Why does my pet need a pre-surgery or dental appointment?

When scheduling a surgery or dental procedure, you might be wondering why it is so important for us to see your pet prior. We created this document to help you better understand why by answering some of your most common questions.

What is the purpose of this pre-surgery or dental procedure appointment?

  • Meet with one of our veterinarians to help set expectations for your pet's surgery / dental procedure and make sure they are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.
  • Discuss the specific procedure including healing time, size and site of incisions, possible complications, post-operative recovery requirements such as exercise and/or feeding restrictions, when to return for a recheck and more.
  • Allow your veterinarian to create an individual surgical / dental plan for your pet (including which medications to use, the timing of the procedure, etc)

What can I expect to happen during the appointment?

  • Your pet will receive a full and thorough exam by one of our veterinarians (more often than not, you will meet with the specific veterinarian who will be performing the procedure). If any abnormalities are noted (for example lung crackles or wheezes, heart murmurs, etc) this allows us time to discuss recommendations and/or precautions to make sure your pet stays safe. Should it be a more serious matter, your veterinarian may recommend postponing the procedure or performing other diagnostics at that time. 
  • Next, we will discuss key points of your pet’s procedure including possible complications, post-operative recovery time as well as tips to make the process as smooth as possible. This, of course, will vary for each procedure (for example, it may include ordering soft/canned food ahead of time if you know your pet will need dental extractions, or finding the best way to make sure your pet leaves their surgical incision alone).
  • Last, we will collect a blood sample that will allow us to ensure your pet’s organs are functioning properly (see below for more information).

Why is bloodwork important prior to placing my pet under anesthesia?

  • While a thorough exam will make sure that we do not detect any outward abnormalities, a full health evaluation could not be complete without looking inward. Bloodwork allows us to examine your pet’s organ function including, but not limited to, their liver and kidneys. These specific organs are especially important for processing the inhalant–the gas that keeps your pet under anesthesia–and if one is malfunctioning, it is vital that we know ahead of time as it could put your pet's health in risk. 
  • We may recommend further tests, changes to their surgical plan or postponing the procedure in those situations. 

Your comfort level with your pet's surgery and their safety are of our utmost importance.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions or concerns. Thank you for trusting us with your pet’s health, and for being the BEST pet parent to your furry baby!

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