When are cat surgeries considered elective, non-elective, or emergency?

Elective cat surgeries include neutering, spaying, or a general dental cleaning with mild periodontal disease and not many expected dental extractions. More urgent surgeries might include issues like bladder stones, which indicate a need for surgery due to discomfort. Emergency surgeries are those that must be performed immediately, such as when there's an obstructive foreign body causing your cat not to be able to move food through its digestive system, or a bleeding tumor that's hemorrhaging in the abdomen and needs to be removed immediately to save its life.

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

What are the most common cat surgeries?

The most common cat surgeries are neutering and spaying. At our hospital, we also do quite a bit of dentistry, such as dealing with resorbing or traumatized teeth, fractured teeth, or tooth problems that are causing pain or significant inflammation in your pet.

What about tumors, foreign objects, and bladder stones?

Our hospital deals with bladder stones, foreign bodies (like your cat eating small plastic things or strings), fractures where they might need to set bones, laceration repairs, obstructions, and tooth fractures.

What kind of lab work needs to be done before having surgeries?

The lab work usually includes a CBC and a chemistry. We look at some biomarkers of health, such as whether your cat has enough red blood cells, if it's anemic, if it has enough platelets, and how the kidneys are functioning. We also check liver values and electrolytes.

How long is the recovery period?

The recovery period after cat surgery depends on the type of surgery performed. A cat neuter or a spay usually has a recovery period of about a day. If a cat has a tooth extraction, it's also maybe a day. Unfortunately, some cats are having much bigger surgeries, like a foreign body surgical procedure or extensive oral surgery, and these cats might take several days to start to feel better.

What can be done to help speed your cat's recovery after at home for surgeries?

To speed up recovery, it's important to follow your veterinarian's aftercare instructions. This might include how to administer their medications, how often to give them, where they should go when they come home from general anesthesia and surgery, and whether they are following their restriction guidelines. It's a partnership between you and your veterinarian.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Cat Surgery - FAQs

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

What questions should we ask my vet before and about my cat surgery?

Your questions about cat surgery really involve what type of surgery your pet's going to have. If your cat is going to have a neuter or maybe a spay, you're going to want to ask what are the aftercare instructions, do I have any wound care that I need to do, what do I need to watch for regarding that surgical site? If your cat is having anesthesia and surgery for dental health issues, then you want to know what kinds of foods they can eat and how to take care of their teeth afterwards. The kind of questions you ask will depend on what type of surgery your cat is going to have. Your veterinarian will give you specific aftercare instructions on how to take care of them at home.

Will my cat be intubated for surgery?

If your cat is having any type of real surgical procedure, we are going to intubate them. Intubation is when we take an endotracheal tube and put it down into their tracheas, through their mouth. This allows us to control their oxygen levels, their breathing, and protect their airway from secretion.

How will my veterinarian communicate with me after my cat surgery?

After your cat has had surgery, there will be aftercare instructions that will go home with you. We will go over those discharge instructions with you in an exam room. Often a pet nurse, especially the one that's usually involved in the care of that cat, will go over those instructions with you, make sure you understand them, and have you sign consent that you received those instructions. We also have an aftercare telehealth app, so-called Anapanion, which you can use to reach out to us with questions after you take your cat home.

Will my cat be in pain after surgery?

The pain level your cat experiences depends on the procedure they had. We use a lot of preemptive pain management. Before we do something painful to your cat at the surgical site, we will preemptively give them pain control using pain reliever medications and local nerve blocks. We will also give your cat pain medication to take home, so that they continue to have pain control therapeutics at home. However, surgery is surgery, and it evokes pain. We can't take all pain away, but we do our very best to reduce it. We want you to know what kind of pain relievers your cat is having, and how we help keep them comfortable and keep them moving forward in their recovery at home.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Cat Surgery - FAQs

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

Are there risks associated with cat surgery?

Yes, cat surgery is just like human surgery. It involves altering tissues which can lead to inflammation and bleeding. There's also a risk of infection. It's important to discuss these risks with your veterinarian, particularly in relation to the specific type of surgery your cat will be having.

