Many pet owners have found themselves in a position where their furry family member requires surgery, whether routine or emergency. It is common among pet owners to have a certain level of anxiety when it comes to their animal companion having surgery in both the cost associated with the procedure and caring for their pet after surgery.
While there are a wide variety of surgeries that may be needed for a pet’s overall health and safety, below are the most commonly performed, and even some routine operations performed by veterinarians.
Castration is the removal of the testicles in a male animal through a routine surgical procedure. When this operation is performed before sexual maturity being reached in male animals, it reduces sexual instincts, aggression, and sterilizes the pet.
It is often recommended that pet owners who have castrated pets reduce the animal’s caloric intake slightly due to the decrease in testosterone.
Ovariohysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus and ovaries of a female animal. An ovariohysterectomy is most commonly performed to prevent heat cycles and prevent the ability of the female animal to become impregnated.
The length of the procedure varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on the health of your pet. She will be placed under local anesthesia before the operation, and you will be provided with specific post-op instructions. Many veterinarians recommend pet owners have this operation performed on their female pets around 6 months of age.
Declawing is the removal of a cat’s claws. Cats are known to scratch things, most often furniture, to remove old fragments of their nails, essentially clipping their nails. When performed properly, your cat will still be able to roam outside, should not experience any personality changes, and can defend themselves by running away, climbing higher than the predator, and even by using their teeth. If not performed properly, it can lead to foot deformation and life-long toe and ankle pain for your pet. So be very choosy in the veterinarian who performs this surgery.
Chronic ear infections lead to a narrowing in an animal’s ear canal. Due to this, ear drainage surgery is often performed to clear out infection and reconstruct the ear canal of the animal, providing enough space for adequate drainage.
A hernia is a protrusion of a body part through an abnormal opening. The most common types of hernias are:
Small hernias often do not cause any major concerns for veterinarians and pet owners. However, when the hernia becomes larger, it runs a serious risk of strangulated intestines, uterus, bladder, liver, or even the spleen. This is an extremely dangerous complication, as the strangulation of these vital organs can lead to the death of the organ due to a lack of blood flow.
Just like if a human needed an operation, there will be specific instructions pre- and post-operation, both verbally and written out by the veterinarian performing the surgery. You must pay close attention and follow these instructions exactly to avoid any complications or delays of the procedure.
Your veterinarian may recommend a blood test be performed before the operation to get a broader picture of your pet’s overall health before surgery.
It is recommended that your pet fast between 8-12 hours before the operation to prevent regurgitation of food and aspiration under anesthesia. The specific time required for fasting will be provided in the written instructions provided by your veterinarian.
On the day of the scheduled surgery, you must arrive on time, as you will need to fill out preoperative paperwork and sign consent forms for your pet to receive care.
You can expect your pet to experience drowsiness and/or mild discomfort following the procedure. Depending on the surgery performed, you must keep your pet from licking and/or scratching their bandaging and stitches to prevent infection or opening of the wound. Usually a soft cone is placed around their neck to prevent them from reaching these areas.
If you have any concerns regarding the health of your pet after a procedure, reach out to your veterinarian immediately for information and assistance.
Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency has been voted the #1 animal hospital in our area for more than 19 years. We provide excellent care for animals in Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and other areas nearby Ventura County.
Dr. Resnick and Dr. Klee offer decades of experience in both routine and emergency animal care. Should you find yourself in need of evaluation or help for your beloved pet, call or stop by today to schedule an appointment.