Before Surgery Care

At MVH we understand and value the bond between you and your pet and are committed to providing the best in veterinary medicine. For this reason we adhere to a standards of care policy, so your pet receives optimal treatment. Surgery at MVH includes the following key standards of care.

Pain relief

Pain relief is provided to all pets. For some procedures, we also provide take home medication so your pet can continue to recover comfortably at home.

Tailored anaesthesia

Your veterinarian will tailor an individual anaesthetic program for your pet, based on their age, breed, and current health status. We also use specialised equipment to monitor your pet during surgery.

Sterile surgery and dedicated theatre

Just as in human surgery, the MVH surgical team wear scrub suits or gowns for major surgery. Instruments are sterilised in an autoclave and we have a dedicated surgical theatre.

Before and after surgery monitoring

The dedicated nursing team at MVH will monitor your pet before, during and after surgery.

Fluid therapy

Every pet undergoing a surgical procedure at MVH has the option of being given intravenous fluids. This will help your pet’s liver and kidneys flush out anaesthetics and maintain better blood pressure during surgery. This means a safer anaesthetic and your pet will recover faster.

What do you need to think about the day before surgery?

The most important thing to remember is to restrict your pet from eating after 8pm the night before surgery. You can leave their water bowl out until early the next morning, at which time you will need to remove it.


Your pet will not be able to have a bath for at least 10-14 days after sterile surgery, therefore if your pet requires bathing we recommend that it be done prior to the day of surgery.

Up to date vaccinations

For the protection of all patients, all visiting pets must be vaccinated before elective surgery. We only accept unvaccinated pets in an emergency.

Time to microchip

Microchipping is a non-invasive, safe way of identifying your pet for life should they become lost. For the comfort of your pet, now is a great time to consider microchipping.

About anaesthetics

As in human medicine, the anaesthetics available for companion pets are extremely safe. As a result the risk is greatly minimised when a “healthy” pet is placed under anaesthetic. However if your pet is not “healthy”, complications may occur both during and after a surgical procedure. Unlike humans, pets cannot tell us when they feel unwell. Due to their natural instinct to protect themselves, they often “hide” their illness.

To better assess your pet’s overall health, it is sometimes necessary to perform a blood test prior to anaesthesia. This is a laboratory test that examines your pet’s major organs such as the ability of the liver and kidney to rid the body of drugs and medications. It also identifies abnormalities in blood cells such as the ability to carry oxygen, fight infection and clot.

If the test results are within normal ranges, we can proceed with confidence. On the other hand, if the results are not within the normal ranges, we may alter the anaesthetic procedure or in some cases, postpone the procedure in order to monitor and medically treat your pet.

Pets over 8 years of age or undergoing high risk surgical procedures need detailed pre-anaesthetic blood testing and pre and post-operative fluids.

Arriving at the vet clinic

When you first arrive at the clinic we will ask you to assist us in completing an admission form which includes contact phone numbers, as well as relevant information about your pet. If your pet has recently been ill, and we are not aware of it, we also request that you share this information with us.

Depending on the type of surgery being undertaken you may also need to see one of our veterinarians to review and share information about your pet’s health. If you think your pet may lick or chew at their wound, it is a good time to discuss this with our nurses. We may recommend an Elizabethan collar to assist during recovery. Finally, you are welcome to accompany our nurse to the hospital ward where your pet will be staying, to help settle him/her into their quarters.

What happens to your pet in the vet clinic?

Once your pet has been admitted, we will perform a health check-up and administer a sedative; this will help your pet to relax. Just like us, they too get anxious prior to surgery. An anaesthetic agent will be administered and an attending veterinary nurse will constantly monitor your pet’s vital signs right through to recovery. It will be necessary to clip your pet’s hair around the surgery area for optimum surgical conditions. After the surgery your pet will recover on a hygienic, dry, warm and fluff y bed. We treat your pets as if they are our own, and not only will our veterinary nurse continue to monitor recovery they will also give your pet the attention (and cuddles of course) they deserve.

Your day

We are often asked whether or not a pet parent should stay at home to care for a pet after surgery, particularly for routine surgery such as desexing. Generally pets make a speedy recovery after routine surgery. For this reason staying at home with them is not necessary as long as they have somewhere warm and comfortable to stay. However, if you are considering making special plans to be with your pet, we suggest you take the day off after surgery rather than the day of surgery.

Picking your pet up

Our veterinary nurse or veterinarian will explain how to take care of your friend at home, and provide you with a supplementary leaflet on providing the best care.