What To Expect When Your Pet Will Be Having Surgery

We understand that this is a stressful time when you learn that you pet is having surgery or needs an emergency anesthetic procedure. It is very important to follow all instructions you are given from our team and veterinarians to ensure a successful outcome.


Our team may make several recommendations to help your pet be prepared for surgery. Bloodwork is required in all senior patients (over 6 years of age) for their safety.


On the evening before surgery, you need to restrict food and water. We usually advise patients:

  • Take up food at 10pm. Please remember to remind your entire family to not feed breakfast or treats in the morning.

  • Your pet may have access to water overnight, but please restrict access the morning of your appointment.

  • If your pet is currently on any medications, injections or supplements, ask our team for instructions on whether to give the medication prior to surgery.


We schedule most surgeries in the morning, and we need you to arrive before 8:30 am for checkin. Please plan on the possibility of checkin taking 30 minutes.

Keep your phone with you at all times during the day. We will also as that you name a second person that our team can reach if needed. Most surgerical procedures are completed by late morning, but sometimes will recommend that they stay with us overnight.


Your pet should feel good, eat well, and their incision should not be red, swollen, or oozing. If you notice any vomiting, lethargy, poor appetite, leaking or oozing from the incision, call us right away at 864-288-4000.

  • Eating: Most pets are groggy after surgery and may not eat the first night they are home. This is normal and you do not need to worry. For the first night home, only offer small amounts of food and water (about half of what you normally offer). The following morning you can return to a normal feeding schedule. Dental procedures with extractions may vary from this, in that we will likely as you to feed soft food for a week or two while any gingival sites heal.

  • Medications: There are several pain medications that may be prescribed to help your pet after surgery. Read and follow the label directions carefully. It is best to give these medications with food if possible. Your pain medications will be explained and reviewed when you pick up. If you have any questions about them, please give us a call.

  • Exercise: It is very important to restrict exercise for the first week. During the days following surgery, pets will become increasingly active, especially since we have provided pain medications, but it is important to confine them and supervise their activity. This means: no jumping/running, no stair climbing (unassisted), no “rough-housing” or playing with other pets for the first week following surgery. Short walks for exercise are OK as long as your pet is leashed and under your control.

  • The incision: Check your pet’s surgery incision at least once a day. Make sure they are not licking or chewing at it. If you see any licking at the incision (or suspect they have been licking), you likely need to use an e-collar.

    • You can purchase one at Oasis Animal Hospital or from local pet stores. The incision should be clean, dry, and not swollen. Do not apply any ointments or wound products to the incision as it can slow down healing. Finally, no bathing until we have removed the sutures and checked the incision, and no swimming until two weeks after surgery. If the surgery requires sutures to be removed, you will likely have this appointment 7-10 days after surgery.

It’s important to understand that there is always a risk of anesthetic and surgical complications for any procedure. At Oasis Animal Hospital, we strive to take the highest quality care of your pet, and we take all the added precautions (as allowed by the owner) to avoid potential complications. We are grateful for our clients for entrusting their pets’ health to us.

If you have any questions or concerns about surgery, please contact our office.