There are occasions in your pet’s life when it may have to go through surgery.
It may seem a major step for you particularly if it is something you’ve never encountered before but here at Abercorn Vets we perform surgery on a daily basis and are well equipped and qualified to take your four-legged friends through the necessary procedure.
Generally, the decision to go for surgery is a joint decision between you and your vet. After a full decision on the likely outcomes and risks involved you will be asked to sign a consent form and the nurse will talk you through the procedures.
One of the most common operations is the spaying of bitches, which if done within the first two years of life greatly reduces the risk of your dig getting mammary cancers. It also prevents a potentially fatal uterine infection called pyometra as well as ovarian and uterine cancers.
With male dogs, there are often medical and behavoural reasons to opt for castration, which again is a routine procedure, which not only calms down male dogs but also helps prevent prostatic problems, which are common in dogs aged over seven.
Pet owners should follow Abercorn’s post-operative advice which includes:
- Keeping your pet warm, dry and comfortable away from extremes of temperature
- Avoid strenuous activity such as climbing stairs or jumping on furniture
- Allow only short walks on a lead until stitches are removed
- Give only light meals for first 24 to 48 hours unless otherwise stated
- Contact Abercorn if you find for wound swelling, bleeding or other discharge and vomiting
Spaying within the first two years of life greatly reduces the risk of your dog getting mammary cancers. If you want to breed from your dog then wait until later but spaying also prevents a potentially fatal uterine infection called pyometra as well as ovarian and uterine cancers.
Another advantage of spaying a dog is it stops seasons which carry the risk of misalliance or bitches running off in search of mates.
Generally we spay bitches at 6 months of age; that is before their first season. In the case of more mature bitches we advise spaying three months after the end of a season. Operating on bitches at this period after a season minimises the risk of “false pregnancy” signs occurring after spaying.
Castration is another routine procedure and there are medical and behavioural reasons to castrate a dog.
Most owners tend to get dogs castrated for behavioural reasons as it does tend to calm them down and if performed within the first three years will tend to stop territory marking behaviour.
Medical reasons to castrate a dog are to prevent prostatic problems which are common in dogs over 7 years of age.
Post-Operative Care of Your Pets
Your pet has had an anaesthetic and may be sleepy for up to 48 hours. (Allow peace and quiet during this time). A mild cough may be present. This is due to a tube having been placed in his trachea during the anaesthesia.
- Keep your pet warm, dry and comfortable; avoid placing bed in extremes of temperature or in a draught.
- Avoid activity such as climbing stairs and jumping onto furniture. Your pet’s judgement may not be as accurate after an anaesthetic and he may stretch the stitches.
- Allow only short walks on the lead until stitches are removed.
- If accepted, give only light meals (e.g. prescription diets) for the first 24 to 48 hours unless otherwise specified.
- If your pet has undergone a surgical procedure, please check for abnormal events such as swelling of the wound, bleeding or other discharge, vomiting and interference of the stitches. Contact the surgery or come in for a check in such cases.
- Stitches are to be removed in 10 – 14 days.
- The stitches placed in a cat spay wound may be dissolving. If they are still present in 3 to 4 weeks, then return for a check-up to have them removed.
- Check dressings/casts/splints at least twice daily for abnormal smells, discolourations, discharges, discomfort, etc.