Surgery can be a scary thought, but there is no need to worry. Your pet will receive first class veterinary care

The following information is designed to help answer some of the questions you may have regarding the general anaesthetic which will be administered to your pet.

Your pet will have an appointment on the day of the operation with either a vet or a nurse. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask. You will be asked to read and sign a consent form.

Your pet will be given an anaesthetic

Veterinary patients are rarely cooperative enough to lie still for certain procedures which may be performed conscious in human patients. Therefore, general anaesthesia or heavy sedation is often required in animals.

A suitable anaesthetic or sedation regime for your pet will be calculated by your veterinary surgeon. Although modern sedative and anaesthetic agents are very safe, all anaesthetics do carry a small risk to the life of the animal. This is usually minimal, but any concerns should be discussed with your veterinary surgeon.

Have a look at the following and follow the advice carefully.

Cats, dogs and ferrets:

Your pet should be fully starved. Please ensure that your pet receives its last meal before midnight the night before its procedure – after this time all food sources must be removed.

You should allow access to water throughout the night prior to the anaesthetic. On the morning of your pet’s procedure he/she must not be allowed to eat or drink (unless otherwise instructed by the vet).

It is vital that you inform the vet or nurse if you suspect that your pet may have had access to food.

  • Dogs: please ensure that your dog is taken for a short, lead-only walk in the morning so that its bowels and bladder may be emptied.
  • Cats: please ensure that your cat is kept in (with a litter tray) on the night prior to the anaesthetic to prevent access to any food.
  • Ferrets: please ensure that your ferret is kept away from any food sources from midnight.

Rabbits, guinea pigs and small furries:

  • Do not starve them! It is extremely important that these species have food available up to the point of anaesthetising them
  • If your pet has any favourites, please bring them with you, as sometimes these treats will encourage them to start eating immediately after their anaesthetic
  • Please bring your pet’s companion in to keep them company. This is far less stressful for them both
  • Please bring small furries in their cages as this will be less stressful for them than putting them into a strange cage (if their cage is very large, please call the surgery for advice in advance).

The morning of your pet’s anaesthetic:

You will most likely be given a specific time to bring in your pet to the surgery. If not, please arrive between 8.30am and 9.30am.

If your pet takes any regular medication then please check with the surgery beforehand as to whether you should give this on the morning of admission.

You will be seen by the admitting nurse or vet that morning. At admission you will be asked to read and sign a consent form for the procedure.

The consent form explains that there is always a potential risk involved with any anaesthetic or sedative, however, here at Twickenham Veterinary Surgery we use human standard anaesthetics which are very safe and the risks involved are minimal.

You will also be asked to leave a contact telephone number: please ensure that you leave a telephone number that you can be contacted immediately between 10am and 4pm.

Please read the consent form carefully at admission. The person signing the consent form must be over the age of 18.

You may request an estimate for the procedure, either prior to or at the time of admission.

However, please be aware that this is an estimate only and that further costs may be incurred should complications arise, or should a procedure be more complex than first thought.

We will make every attempt to contact you should a procedure look likely to exceed the estimate by more than 20%.

After admission:

Once your pet has been admitted to the surgery, they will be weighed and an injection of pre-med will be given. This is a sedative injection which contains pain relief as well.

Your pet will then be settled into their kennel for the day. All patients are housed in their own kennel and dogs, cats and small furries have their own wards.

Please be aware that your pet will have shaved areas where anaesthesia and surgery have been performed.

Your pet will be anaesthetised by the veterinary surgeon performing the procedure, and the anaesthetic will be monitored closely by one or more nurses, overseen by the veterinary surgeon. After their procedure, your pet will be returned to their kennel to recover, where they will be offered a drink of water and food if necessary.

We will advise you at admission when to contact the surgery to check on your pet’s progress. In most cases, if you have not heard from us by 3pm then please telephone the surgery. You will be given a time to collect your pet. Then the discharge nurse will go through any after-care instructions with you.

If your pet is insured, please bring a signed claim form and stamp addressed envelope with you.

The majority of our patients return home bright and bouncy the same day.

For more information or to speak to a member of our friendly team about your pet’s surgery, simply call Twickenham Veterinary Surgery on 020 8898 0528.