Labrador having treatment

Questions to Ask Before Scheduling Pet Surgery

It can be very unsettling hearing your pet requires surgery. Whether it is something routine and recommended such as spaying or neutering, or something required due to a health condition, if your pet needs surgery there are some important questions you should ask before the surgery is scheduled.

Is Surgery the Only Treatment Option?


Your Little Rock veterinarian is only going to recommend surgery when they feel it is the best option. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the only option. Ask what other treatments are available and the expected outcomes to help you make an informed decision on what procedure or treatment is best.

What is the Diagnosis?


You’ll want to know exactly why surgery is being recommended and this means asking your vet for cats or dogs in Little Rock AR about the diagnosis. Keep in mind, in some cases it is specific and can be explained based on the condition or disease, such as a tumor. In other cases, the actual diagnosis might not be confirmed, yet the treatment of surgery has been determined as the best way to help address the issue.

What are Possible Complications?


Asking what are the possible complications is important as you want to weigh the diagnosis and possible outcomes, against risks and complications. While there are some general risks associated with general anesthesia, each procedure will pose its own potential complications your vet will be willing to discuss. Complications range from typical bruising or swelling to infections, uncontrolled bleeding or even death.

Is this a Common Procedure You’ve Performed?


Don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian outright about their experience performing the procedure. You want an experienced vet who will be less likely to cause issues or complications and feels confident with the procedure and treatment.

What is the Prognosis?


This is the expected outcome of the surgery. It tells you if your pet will be likely to go on to lead a long and healthy life, or if they might only survive a few months or so for serious conditions such as cancer. Again you want to weigh the benefits to your pet and decide if it’s worth putting them through the stress of surgery.

What Does the Surgery Involve?


This conversation can be a little tough going as your vet explains the procedure. However, it can help you understand what to expect. Be sure to ask questions if they use terms you don’t understand, or if they have gotten too involved in their description.

Will My Pet Require A Stay At Little Rock Animal Hospital?


If your pet does require overnight care, your vet will explain if it is a single night, or if they will need further time for observation. In most cases, your pet will return home the same day, but if you aren’t comfortable with your dog being away from you, you can ask if there are other options.

What Post-surgery Care is Required?


Your vet for dogs in Little Rock AR will explain post-surgery care requirements such as:

  • Pain control requirements
  • Having to change bandages
  • What signs to watch for that something is wrong, so you know when to bring them for emergency attention
  • Special diet requirements
  • Medications
  • Wearing a cone to stop them from chewing at their stitches


Each case will be different, but following the instructions carefully is very important for your pet’s recovery.

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