How can the risks of cat surgery be minimized?

The risks of cat surgery can be minimized through various methods. Anesthesia safety and surgical safety are paramount. Surgical safety includes using sterile, properly autoclaved instruments, and properly preparing the surgical site. This includes proper clipping and aseptic technique, which involves cleaning the surgical site appropriately. At Blue Oasis Pet Hospital, we are an AAHA certified hospital and we adhere to certain standards to help mitigate infection. In the field of dentistry, for example, we use good technique and proper, sharp instruments. We replace items like dental burrs after using them once. Your veterinarian has numerous ways to prepare the surgical site carefully and correctly, and to help reduce the risk of infection afterwards.

Are there side effects and possible complications of surgery for my cat?

Yes, there can be side effects and complications from cat surgery. Infection is one of the most common complications post-surgery. Cats sometimes lick their surgical sites which can lead to the site opening up, or dehiscence. Inflammation in the form of swelling can also occur. For instance, after a cat's spay operation, there could be seroma, or swelling, if the cat is too active too soon, causing fluid to get into the surgical site. A rare but serious complication is a complete dehiscence of a surgical wound, such as when an incision into the abdominal cavity comes undone. I've only seen this once in my career, it's very rare. But the way we prepare the surgical site and the aftercare your cat receives can help to reduce these risks.

Will my cat be monitored and will my cat be intubated?

Yes, if your cat is undergoing general anesthesia at our hospital, they will be intubated. A tube will be inserted down their throat and they will be monitored both by a certified or qualified individual and electronically. This is to make sure they remain safe while under general anesthesia. Please reach out to Blue Oasis Pet Hospital if you have any questions about cat surgery and the safety measures we take around general anesthesia and surgery.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Cat Surgery - FAQs 3

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

What can I do at home to get my cat ready for surgery?

One of the things that you should do before your cat's surgery is to prepare them and their environment. If your cat is difficult to catch, consider putting them in a smaller room overnight so that they're easier to handle in the morning. It's also a good idea to have the carrier out for several days before the surgery, as cats can get nervous if they see the carrier come out just before they have to leave.

We often prescribe a calming therapy for your cat. One of the most common medications we prescribe is gabapentin, which is given at home, usually the morning of surgery. If your cat is particularly anxious, we might even have you give a dose the night before surgery. This is all to ensure your cat feels calm and comfortable when coming in for anesthesia and surgery. When your cat comes home after surgery, it's best to keep them in a calm, quiet space away from children and other animals, allowing them to reacclimate at their own pace.

Does my cat need to be fasted for surgery?

Yes, ideally your cat should be fasted for surgery. This means no food after around eight or nine o'clock at night, and none in the morning. The one exception is for giving your cat its calming medication. We allow a small amount of canned food or a Churu or squeeze-up to encourage them to take their medication. Aside from this, your cat should not have any big meals. However, your cat should have access to water, as it's important that they stay hydrated.

How soon can my cat come home?

The time your cat can come home depends on the time and type of procedure they had. For example, if they had a minor procedure like a neuter, they can usually go home a couple of hours after surgery. However, for bigger procedures like bladder stone removal, we need to monitor them for a longer period, so they might stay with us for the better part of the day. Regardless, all our surgical patients go home by the end of the day, often by five o'clock in the evening to recuperate at home.

What do I need to know about taking care of my cat after the surgery?

Aftercare instructions will be provided both verbally and in written form when you're here, as it's crucial that you know what to do when you take your cat home. Most instructions are common sense, such as keeping them away from small children and other pets that might harm them. We want them in a quiet environment as they recover from the procedure. We'll also guide you on how to care for them and what to watch for at their surgical sites.

Will my cat need pain medication afterwards?

Yes, depending on the type of procedure, we'll prescribe multiple days of pain medication for your cat to take home. We'll go over the medication and how you should administer it. Most of our surgical patients go home on some type of pain management, as we want them to be comfortable and pain-free.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram