Caring for Your Pet Before and After Surgery

Ask PHP Pete!

Dear PHP Pete,

My precious pooch is facing surgery. He takes several medications each day and the veterinarian says that he will be prescribing additional medications for after surgery. I want to make sure my dog stays safe and has the medications he needs. What steps should I take regarding my pet’s medications before the big day?


Always Prepared

Dear Always Prepared,

There are several things to consider before your pet’s surgery. Make sure your veterinarian is aware of all medications that your pet is taking, even vitamin or herbal medications. Some medications (e.g., seizure, heart, or diabetic medications) may need to be stopped a few days prior or may need to be given early the morning of surgery. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions closely regarding steps to take before the operation, such as when to take (or not take) medications and when to stop giving food and water.

After Surgery

Veterinarians sometimes prescribe medications to administer post-surgery, most commonly to relieve pain or prevent infection. If your veterinarian provides the prescriptions in advance, it is beneficial to fill them ahead of time. Having the medications beforehand can help decrease stress on the day of the operation and prevent any unnecessary delays in treatment.

Pet Health offers medications that your veterinarian may prescribe to help in the recovery process. As a compounding pharmacy, Pet Health prepares your pet’s medications in our compounding lab. Orders may be picked up at the pharmacy or shipped out to you if you prefer. Please feel free to ask to speak to a pharmacist either in-person at the pharmacy or over the phone regarding any medication questions or concerns. We will be happy to help answer your questions and check for any interactions with other medications your pet already takes.

After the surgery, monitor your pet for signs of infection (such as redness or swelling) and possible side effects of medications. Pet Health includes information sheets that list potential side effects with every medication. Please read over this list and monitor your pet during his recovery for any of the side effects listed. While most medications are well-tolerated, it’s important to know what to watch for in order to prevent harm and to promote a speedy recovery.

Best wishes!

PHP Pete