Before and After an Operation


Pre- and Post-Operative Care

All patients booked in for a planned operation first see one of our vets for a short appointment that morning. This allows you to discuss any concerns with the vet, or to ask questions as the procedure is explained. We will ask for a contact number to be able to update you on your pet’s condition and to arrange a discharge appointment later that day.

Please consider in advance of the admission appointment whether you would like your pet to undergo any additional procedures such as microchipping or having his/her nails clipped whilst under anaesthetic.



  • It is important that dogs have not eaten in the morning of their anaesthetic, and so we request that dogs do not have access to food from midnight of the night before.
  • Allow access to water until you come to the admission appointment.
  • Take your dog for a short walk on a lead so that he/she is able to go to the toilet before coming to us.


  • Cats also cannot eat during the morning of their anaesthetic, and so we request that they do not have access to food from midnight of the night before.
  • Therefore, please keep cats inside overnight prior to an anaesthetic so they could not have eaten through hunting and they will not have gone missing overnight!
  • Allow access to water until you come to the admission appointment.

Rabbits and other smaller animals

  • It is really important for the rabbit’s recovery to keep eating and drinking as usual prior to an anaesthetic.
  • As a result, please offer food and water as normal. When possible, we request that you bring a small amount of your pet’s favourite food to the admission appointment to help ensure that your rabbit continues to eat whilst with us.
All owners will have a pre-arranged discharge appointment with one of our nurses or vets. A written guide is created for you to take home which is also discussed in person. This describes lots of key information, particularly any medications you may need to administer and also when you pet needs further post-operative checks with the vet. It is routine for us to explain aftercare instructions without the pet present to help you take in the key details.

Below is a very brief indication of common features that you may expect following an operation.


  • The night after an operation your dog does not need a walk. A short, supervised trip to the garden is enough to give him/her a chance to go to the toilet.
  • Please offer a small, light meal such as chicken and rice or scrambled eggs and ensure that water is always available.
  • Over the next few days, gradually increase his/her exercise back to their normal habits. We request that dogs are kept on a lead to minimise movement of their surgical wound.


  • We recommend that cats are kept inside for at least 24 hours following an operation so that you can be sure that they are safe within the home while they are recovering from an anaesthetic. Often where we have placed stitches within the skin a cat will need to remain inside until these are removed.
  • On the night following the anaesthetic, please offer a small amount of light food such as chicken or white fish.
  • Always ensure that water is available.


  • As before the procedure, continue to offer your rabbit its usual food and any favourite items to help encourage him/her to eat.
  • If a rabbit does not eat within 24 hours of an anaesthetic, please contact us immediately.
  • He/she should be able to stay within housing, providing it is warm and draught-free.
  • In the warmer months, please check any wounds more frequently to check for signs of fly strike. Contact us at once if you see maggots on your small pet.