What You Need to Know Before Your Cat’s Upcoming Surgery

Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every cat needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.

We offer three levels of in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your cat in. Our doctors prefer the more comprehensive screen, because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your cat. For geriatric or ill cats, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.

It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for your cat until the morning of surgery.
While your cat is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such implanting an identification microchip.

When you bring your cat in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available. When you pick up your cat after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your cat’s home care needs.

We send confirmation emails to remind you of your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your cat off and remind you to withhold food for 8-10 hour before surgery. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your cat’s health or surgery.