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Before Surgery Care
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Preparing Pets For Surgery

What you should know about surgery at Greencross Vets

At Greencross Vets we understand and value the bond between you and your pet and are committed to providing the best in veterinary care. To ensure we provide these standards of care, your clinic team will discuss the following key points with you. 

Fluid therapy

It is advised that every pet undergoing a general anaesthetic and surgical procedure at Greencross Vets is given intravenous fluids. This will help maintain your pet’s blood pressure during the procedure and support vital organ function. This means a safer anaesthetic and a smoother recovery.

Pain relief

Good pain relief is crucial to the physical and mental recovery of your pet from surgical procedures.  It is provided to all pets following a surgical procedure.  In most cases, we will also provide take home medication so your pet can continue to recover comfortably at home.

Tailored anaesthesia

Your veterinarian will tailor an individual anaesthetic program for your pet, based on their age, breed, and current health status. We also use specialised equipment to monitor your pet during surgery.

Before and after surgery monitoring

The Greencross dedicated nursing team will monitor your pet before, during and after surgery. You can have peace of mind, that your pet is closely monitored and comforted during their recovery.

What do you need to think about the day before surgery?

The most important thing to remember is to restrict your pet from eating after 8:00pm the night before surgery. You can leave their water bowl out until early the next morning, at which time you will need to remove it.


Your pet will not be able to have a bath for at least 10 days after sterile surgery, therefore if your pet requires bathing we recommend that it be done prior to the day of surgery.

Up-to-date vaccinations

For the protection of all patients, we encourage that all visiting pets be up-to-date with their vaccinations.  

Time to microchip

Microchipping is a non-invasive, safe way of identifying your pet for life should they become lost and reuniting them with their rightful owners. This can easily be done at the time of surgery so if you haven’t already, now is a great time to consider microchipping.

About anaesthetics

As in human medicine, the anaesthetics available for companion pets are extremely safe. Unlike humans, pets cannot always tell us when they feel unwell. Due to their natural instinct to protect themselves, they often hide their illness.

To better assess your pet's overall health and ensure there is no underlying disease, it is necessary to perform a blood test prior to anaesthesia. This is a laboratory test that examines your pet's major organs such as the ability of the liver and kidney to rid the body of drugs and medications. It also identifies abnormalities in blood cells such as the ability to carry oxygen, fight infection and clot.

If the test results are within normal ranges, we can proceed with confidence. On the other hand, if the results are not within the normal ranges, we may alter the anaesthetic procedure or in some cases, postpone the procedure in order to monitor and treat your pet.

Arriving at the vet clinic

When you first arrive at the clinic we will ask you to assist us in completing an admission form which includes contact phone numbers, as well as relevant information about your pet. If your pet has recently been unwell, and we are not aware of it, we also request that you share this information with us.

Depending on the type of surgery being undertaken you may also need to see one of our veterinarians to review and share information about your pet's health. If you think your pet may lick or chew at their wound, it is a good time to discuss this with our nurses.  We may recommend an Elizabethan collar which stops your pet licking or biting their wound.  

What happens to your pet in the vet clinic?

Once your pet has been admitted, we will perform a health check-up and administer a sedative; this will help your pet to relax. Just like us, they too get anxious prior to surgery.  An anaesthetic agent will be administered and an attending veterinary nurse will constantly monitor your pet's vital signs right through to recovery. It will be necessary to clip your pet's hair around the surgery area for optimum surgical conditions. After the surgery your pet will recover on a hygienic, dry, warm and fluffy bed. We treat your pets as if they are our own, and not only will our veterinary nurse continue to monitor recovery they will also give your pet the attention (and cuddles of course) they deserve.

Your day

We are often asked whether or not a pet parent should stay at home to care for a pet after surgery, particularly for routine surgery such as desexing. Generally, pets make a speedy recovery after routine surgery. For this reason staying at home with them is not necessary as long as they have somewhere warm and comfortable to stay. However, if you are considering making special plans to be with your pet, we suggest you take the day off after surgery rather than the day of surgery.

Picking your pet up

Our veterinary nurse or veterinarian will explain how to take care of your friend at home, and provide you with a supplementary leaflet on providing the best care.