Pre/Post-op info

At Culverden Veterinary Group we are proud of our convenient and modern surgeries, which all have off street parking. Our Tunbridge Wells hospital is very popular and busy with surgery.

Tom Doyle does ophthalmology (eye surgery) as an Advanced Practitioner in the subject. Vet Vicky Bullen is also an Advanced Practitioner, with an interest in Medicine. Philip Cusack looks after our orthopaedic cases.

Our Hospitalisation facilities allow intensive nursing and vet care 24 hours a day.

Pre-operative information

We appreciate that it is a very worrying time for owners when their animal is about to have a general anaesthetic. We have produced this information so that you will know what to do before your animal’s operation and what will happen on the day.

We take anaesthetic risk seriously. Every animal under anaesthetic is monitored by a trained and experienced member of our team, in addition to the vet carrying out the procedure. All our surgeries have anaesthetic monitoring equipment, and when needed can provide controlled intravenous fluid support.

For high-risk patients we have extra monitoring equipment, expertise, staff and patient support at Tunbridge Wells.

Monitoring equipment including pulse-oximetry, blood pressure measurement, capnography and temperature monitoring is used during surgery.

We have external and in house training and we have regular reviews of anaesthetic protocols and risks.

It is important that your cat or dog has no food after 9pm the night before the operation. Water can be available unless instructed otherwise.
Rabbits and guinea-pigs should NOT be starved for any length of time. Please leave normal access to food and water right up until the time of admission.

The vet will check your animal over and go through the consent form with you. Please ensure that your cat or dog has been given the opportunity to empty their bladder and bowels before arriving at the surgery.

Blood tests can help us make a better assessment of anaesthetic risk, and so plan a safer anaesthetic. We recommend a pre-operative blood test for all cats and dogs over 8 years old. This is very helpful to diagnose underlying problems such as kidney and liver disease. We also check for anaemia and diabetes.

We strongly recommend treating your dog with a Lungworm parasite control (ask us for more details) 1-2 weeks prior to their surgery to treat for lungworm, which is an increasingly common disease that seriously affects blood clotting.

We recommend that all pets are microchipped. If your animal is not already chipped then an ideal time to do it is when he or she is under anaesthetic.

If you wish to have an estimate for your animal’s operation, please ask the operating vet for one. It is, however, only an estimate as we cannot predict for all eventualities.

You will be asked to sign the consent form and your animal will then be admitted to the hospital. Please make sure you bring a contact telephone number with you as the operating vet will phone you as soon as the operation is finished.

Your animal will probably be ready to go home shortly after 4pm but we will confirm this with you following their operation. We will ask to see your animal again in a week for a check-up and this appointment can be made when you collect our animal or at any time over the telephone.

Please note that our terms are strictly payment at the time of treatment. We regret that we are unable to offer credit or accept direct payment from insurance companies. If you have any queries with this, please speak to the veterinary surgeon.

Post-operative information

We appreciate that it is a very worrying time for owners when their animal has had a general anaesthetic. We have produced this information so that you will know what to do after your animal’s operation.

Your animal may not be as alert as usual when you get them home. This is normal and you should expect them to be back to normal within 36 hours.

For dogs and cats there will be a patch of hair missing on one or both front legs. This is where anaesthetic drugs were administered and the hair will grow back within weeks. There is also a patch of hair missing at the operation site. The hair will grow back within weeks.

Keep your animal quiet, warm and comfortable once at home. Do not exercise your dog after surgery. Exercise should be restricted to the lead only for 7-10 days after surgery. Rabbits and guinea-pigs should also be rested, which means confining them to a smaller run and avoiding rough play with other rabbits or guinea-pigs.

Offer your cat or dog a light meal. We recommend a special recovery diet pack which is available on request. Your dog or cat may not wish to eat, which is common and nothing to worry about. Dogs or cats that eat a large meal soon after an anaesthetic may regurgitate their food.

Rabbits and guinea-pigs must eat soon after anaesthetic. If your rabbit or guinea-pig is not eating on the morning after their operation it is very important that you let us know.

If you suspect that your animal will lick the wound then it is sensible to use a buster collar.

Your animal has received effective pain relief and should be very comfortable. Please follow the instructions given on any additional pain relief prescribed.

  • If you notice excessive bleeding from your animal’s wound. “Excessive” means more than mild oozing of blood on the night you get them home and anything 24 hours after they are home.
  • If you see signs of inflammation or infection: swelling, redness or discharge.
  • If the edges of the wound are coming apart.
  • If your animal is licking the wound excessively.
  • If they are unwell.

Please bring your animal back for a check-up as directed by the nurse, usually in 7 to 10 days.
If you are concerned please phone the surgery.