Things you should know about preparing your pet for an anaesthetic procedure and the care of your pet while in hospital.



  • No food is to be given after 8pm the night before admission. Water can be given.
  • Please ensure that your pet has been to the toilet before admission, the nurses and he/she will appreciate this.
  • Allow 5-10 minutes when you bring your pet into the hospital as you will be asked to sign a surgical consent form.
  • If your pet requires medications while in hospital, please bring them with you and let the nurses know the last time the medications were given.
  • If you are running late, please let us know so that we can rearrange the day’s schedule.


As above but please note the following:

  • For abdominal x-rays, your pet should not be fed for 24 hours before admission, if possible. Water can be given.
  • Please ensure that your pet has been to the toilet as faecal material and a full bladder can obscure other organs that we are trying to view.


The Health and Safety of Your Pet is our Foremost Concern!

Through blood testing prior to anaesthesia we can better understand your pet’s overall health status. By testing the blood we can:

  • Evaluate the status of your pet’s major organs especially the function of the liver and kidneys.
  • Gather information about red blood cells, white bloods cells and platelets.

This information tells us if the body is able to

  • receive sufficient oxygen & nutrients
  • fight infection
  • process the drugs we will be giving

Results of These Tests Will Determine Your Pet’s Readiness for Surgery

* If the results of these tests are within normal ranges, we can proceed with confidence knowing the anaesthetic risk is minimized
* If the results are abnormal we may:

  • alter the dose or type of anaesthetic used
  • provide medical support during and after the procedure
  • postpone the procedure in order to monitor and medically treat your pet.

We need to clip some hair away from the throat or leg area to collect 1-2ml of blood for these tests.


After the blood test results have been checked, your pet will be given a premedication injection. This is to make him/her calm and relaxed before the full anaesthetic induction.


Before your pet is administered the anaesthetic, a catheter will be placed in his/her front leg and attached to IV Fluids.

The fluids will help:

  • maintain blood pressure
  • help the body to replace fluid lost during the procedure.
  • gives us IV access if needed during surgery

When you collect your pet you may find a small bandage on his/her leg where the catheter was, this can be removed later in the evening. A small amount of hair will need to be clipped from the foreleg for this process.


The drug used is determined by the state of your animal?s health and the type of operation your pet will undergo. Injections are given through the IV line.

Next, an endotracheal tube is placed in the windpipe (you may have seen this done on E.R. or Animal Hospital) and this tube is attached to a gaseous anaesthetic machine. The anaesthetic machine maintains your pet under general anaesthesia for the rest of the surgery, x-ray or dental procedure


Your pet will be monitored by our staff and equipment at all stages of their stay with us. After the surgery/procedure, they will be placed in one of our individual recovery kennels where they are monitored until they are fully recovered.

A nurse will give you a ring once your pet has recovered from the anaesthetic. This is to confirm at what time you may collect your pet. Please do not be alarmed if you are asked to leave your pet with us a little longer, this means that your pet has not had enough time to recover. In most cases, your pet should be able to go home by late afternoon if there are no complications. Some procedures may require an overnight stay.


When you come to collect your pet there will be things that our staff will need to discuss with you regarding home care. On most occasions you will be able to meet the veterinarian who has performed the surgery .The dedicated nurse who has cared for your pet for the day will go through details specific to the relevant procedure. This will consist of:

  • when/what you can feed your pet
  • suture care (if applicable)
  • medications that your pet may need following surgery
  • any revisits that may be necessary.

With routine sterilisation pain relief is included by injection in hospital and/or tablets to take home.


Thank you for taking the time to read our information handout, this is aimed at helping you understand your pet?s stay with us for his/her procedure. At Busselton Vet Hospital we believe in doing everything we can to ensure your pet has the benefits of modern veterinary medicine. We will make your pet’s stay as comfortable as possible and endeavour to make it a positive experience for both of you.