Day Surgery Information

However large or small the operation, we know that it is anything but 'routine' for you and your pet.  Admitting your pet for an procedure can be worrying but we would like to help make the day go as smoothly as possible.


The day before

If your dog or cat is having a general anaesthetic, they must not be fed after 10pm the night before - so, dinner as normal, but no breakfast!  For rabbits and other small furries, the opposite applies - food must be available throughout the day of the operation and it is useful if you provide a "packed lunch" for your bunny of things he or she particularly likes.  Please check with us if you are at all unsure about pre-op instructions.



We admit patients for surgery from 8.30am at our Dover branch.  You will be seen by a vet or veterinary nurse who will make sure we have your details correct and check that your pet is ready to be admitted.  You will be asked to sign an "admission form" giving us permission to carry out the procedure.  Please make sure that you leave full contact details with us so that we can get in touch during the day if anything needs to be checked with you.


The operation

Your pet will be settled into a cosy kennel/cattery by our nursing staff.  Their procedure will be carried out during the morning according to our theatre lists that day; whether in main theatre, dental theatre, or our diagnostics suite.  We hope you understand that if an emergency case comes in, we sometimes have to delay non-urgent operations for a short time; but we aim to complete all day procedures by 2pm.


Going home

If we ask you to see the vet or nurse when you collect your pet, don't panic!  We just need to talk through post-operative care, so please make sure you have enough time for this.  If your pet is a chewer or a licker, we may suggest a collar ("lampshade") to prevent complications.  After the operation many of our patients are advised to alter their diet for a short time to foods that are easy to digest - you can purchase these from reception or we can provide advice on preparing your own at home. Most people find a tasty tin of food easier than cooking!  Consider your pet's condition when travelling home - he or she may be feeling a bit wobbly so we do not advise walking home.



At discharge you will be given specific instructions about looking after your pet after an operation.  This may include a level of confinement, limitations to exercise, and administering any medication.  We will want to see your pet approximately three days after surgery to make sure wounds are healing, check any dressings, and review pain control and other medication.  If there are non-dissolvable stitches or staples, these will need to be removed around 10 days after the operation.


If you have any questions at all about your pet's operation or recovery, at any stage, please do call and talk to us.  We provide our own 24-hour cover so are always available to answer questions, day or night.

Updated April 2020