Vet visits can be stressful for your pet. Some animals get nervous riding in the car. Others might balk at strangers and new places. A scared or anxious animal makes providing treatment difficult. Sensitive pets can be traumatized after surgery, which can complicate healing and aftercare.
When your pet is scheduled for spaying, neutering, or a pain management surgery, these tips can help keep your pet calm before and during the office visit.
Transporting Indoor Pets
For animals that rarely leave their home property, moving them to the place of your appointment can be the biggest obstacle. In this situation, a little preparation will go a long way in improving your pet’s mood.
A carrier that provides limited viewing reduces sensory input that can confuse and upset pets. Choose a model with mesh windows so you can peek in on your pet. You don’t need a large one. Pets should be able to stand up and turn around comfortably. Check for adequate ventilation holes before purchasing a carrier.
If you’re using an old carrier, check the seams, zippers, and fabric for tears or damage. A nervous animal can claw a hole in tattered carriers that they can use to escape. Complete your inspection several days before your scheduled appointment so you have time to replace or repair it.
Prepare the carrier the night before your appointment. Line the inside with a towel or your pet’s favorite blanket. Leave it open so your pet can explore it. That will help them associate the carrier with the comforts of home when they are in unfamiliar places.
For larger pets, a large wire-frame cage will keep them secured in one place during transport. Bring a large blanket for cushioning and a favorite toy to distract them during the drive.
The veterinarian will give you a list of instructions to prepare your pet for surgery. While these may vary slightly, they usually include restricting food, drink, and other activities for a few hours prior to admittance.
For operations that require full anesthesia, your animal will need to have an empty stomach. When sedated, the stomach and throat muscles relax. Your pet could choke on undigested food, or bits of it could go into the lungs and cause pneumonia and other respiratory issues.
Remove your pet’s food 12 hours before you check in with the vet. Ask your doctor if you can provide a water dish. A hungry animal can be extremely persuasive. Make sure all family members know your pet’s food is being restricted.
For families with multiple animals, it could be easier to isolate the animal to another room overnight. If your vet offers pet boarding, you could drop your pet off the night before. That will also give pets time to relax and adjust to their surroundings.
Feeding instructions might be different for animals with health conditions like diabetes. Always follow the directions given by your vet.
Finally, remember to talk to your vet about any medications your animal takes regularly.
Going to the vet doesn’t have to be a struggle. In the Colorado Springs area, contact the experts at Northwest Animal Hospital and Pet Care Center for more ways to make surgery day stress-free for you and your pet.