Grahams Road Veterinary Clinic 01324 623163


What to expect before & after your pet's surgery


What to expect before & after your pet's surgery

Pre Anaesthetic Starvation

Before having a routine general anaesthetic or sedation we require all dogs and cats to be starved for a period of twelve hours and their water to be removed at least 2 hours prior to admittance. These times may be adjusted according to your animals health and age.

Rabbits and small rodents do not require starvation before an anaesthetic.

Before Coming to the surgery:

  1. Please ensure your pet is clean - bathe where necessary unless he/she is sick.
  2. Exercise where possible to ensure that your pet has emptied their bladder and bowel.

At the Surgery:

  1. On admittance you will need to sign a form of consent (the signatory must be over 18 years old).
  2. We will need a contact phone number where we can contact you during the day of the operation.


We pride ourselves on using the safe and modern anaesthetic agents. We also use  up to date monitoring procedures and operating equipment.

If your animal had a general anaesthetic or sedation today then he/she may have had the front leg clipped for the anaesthetic injection. A tube may well have been placed into their airway, so a soft cough over the next few days is not unusual.

Blood Samples and Fluids

We recommend a pre-operative blood analysis for any older animal or if there are any concerns regarding their health. A general anaesthetic or sedation can worsen certain conditions so performing a blood analysis before the operation can minimise this risk.

A blood sample is quick and easy to perform. It causes minimal stress to most animals and will give us an enormous amount of information. Problems like diabetes, kidney and liver failure to mention just few of the more common ones can all be picked up before your animal actually becomes ill. All health problems stand a much better chance of treatment if they are picked up early. A routine blood sample is performed as part of the OAP package - please phone the surgery for more information.

During an anaesthetic the blood pressure will fall and the normal mechanisms which keep the pressure up don't function so effectively. Operations involving possible loss of blood can make this even more serious. If the blood pressure falls too low then life threatening organ damage can occur. For this reason we recommend that pets should be placed on fluids during the operation - please do ask your vet to discuss this more fully with you.


Your animal may well be sleepy of become tired quickly for another 1-2 days. They will not require exercising for the next 24 hours. Dogs should be confined to lead exercise for a varying length of time which will explained at the time of discharge.


Your pet may not want to eat on the day of the operation. Give frequent drinks of water and offer small amounts of tasty easily digestible food (for example chicken or fish and rice). In many cases we give out a recovery pack containing tinned bland food and this is included in the cost of our general anaesthetic. In some cases a prescription diet may be recommended.


Please give any drugs as directed on the label and bring your animal back for a complementary post-operative check and for removal of stitches/staples as advised.

Please contact the surgery if...

  1. Your pet is sick, refuses to eat or is lethargic after the first day.
  2. The operation site is bleeding or oozing. If your animal is licking excessively, try protecting the area with a sock, bandage as appropriate. Plastic collars designed to prevent licking are available from the surgery.
  3. If you at all worried that the recovery is not as you expected.

Special Instructions

We perform a wide variety of operations at the Grahams Road Veterinary Clinic on animals varying from dogs to hamsters. In each case we will probably give special instruction regarding the care of your pet. This advice will be given when you collect your animal or over the phone by a vet/nurse.