Pet First Animal Hospital

2212 53 Avenue East
Bradenton, FL 34203


Pet First Animal Hospital - Bradenton, FL - Surgery FAQs

What You Need to Know Before Surgery

Many people have questions about their pet's surgery; we hope this information will help!  This also explains the decisions you'll need to make before your pet's surgery. Please click here to schedule an appointment!

Is the anesthetic safe?

Yes.  Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past.  At Pet First Animal Hospital, our veterinarian Dr. Taylor will do a physical exam on your pet to ensure that fever or illness won't cause problems, prior to administering anesthetics. Dr. Taylor also adjusts the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on your pet's health.  We can provide you with a handout on anesthesia that explains this in greater detail.

Pre-anesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risks of anesthesia.  Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that their organs can handle the anesthetic.  Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ problems that cannot be detected without blood testing.  Ideally, Dr. Taylor would prefer to discover a problem before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications.  Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery.  If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.

We offer three levels of in-house blood testing before surgery. Our veterinarian, Dr. Taylor prefers the more comprehensive screen, because it gives him the most information to ensure your pet's safety.  Geriatric or ill patients may require additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays before surgery.

To reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia, it is important that your pet does not have food in their stomach at the time of surgery.  Withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery.  Water is ok for your pet until the morning of surgery.

orange catWill my pet have stitches?

Most surgeries require stitches.  At home, keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Dogs and cats often lick or chew at the incision, which is an occasional issue that you will need to watch for.  Stitches are usually removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. Limit your pet's activity level for some time, and no baths are allowed for 10 days after surgery.

sad pug dogWill my pet be in pain?

Anything that causes pain in people can cause pain in animals.  Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people, but you can be sure they feel it.  The need for pain medications will depend on the surgery performed.  Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.

For dogs, our veterinarian Dr. Taylor may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory for the first few days after surgery.  We also use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset.  Sometimes they can even be administered the morning of surgery.

Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, we are limited as to what we can give them.  Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before.  We administer a pain injection at the time of surgery.  After surgery, pain medication is given on a case by case basis.  Any animal that appears in pain will receive additional pain medication.

Sometimes we use narcotic patches for dogs.  The cost will depend on the size of the dog.  Injectable pain medications may also be used after surgery on both dogs and cats.  Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is the humane and caring thing to do.

What other decisions do I need to make?

When your pet is already under anesthesia is the ideal time to perform other minor veterinary procedures such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting a microchip.  For an estimate for these extra services, please give us a call.  

During check in for surgery, you'll need 5 to 10 minutes to fill out paperwork and make decisions about optional blood testing, etc.  After surgery, we will spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care instructions.

You will receive a call the day before your scheduled surgery appointment to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions.  In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions.