At HVC we understand that surgery for your pet can be an anxious and stressful experience for both of you. This is why we have created protocols that ensure your pet’s surgical procedure is as comfortable and as stress free as possible.

We will provide you with a clear understanding of:

  • why a particular procedure is necessary
  • what the procedure consists of
  • an estimated cost of the procedure
  • pre operative care instructions
  • post operative care instructions
  •  any other information that you may need to feel comfortable that you are making the right choice for your pet.


A nurse will call you the night before admission to confirm your appointment and answer any concerns you may have before surgery.

Admission for surgery is between 8am and 10am and a particular time will be made for you to ensure the morning flows smoothly. The admission process will take the nurse 5-10 mins to go through all relevant details with you.

Health Check

Once admitted to hospital your pets vital signs will be check to determine their health condition before surgery. The most important being the clarity of their heart and lungs and their temperature.

Supportive Techniques

All animals having a gas anaesthetic will be placed on intravenous fluid therapy during and after their procedure. This enables a safer anaesthetic; it helps maintain blood pressure, prevents dehydration and facilitates speedy delivery of pain relief and medications after surgery.

We highly recommend a small sample of blood is taken to perform a pre-anaesthetic blood test which will help reflect the internal health of your pet. This has been a highly successful procedure we have implemented as it has diagnosed health conditions that we were unaware of previously.

These combined practices as well as our team of experienced staff monitoring your pet  allow us todeliver the safest anaesthetic possible.

Equipment & Techniques

Here at Hamilton Veterinary Clinic we strive to use the most modern techniques and equipment for the ultimate care of your pets.

Once anaesthetized a trained nurse is always in attendance of your pet to safely monitor the anaesthetic. We also utilize specialist equipment such as a pulse oximeter, which measure heart rate and oxygen levels in the blood. We also use ECG machines, which records the electrical rhythm of the heart, and a Doppler blood pressure monitor.


On recovery the nurse that monitored your pet during surgery will call you when they are stable and assure you of their recovery and discuss the details of the procedure and discharge time.


For any procedures except a routine desexing your pet will be discharged by a vet and they will explain all of the aftercare information that you will need to know to care for your pet at home. You will also go home with an information sheet outlining aftercare instructions.

Pre Operative Instructions

If your pet is schedule to have surgery you will need to know:

  • Your pet needs to be fasted after 8pm the night before of food only. So no breakfast in the morning.
  • Your pet can have water overnight but take it away in the morning when you arise.
  • Admission is between 8am and 10am and an appointment will be booked when you schedule the surgery day
  • Take your dog for a walk before they enter the facility so they may empty their bowel or bladder if desired.
  • Discharge is usually between 3pm and 4pm dependant on the day.

Post Operative Instructions

Once your pet is discharged from our clinic there is some after care information that you should know.

  • Feeding – Your pet has received a general anaesthetic which may cause your pet to have some nausea and experience some vomiting. In this regard if your pet has some vomiting you should with hold food until the following morning after their surgery. If your pet hasn’t had any vomiting you can offer a small amount of food. If vomiting persists the following morning of surgery please call the clinic.
  • Activity – Please keep your pet quiet, dry and warm for the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. It is normal for your pet to be quiet and lethargic for the first 24 hours during recovery. If however you are worried at any point during the recovery period please contact the clinic.
  • Pain relief – If you pet has received a pain relief injection this should last for 24 hour which should keep your pet comfortable while they are recovering. This should be enough to see them through routine procedures. If you feel your pet is uncomfortable or irritable after this time please call the clinic and more pain relief can be dispensed. Symptoms of pain can be: panting or heavy breathing; holding their stomach muscles tightly: chewing at the surgical site; not eating or drinking; whimpering.
  • Bleeding – If there is excessive bleeding or excessive clear fluid weeping from the surgical area this is abnormal. Please call the clinic.
  • Swelling - Swelling is quite normal around or under the incision site and may increase over the first 48-72 hours. If the swelling persists or is accompanied by discolouration please call the clinic.
  • Suture Care - Your pet may have sutures in after their surgical procedure. If so it is important to keep the surgical site and sutures dry at all times. This will limit the chance of infection in this area. Suture removal is approximately 10 days after surgery.
  • Drain Care – If your pet has had a drain placed near their surgical site it is placed to allow excess fluid to escape the surgical area. You can help by applying light pressure with warm damp hand towels and massaging the area. Clear fluid should be escaping from the wound; if the discharge is cloudy or has an odour a recheck will be necessary. Drain removal will be advised by your veterinarian at time of discharge from our hospital.
  • Bandage care – If you pet has a bandage it is important to keep the bandage dry and clean. You can place a plastic bag over the bandage if your pet wants to go outside to the toilet to keep it clean and waterproof. Do not have this on for an extended period of time. Bandages should be changed and the wound checked every three days.
  • Fentanyl Patches – If your pet has had a Fentanyl pain relief patch applied it will last for 72 hours.  It is place under a bandage directly contacting with their skin. It is important to keep this area away from direct heat like heat mats and hot water bottles. On your recheck of three days that your veterinarian has made with you, we will remove the patch when we change your pets bandage. If your pet appears to be overly lethargic or sedate or is vomiting please call the clinic immediately for further instructions.
  • Dental Extractions – If your pet has had teeth extracted while having a dental today, this may mean there are dissolvable sutures in their mouth. Your pet would have had local anaesthetic injected into the gum where a deep routed tooth has been removed for extra pain relief. You should feed your pet soft food for the next 2-3 days to allow the gum to heal. A recheck of the mouth will occur 7 days post surgery to ensure the mouth has healed.

If you have any queries regarding post surgery care for your pet please contact our clinic and one of our friendly veterinary nurses will endeavour to answer your questions to your understanding.


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