure that they are fit enough to withstand surgery a pre-anaesthetic blood test may need to be performed.
The day of the Surgery
On the day of the surgery, it is important to ensure that your pet has not been fed that morning or the previous evening. You can give them some water. Once you arrive at the clinic, your pet will be weighed and settled in to the hospitalisation area.
Depending on the nature of the procedure, the operation site will be prepared. This usually means that the area will be shaved, washed, disinfected and draped.
Once the operation is finished, the operation site is cleaned. This may involve dressing and bandages and the site is disinfected using an aluminium spray. The patient is brought to the recovery area, where they wake up in a calm and peaceful environment. The recovery area is easily accessible to our members of staff, which offers the best monitoring of your pet. A powerful painkiller is also given, to further facilitate the peaceful waking up process.
When you come to collect your pet they will be able to stand and walk, unless otherwise indicated. If your pet is able to reach the wound and there is a chance of them licking it, you will be provided with a plastic collar. This restricts their access to the operation site and decreases the risk of an infection or rupturing the stitches. In most cases, you will also be given a course of post-operative antibiotics to take home with you. As with human antibiotics, it is important to follow the prescription meticulously and finish the entire course.
Like humans, animals recover from the anaesthetic and surgery at different paces. The postoperative painkiller will be effective for 24 hours. Most pets will be sleepy and quiet for the first 24-48 hours. Within this time rest is essential. Some pets will be unable to control their bladder or bowel effectively for the first 24 hours. This is normal. Every surgery is different and we will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions. Please prepare for the extra care that your pet will need from you for up to 10 days after surgery.
After ten days a post-operative check is performed and the stiches if any, will be removed. Normal life can then be resumed unless otherwise instructed.
Surgical procedures are either performed under local or general anaesthesia, depending on the type of surgery. Local anaesthesia is used in small procedures where the animal remains conscience and only the designated area is sedated through means of an injection. General anaesthesia means that your pet is completely unconscious for the duration of the operation and is available in the form of different agents. The choice of agent is made based on your pet’s age, weight, medical history and the type of surgery being performed.
Types of Surgery
One of the most common procedures for small animals is castration (also referred to as neutering) or sterilisation. This involves the removal of your pet’s sex organs, which has numerous benefits. These benefits are both hormonal and help prevent unwanted pregnancies. Other common procedures involve the removal of lumps, stitching of wounds, minor amputations and eyelid corrections.
Should this be required, Pointer’s operating theatre also offers a state-of-the-art location for specialists such as orthopaedic surgeons.