Preparying Yourself and Your Pet for Surgery

Your pet has been booked into Castlemaine Vet Clinic for Surgery and there are some important things you need to know.

Some of the language you may expect to hear when booking surgery for your pet.

Fasting: In order for your pet to have surgery it is important they have no food in their stomach - water is ok

Pre Admission Time: The time of day that we request you to be in the clinic to book your pet in for surgery on the day of their scheduled surgery.

Discharge Appointment: The time we ask you to come into the clinic to collect your pet after they have had their surgery and have recovered.

Post Operative Check (POC): An appointment we ask you to make after the surgery has been completed to check the surgery site and wellbeing of your pet (not all surgeries require a POC) 

Catheter site: Often a bandage site on your pet’s leg where the catheter has been placed.  A catheter is a special port that allows medication and fluids to directly enter your pets circulation system (blood/vein).  If this bandage is still on when you pick up your pet the bandage can be removed as soon as you get home.  The bandage is placed to put pressure on the site where the catheter was to reduce any blood flow.

Surgeries: Examples of routine surgeries include; desexing, ear flushing, dentals, grass seed removal; 

Examples of non-routine surgeries include; X Rays, tumor removals, eye/eyelid surgery, surgically removing/treating infections, foreign body removal, orthopedics ...


On most occasions you will have been in discussion with your vet about the surgery required and what it entails.  You will be notified of the day that the surgery will take place.  Each vet at Castlemaine Vet has a dedicated surgery day - the vet you initially discuss the surgery with is not always the surgery vet - if there is a specific vet you want to do the surgery please discuss with reception.  


The day before Surgery

❏ Please check with reception your contact details are up to date.  The day before surgery you will receive a text message from the clinic stating the time you are to bring your pet into the clinic for admission (if Surgery is booked for a Monday you will receive this text on a Friday or Saturday prior).

❏ Your Pet can have dinner the night before the Surgery but please ensure your Pet does not consume any food after 8 pm the night before Surgery.  If you have a cat please ensure all cat food is out of reach overnight.  Water and access to water is ok both the evening before and morning of the surgery.

The day of Surgery

❏ Your Pet is not allowed to have breakfast, treats or anything but water in the morning of their surgery

❏ Please arrive at Castlemaine Vet Clinic between 8:30 am and 9:00 am on the morning of the surgery

At the Clinic in the Morning

❏ Reception will greet you and mark that you have arrived.  If possible, reception will ask you to weigh your pet and that weight will be recorded.  You will be asked to take a seat and wait for the surgery nurse.

❏ A surgery nurse will admit your pet, and go through the procedure with you.  You are welcome to ask questions of the surgery nurse, in some instances the surgery nurse may consult the vet and get back to you.

❏ The surgery nurse will then take your pet out the back and we will make contact with you once the surgery is complete, later on that day.


Your pet may not go to surgery straight away.  Each day there is a surgery list and the vet and nurses decide on the day where each animal will go on the list.  Most surgeries are completed by 1:30 pm each surgery day.

At the Clinic in the Afternoon

❏ The clinic will make contact with you once the surgery is complete to let you know how it went and what time you can pick your pet up.

❏ A discharge time will be made with you.  Please arrive at the clinic at the designated time.

❏  At the discharge the nurse will go through with you how the surgery went and inform you of what medications (if any) your pet is going home with and when to start medication.

❏  You may be asked to make a follow up appointment with reception for a post op check or stitches out or both.

❏  The surgery vet will contact you via phone on any non routine procedure to further discuss the surgery, the findings and any follow up.  In some instances an appointment with the vet may be made either at the discharge time or another time.

Once at home

❏  You will be required to keep your pet quiet for the rest of the day in a warm, dry environment where you can keep an eye on them.

❏  Your pet on most occasions can have a small meal in the evening of their surgery day.

❏  You will need to watch for any unusual behaviour such as excessive panting, drooling, coughing.  It is usual for your pet after surgery to look and behave a bit drowsy, and sleepy.

❏  If you have any concerns please contact the clinic or if it is after hours please TEXT the after hours number on 0439 480 866.  Please ensure you text this number.

Post Operative Check

❏ After your pets surgery you will return to the clinic to have a post operative check if required.   At the POC you will meet with the vet or nurse to discuss your pet's progress, recovery and if available,  required, results. 

❏ You will also be required to return to the clinic to have stitches removed where a nurse will meet with you to remove stitches.

❏ You are welcome to ask questions at any of these appointments or make contact with the clinic.  On most occasions the vet may not be able to speak directly with you, but a nurse is usually available.  


We wish you and your pet very well during a surgery procedure, it can be tough going for animals, and dedicated pet parents, but please be rest assured your pet is in our loving, expert and compassionate hands.