We realise that the time before surgery or examination proves stressful for you - we’ve been through it many times, both with very young and elderly animals as well. Can this stress be minimised? It will certainly be easier for you if you are aware of how to prepare your pet for the procedure at least in general. This will allow you to get used to the situation, minimise your fear and approach the situation more rationally, and most of all, without panic!

Depending on what your pet is going to go through - the way of preparing it is going to be different. Some treatments require just a visit to the clinic, others will require a 24-hour fast.

Blood tests

To prepare your animal for blood tests, it’s best that his last meal was a good portion of evening dinner. Testing is done best in the morning for the most accurate results. Don’t forget about the fact that the pet needs free access to water - it will be much harder for a dehydrated furry to draw blood. By any circumstances don’t give any treats 8 hours before blood sampling - they may lead to lipemia, which may distort the result!

Some tests (e.g. dexamethasone stimulation) require several blood samples at strictly defined intervals, so you have to be prepared for it. In the case of thyroid tests - the test should also be performed in the morning, and if your pet has already treated the thyroid gland - blood collection should take place exactly 6 hours after administration of the morning pill.

Tests under general anaesthesia and surgeries

As a standard, the animal shouldn’t be given anything to eat for 12 hours prior to the scheduled procedure, including treats! You don’t want your pet to vomit right after being anaesthetised? Moreover, before anaesthesia, blood tests should be performed and the animal should be checked for symptoms (apathy, diarrhoea, coughing). Also remember to inform the doctor about heat - they may, for safety reasons, prevent the procedure.

Diagnostic imaging

In the case of X-ray, tomography or magnetic resonance imaging procedures, exactly the same procedures apply as for anaesthesia, there are no additional recommendations, unless the doctor states otherwise. In the case of X-rays, the assistance of a caregiver is often required to help restrain the animal. In many situations, it’s not even necessary for an X-ray image to anesthetize the animal.

In the case of an ultrasound examination, the important information is which area of ​​the body will be examined. In the case of the abdominal cavity, the animal should be fasted for at least 12 hours, and the day before it should be given a drug for flatulence (eg. Espumisan) in a dose consulted with the veterinarian. For bladder examination - make sure that the animal does not have an empty bladder - only a filled, at least partially, bladder can be examined correctly.

Endoscopy, bronchoscopy, colonoscopy

All such procedures require an absolute fasting for 12 hours (and 24 hours in the case of colonoscopy) and no water administration for approx. 6 hours before the procedure. For bronchoscopy, an echo of the heart and a chest X-ray are additionally required. In the case of colonoscopy, in addition to fasting, the pet will also be given a double enema - 8 and 4 hours before the procedure.

I hope that now that you know what-to and how-to, you’ll ensure the safety of your pet and your troubled nerves calm down a bit as you prepare for the upcoming vet visits in the best possible way! Remember that the right mental attitude is just as important as “physical” preparation - your calmness will certainly make things easier for your pet.

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