Preparation before surgery


Getting your pet ready for surgery is a simple process but can still be daunting for many owners. Here are some simple tips to ensure your pet is ready for their day at the clinic.

No Food

It is important that your pet's stomach is empty before general anaesthesia as the drugs can cause vomiting and lead to aspiration pneumonia during surgery recovery. Please ensure that your pet does not get access to food from midnight before surgery. If your pet accidentally gets access to food, please inform the veterinary staff immediately to avoid any serious complications.


Please take your pet to the toilet prior to admission. This will reduce the chance of soiling themselves during surgery and recovery.

Fleas and Grooming

Please avoid swimming or playing in the dirt on the day before surgery. This will help lower the risk of introducing bacteria. Where possible, brush or bathe your pet beforehand and fleas treatments up to date to keep our surgery site sterile.


If your pet is currently on medications, please advise us so that we can recommend when to administer. Some medications such as insulin or heart medications must be maintained. 

Ideal opportunity to get other things done

Other procedures that can be combined with most surgeries and so saving you the cost of an extra anaesthetic late these include;

  • Microchipping
  • Heartworm tests
  • Vaccinations
  • Baby teeth removal
  • Stenotic nares and or shortening a long soft palate in brachycephalic breeds (Pug, French Bull Dog, Bull Dog)
  • Dew Claws
  • Umbilical Hernias
  • Ear clean and pluck
  • Nails trimmed
  • Anal glands checked


You will receive and SMS the day before surgery, reminding you of your admit time. Pets are admitted every 15 minutes from 8am

Day of Surgery

On arrival

You will be admitted into hospital, by the nurse that will be assisting your pets surgery. At this point you will be asked some basic questions about your pets health and you can discuss any concerns you may have. Please allow up to 15 minutes to complete the paperwork.
 The nurse will also check your pets vital signs including temperature, heart rate and breathing. 

Pre - anaesthetic bloods 

Click here for why we do Pre-Anaesthetic Bloods

Once admitted a nurse will take a blood sample. This blood test allows the vet to assess the liver and kidney function and white and red blood cells  prior to anaesthesia.

Next the vet will assess your pets breathing and circulation before assessing which pre-medication to give. The pre-medication includes a mild sedative - which calms your pet and reduces the dose of anaesthesia - and a strong pain reliever that will be effective during surgery and through the recovery period.

Prior to the surgery, a small amount of hair will be clipped off the front leg and an antiseptic applied to the skin.  A catheter will be placed into the vein, to enable IV fluids to be administered during surgery.

The anaesthetic drug is also given IV, within a few seconds this will anaesthetise your pet (relaxing their muscles and stops them experiencing any pain at all). We then place a special tube (ET tube) into their trachea (windpipe) and connect them to the machine that delivers oxygen and precise amounts of anaesthetic gas - to keep them asleep. The patient is monitored by the trained nurse (who you met during admission). 


After de sexing all pets are will receive an ear tattoo to symbolise that they have been desexed. This tattoo will appear as a small circle of black dots on their underside left ear flap.  However, you have the option to decline.

In Recovery

During recovery (once the procedure has been completed)  a second analgesic injection is given, that will provide ongoing pain relief for the next 24 hours. All our pets are sent home with oral (by mouth) pain relief also.

Although rare, your pet may experience some potential risks associated with desexing surgery. This can range from mild to serious complications, so your pet will be closely monitored after surgery for early signs while in the hospital. 

Serious complications associated with surgery:

  • General anaesthesia complications such as hypothermia, low blood pressure, vomiting
  • Surgical complications such as internal bleeding
  • Breakage of sutures internally or externally
  • Excessive swelling
  • Excessive external bleeding

Your pet will be allowed to go home once it is fully awake from the anaesthesia, stable and able to walk.

What to expect after surgery

  • Grogginess
  • Decreased appetite for 24-48 hours
  • Decreased bowel movements for 1-2 days after coming home
  • Mild bruising and discomfort a day after surgery
  • Mild cough 2-3 days after surgery from the anaesthetic tube causing a small amount of irritation to the throat
  • Mild clipper rash at the surgery site

Things to remember once you pet goes home

Ensuring the right home care is important in achieving a full recovery.

It is important to:

  • Avoid over excitement
  • Ensure water is available and accessible
  • Leash walk
  • Limit access to stairs and jumping up on furniture
  • Offer small amounts of water and food the night of surgery - too much will cause vomiting
  • Clean bedding to avoid contamination of the wound
  • Follow strict medication instructions
  • Apply an Elizabethan collar (wound gard or bodysuits also available) if your pet licks at the sutures or wound
  • Check the suture line every day and keep suture area clean and dry,  remove the band-aid after 3 days if it hasn't already fallen off. Don't replace the band-aid. 
  • Do not bathe or swim until the sutures are removed
  • Suture removal 10-14 days after surgery
  • Resume normal activity following suture removal

Concerns and warning signs 

If you notice any of these signs, notify your veterinary practice immediately:

  • Severe bruising or discomfort a day after surgery
  • Urinary incontinence (leaking of urine following surgery)
  • Vomiting
  • The odour from the wound indicating an infection
  • Off food for greater than 48 hours
  • Chewing at sutures
  • Broken sutures
  • No stools for more than 2 days from coming home

CALL 4945 9044 during office hours 8am-6pm

Any other time call


Animal & Referral Emergency Centre (AREC)

at Broad Meadow on  4957 7106 

or Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH)

Tuggerah on 4311 1311