Most important, know your cat. Check the color of her gums and paw pads. Then after the surgery, you’ll be able to see right away if there’s a difference. Paler gums or pads could indicate internal bleeding. Does her breed have particular health problems like heart disease? Is she a stray? She might have already been spayed so check for a scar or a tattoo. Be sure to talk about any medications your cat takes.
Make a list of questions—you don’t want to get nervous or feel rushed and forget one or two.
Surgery Practices –
- What kind of anesthesia will be used? Gas has a faster recovery rate than an injectable.
- Will IV fluids be given during surgery to prevent a drop in blood pressure?
- Will pain meds be given prior to surgery and how long will they be effective after your cat comes home?
- Is surgical glue used or dissolving stitches?
- Who will do the surgery? How many spay/neuters has the vet done? How many are done in a day?
- Will someone monitor your cat during the recovery period after surgery, before pickup time?
- Are there any tests that need to be done prior to surgery?
Post-op Care –
- What kind of behavior should you expect to see once the cat is back home?
- Is an e-collar necessary or can a baby-sized shirt or tube sock be used to keep the cat from pulling out stitches?
- When should you bring the cat back if stitches need to be removed by the veterinarian?
- What is the number of the emergency clinic? Just in case.
- Is a small amount of discharge at the incision site okay and what is too much?
- Should the cat be kept away from other pets and children?
- Is it normal to miss a meal or two? When will her appetite return?
- What if the cat’s avoiding the litter box?
- What if the cat goes into hiding and won’t come out?
- Most important (to the cat), will she have to wear the e-collar for a whole two weeks? Can it be off while you can be with her? Especially when she eats?
It’s natural to be nervous about any procedure but arming yourself with information will get both you and your cat through the operation and recovery. Read more about What to Look for After the Surgery.
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