Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing


Surgery in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Surgery in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

We understand that being told your dog needs surgery can be a scary experience. Our veterinarians only recommend surgery when absolutely necessary. In this article, our Lancaster vets provide valuable information on dog surgeries, their types, and tips on caring for your dog post-surgery.

When it comes to your dog, canine surgical procedures are divided into two categories: elective procedures and those that are absolutely obligatory. We believe it is critical that you understand why a surgical procedure is being advised and that you are able to make informed decisions about your dog's health.

Common Dog Surgeries

Common elective surgeries for dogs at Lancaster include:

Likewise, some of the more urgent care surgeries for dogs include:

  • Skin lacerations or abscesses
  • Intestinal obstruction from a foreign body
  • Internal bleeding
  • Torn cruciate or ACL ruptures
  • Fracture repair
  • Malignant skin tumors
  • Bladder stones/urethral blockages
  • Spleen cancer

In most of these situations, a dog would need emergency surgery to save their life.

Going through surgery can bring up a lot of worries such as complications and recovery. Nevertheless, it's important to recognize that veterinary care has come a long way and considers all modern aspects, making it highly unlikely for dogs to suffer from severe consequences after most surgeries.

Preparing Your Dog for Surgery

Before your pet undergoes surgery, it's important to take them to the veterinarian for a thorough examination to make sure they are healthy. If your pet is overweight, the vet may suggest a weight-loss plan to reduce the risks associated with general anesthesia. Be sure to have your pet bathed or groomed before surgery, but avoid doing so afterwards so the incision can heal properly. Your veterinarian may also order radiographs and ultrasounds.

To prepare for your pet's surgery, plan ahead for transportation based on their expected mobility after the procedure. Consult with your veterinarian if you're unsure about the best way to transport your pet home. If your pet needs crate rest, ensure you have an appropriately sized crate ready for them at home.

It's common for pets to be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian beforehand if your pet is on medication. Some veterinarians may also ask that you bring your pet to the hospital overnight.

Before dropping off your pet for surgery, check in with the reception staff and provide them with your correct phone number so they can keep you updated. Try to arrive on time and remain calm throughout the process. Your veterinarian may conduct additional tests to ensure your pet doesn't face any added risks from the anesthesia.

Your Dog's Recovery From Surgery

Knowing how to care for your dog after they have settled in properly is crucial in aiding their return to their regular routine. It is vital to follow the vet's instructions and comply with them for a safe and successful recovery. If any of the steps are unclear, please seek clarification. Depending on the procedure, you may be referred to a professional veterinary surgeon, or the surgery may be performed in-house.

After surgery, your dog may experience a temporary loss of appetite. In this case, it is recommended to serve them a half-size portion of a light meal such as chicken or rice. Within 24 hours of the operation, your dog's appetite should return. However, if your dog hasn't eaten in over 48 hours post-surgery, it is recommended to contact your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian may prescribe pain relievers or medication to aid your dog's post-surgery discomfort or pain. It is imperative to follow these instructions carefully to avoid unnecessary pain during your dog's recovery. Never administer human medications to your dog without consulting your veterinarian first since they can be harmful to dogs and other pets, even though they can help us feel better.

Most vets recommend limiting your dog's movements as excessive stretching or jumping can delay recovery and cause incisions to reopen. It is advisable to keep your dog indoors for a few days, only allowing them outside for bathroom breaks.

If you are unable to provide direct supervision, it may be challenging to prevent your dog from climbing stairs or jumping on furniture. If your dog is recovering from orthopedic surgery, they may need to be confined to a laundry-sized or smaller pen with gradually increasing amounts of exercise as the recovery process progresses.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you interested in knowing more about canine surgery offered by Sears Veterinary Hospital? You can reach out to our team in Lancaster to get all your queries answered.

Welcome New Patients

Sears Veterinary Hospital is now welcoming new cat and dog patients! We have a talented veterinary team that is passionate about providing the pets of Lancaster with the best care possible. Contact our office to book your cat or dog's first appointment today.

Contact Us

(661) 948-5911