Before Surgery

Surgical success actually starts well before the surgery happens. A period of confinement and convalescence is required post-operatively for all surgical procedures. Preparing for this ahead of time makes bringing your pet home after surgery much easier.

Confinement Preparations

Depending on the size of your pet, confinement may include options such as a crate, cage, or small room. This space should be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down, but not large enough to allow them to be overly active. If your pet is large, and a small room is being used as confinement, it should have good footing (rugs/mats with rubber footing to prevent slipping) and be free of objects, such as furniture or appliances, that your pet could jump on/off. We recommend that the perfect confinement for a cat is a dog crate large enough for a bed, litter-box, and food & water bowls. The best analogy that humans can relate to the appropriate size confinement for their pet is if your human doctor puts you on bed rest - most of us sleep in a King or Queen sized bed, which is about as wide and long as we are tall. If we are on bed rest, we are allowed to get up only to go to the bathroom or refill our beverage cup. When we recommend strict confinement for our veterinary patients, similar rules should apply. They should be out of their confined area only for elimination (urination, defecation) and to eat and drink. They should be kept on a short leash at all times when they are out of their confinement to prevent them from being overly active and injuring their surgical site. Do not use a retractable leash while your pet is recovering from surgery.

Sling Assisted Walking

For some patients, sling assistance may be recommended after surgery. A sling can be created by rolling a beach towel long-ways. There are also several very nice slings available online for purchase. If you are interested in using a sling for recovery, plan/order ahead and bring it with you when you drop your pet off or pick them up after surgery, and your veterinarian and their staff can help you get it fitted to your pet at the time of discharge. Clients have provided positive reviews of the following harnesses/slings: T.U.S.H Harness, Help ‘Em Up Harness, Walkabout Harness.


The night before surgery, your pet should fast after midnight - no food, water only. They can have water until the time you transport them to your veterinarian’s office, but no food/treats should be allowed after midnight the night before. Special allowances may be made on a case-by-case basis.

On the day of surgery, make sure to bring any medications and/or special diet food that your pet is receiving. A list of the last time they received any medications is also advised.