Pre-operative instructions for dogs and cats

TVG Brands

Your pet has been scheduled to have an anaesthetic or sedation procedure. Please read and follow the following directions.

While no procedure or anaesthetic can ever be guaranteed safe, by following these instructions you help us to make your pets visit as smooth and safe as possible.

If your pet has been unwell or their condition has deteriorated before admission, please let us know. If your pet shows any sign of illness such as coughing, sneezing, runny eyes, or diarrhoea we may not be able to perform elective routine surgery.

Ideally your pet should have current vaccinations. It takes about two weeks for a vaccination to become fully effective. We can administer vaccines on the day of surgery, but they are not guaranteed to protect animals while they are here with other animals in our clinic.

Please do not feed your pet after 8pm the night before admission. This includes treats. If your pet is less than 4 months of age, they may have food overnight but should not be fed after 6am on the day of surgery.

Please leave water available for your pet until the morning unless you have been specifically advised not to. This especially applies to pets less than 4-months of age or over 8-years of age.

Please take your dog for a walk on the morning of admission to empty their bladder and bowel. This helps prevent any accidents, while they are under general anaesthetic.

Please ensure your dog is clean. Ideally bathe your dog the day before surgery. 

Cats should be kept indoors with a litter tray the night before admission so that you can be sure they have not been out hunting overnight (and to ensure they are home when the cat basket comes out in the morning!).

Your pet will be admitted at a set appointment time with a vet or vet nurse who will be able to discuss any questions about the anaesthetic procedure as well as give your pet a thorough check up. Please allow at least 10-15 minutes for this appointment and the paperwork. Please ask for an estimate of costs if one has not already been given to you at the time of booking.

Late arrivals may not be able to have surgery and may need to be rescheduled.

Pre anaesthetic blood testing may be discussed at the time of admission. In the ideal world we would run routine blood tests on every anaesthetic patient to check their liver, kidney function and for any underlying unknown health problems. This is especially important for patients over 8 years of age.

We call you after completion of the procedure to update you on your pet’s progress and confirm arrangements for discharge. If the vets or nurses have any extra questions about your pet, they will need to call you prior to this so please make sure we have up-to-date contact numbers. 

You will be booked a discharge appointment to go through the procedure and the aftercare that will be needed. Written care instructions will also be given to you at this appointment.

Payment is due in full at discharge unless by previous arrangement. 

Reasons surgery may not be able to proceed

Our veterinarians perform a general physical examination of every patient prior to surgery and may not perform a procedure in any animal for whom surgery is deemed an unacceptable health risk.

Reasons for surgical cancellation or postponement can include:

  • An unscheduled emergency procedure that takes precedence on the day.
  • Pets who are known to have eaten (including snacks or table scraps) after midnight the evening before surgery.
  • Pets who our staff cannot safely handle.
  • Pets with unknown health issues that may adversely increase surgical/anaesthetic risk, such as a heart murmur detected at the pre-operative check.
  • Pets showing signs of illness such as coughing, sneezing, runny eyes, or diarrhoea.
  • Pets who are nursing or in heat.
  • Pets who are younger than our clinic age recommendations, or smaller than our recommended body weight.

If any of these situations applies to your pet, please discuss this with a clinic staff member when making your appointment. We may be able to make special arrangements if we know the issue in advance. This is for the safety of your pet and our staff.


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