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7 Questions To Ask Your Vet Before Surgery

At A Glance

As a pet owner, you need to know as much as possible about their upcoming surgery. Asking your vet questions and noting these critical details will help ensure a smooth recovery and the continued health of your pet:

  • Associated risks and costs
  • Pre-surgery tests and preparation
  • Post-surgery tips
  • Recovery period

Last Updated on: Nov 23, 2023

Table of Contents +

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If your pet requires surgery, it can be an anxious time with many uncertainties. To ensure the best care for your furry friend and your peace of mind, it’s crucial to have an open dialogue with your veterinarian. The right questions to ask your vet before surgery can help you better understand the procedure, risks, tests involved, and aftercare.

Here’s a guide to the essential questions you should ask your vet before your pet undergoes surgery.

Specific aftercare instructions will vary depending on the nature of your pet’s surgery, their condition before the procedure, and whether there were any complications. –Christina Fernandez, DVM, DACVECC

What Is the Diagnosis, and Why Is Surgery Needed?

Understanding the diagnosis is the first step. Ask your vet to explain the condition that necessitates surgery and how the procedure will help. It’s important to know if surgery is the only option or if there are alternative treatments you can pursue.

What Are the Risks Associated With the Surgery?

questions to ask - what are the risks associated with the surgery

Every surgical procedure carries some risk. Discuss the potential complications, both in general and specific to your pet’s condition. This includes risks related to anesthesia, the surgery, and post-operative complications.

Understanding these risks will help you make informed decisions every step of the way.

What Pre-Surgical Tests Are Needed?

Pre-surgical tests are vital in assessing your pet’s overall health and readiness for surgery. Inquire about blood tests, X-rays, or other diagnostics that will be performed prior to the surgery.

These will provide crucial information about your pet’s ability to handle anesthesia and may project their post-surgery prognosis.

How Should I Prepare My Pet for Surgery?

Your vet will provide specific instructions on how to prepare your pet for surgery. This may include fasting guidelines or medications. It’s also a good time to discuss concerns about your pet’s pre-surgical care.

What Is the Surgical Procedure, and What Equipment Is Used?

a vet examining a dog

A clear understanding of the surgical procedure is essential. Ask your vet to walk you through the steps of the surgery, including the duration and the type of equipment used. Specifically, ask about veterinary surgical drills used, so you know how your pet will be treated and how to help them recover after.

What Is the Expected Recovery Time and Aftercare?

Post-operative care is crucial for your pet’s recovery and long-term well-being. Inquire about the expected recovery time and the specific aftercare requirements, including pain management, wound care, dietary restrictions, and activity limitations.

Also, ask about scheduling follow-up visits or additional treatments after the surgery.

What Are the Costs Involved?

The financial element of the procedure is an important consideration. Request a detailed cost breakdown covering the surgery, anesthesia, pre-surgical tests, post-operative care, and other expenses. This information will help you with financial planning and pursuing insurance or payment options if needed.

Being financially prepared is vital to ensure your pet receives the best possible care.

Asking these questions will give you a complete understanding of the surgical procedure, the risks involved, and the care your pet will need before, during, and after. Open communication and the right questions to ask your vet before surgery are crucial to ensuring the best possible outcome.

Remember, no question is too small when it comes to the health and well-being of your furry companion.


General questions to ask your vet before surgery

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I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.