Lebanon Veterinary Clinic

926 Lynn St
Lebanon, MO 65536



What You Need To Know Before Surgery

Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help.  It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.


Is the anesthetic safe?

Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past.  Here at Lebanon Veterinary Clinic, we do a thorough pre-anesthetic exam on your pet the morning of surgery prior to administering anesthetics.  The amount and type of anesthetic used is adjusted to best fit your pets needs!  If you have additional questions please schedule a pre-surgical consultation to discuss any concerns you have! 

Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing.  If there is a problem, it is much better to find it 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 may be postponed until the problem is corrected.

We offer three levels of in-house pre-surgical testing.  Our doctors prefer

Wellness screen for pets under 7 years of age undergoing a preventative care procedure.

Comprehensive screening for pets who are older or have an ongoing medical issue.  

For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required.

It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during anesthesia and surgery!  You will need to withhold food for at least 8 hours before surgery.  Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.


Will my pet have stitches?

For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin.  These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Other surgeries we place external skin suture. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. 

Many dogs and cats will lick excessively at the incision, we strongly recommend a Elizabethan or inflatable collar to prevent them from causing infection and trauma to the surgery site.  If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery.  You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed until 24 hour after sutures are removed.


Will my pet be in pain?

Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals.  Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don't whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it.  Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed.  Major procedures require more pain relief than things like a toe nail torn off.

For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling.  We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset and can be given even the morning of surgery.

Cats are much more sensitive to pain medications. Fortunately recent advances in pharmacology now allow us several options for keeping cats comfortable before, during and after surgery. These medications are tailored to your individual pet to ensure the best and safest pain control possible. 

Injectable pain medications is also be used before, during and after surgery on both dogs and cats.  Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is the humane and caring thing to do for your pet.


What other decisions do I need to make?

While your pet is under anesthesia, is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as ear cleaning, skin tag removal or nail trims.  If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time.  This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care.

When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available.  The admission and discharge times will be scheduled when the appointment is made. When you pick up your pet after surgery plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs.

We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have.  In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery.