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Surgery Prep Form – Feline

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Surgery Prep Form – Feline

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Woodhaven Animal Health: Preparation for Your Pet’s Upcoming Clinic Visit

It takes a team to provide optimal care for your pet the day of surgery! This page will discuss your responsibilities in an effort to achieve the best possible outcome for your pet.


You will be responsible for the first step of anesthesia at home by giving your pet a pre-anesthetic medication the night prior and the morning of the procedure. The goals of this medication are to help your pet be calm and to allow us to use less injectable and inhalant anesthetics for your pet's procedure. As a result, we expect more stable blood pressures during surgery and a smoother recovery after the procedure.

Cats will receive doses of Gabapentin.

Dogs will receive Trazodone and/or Gabapentin.

What to expect with the medications:

Trazodone: some clients do not notice any difference in their pet, while others will note that their pet is more subdued at home or in the car; either response is appropriate. Vomiting has been reported in a small number of dogs.

Gabapentin: Most clients notice a calmer, quieter demeanor in their pet; in a few patients, the pet may seem off balance or uncoordinated in their limbs - this can be normal, but use caution to avoid a fall.

What if my pet seems sleepy at home after I give the prescription medication?

This is good! We want your pet to be relaxed and calm prior to surgery!

How do I give the medications?

Trazodone can be given with or without food; food may decrease the risk of vomiting.

If you use food to coat the pill for the morning dose, limit the amount to 1/2 teaspoon if your dog is 20 pounds or less, or up to 1 teaspoon if your dog is over 20 pounds. A small marshmallow to cover a pill /capsule may also work for some dogs. If you need other ideas on how to administer medication, contact the staff prior to the surgery day.

Gabapentin can be given as a liquid squirted into the mouth, or as a powder that is mixed with a small amount of canned food, baby food, tuna, or other moist food. It is also available in tablet form for larger dogs.

If you use food for your cat to give the powder in the morning, limit the amount to 1/2 teaspoon.

Where do I get the medications?

You will need to make arrangements to pick up the medications from our clinic at least 5 days prior to the procedure. If you are unable to stop in, we can mail them one week ahead for an additional fee.

What if I know my pet is prone to stress?

If you think your pet may be anxious or nervous being away from home, it may be helpful to start probiotics a few days prior to the procedure in an effort to prevent "stress diarrhea". If you think this may be an issue for your pet, please contact us for a 10 day supply of Proviable probiotic. The supplement can be given as a capsule or the contents of the capsule can be mixed with food. Both dogs and cats will typically eat the supplement mixed with food.

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Preparation for Your Pet’s Upcoming Clinic Visit: Feline

  • with the exception of the small amount of food used to give the premedication, your pet should have an empty stomach at the time of surgery: this means no food to include treats, human foods, other pet's food, mice, as well as grass or toys, etc.
  • if your pet may have eaten anything the morning of surgery, please inform the staff immediately
  • if you have concerns that your pet will have nausea with an empty stomach, discuss this with the staff during the days prior to the procedure


  • your pet may have access to water up until the time you arrive for surgery
  • we do not provide water in the kennel during the hospital stay (unless the pet is staying overnight or diabetic), but your pet will receive IV fluids in most cases (not typically done for pets that are only being sedated)


  • your pet’s admit time has been carefully scheduled
  • if you are running late, please contact the clinic at (715) 341-9664 so that we can plan accordingly; please understand that clients that have arrived on time for their appointments will have priority to complete the admit procedure
  • please allow at least 5-15 minutes for the admit appointment to review forms and contact information.


  • after surgery, be prepared to carry your cat to the vehicle in a secure manner, ideally with a small crate
  • some cats will be sleepy after surgery, while others have nearly normal energy
  • the typical recovery period is from the time of surgery until up to 2 weeks post surgery (some procedures do have longer recovery times and some are shorter)
  • while it is ideal to limit activity for our cats after surgery, this is a challenge to do if they are not used to confinement; as such, we do tend to keep some cats in the clinic for one or more nights to restrict movement
  • at home, you may need to keep your cat in a small room with a door closed or in a large dog crate if your pet will be relaxed in that situation; otherwise, allow your cat to have normal activity if you are unable to confine, but do not encourage excessive activity such as playing with or being chased by a dog or another cat, or playing with a laser light during the recovery period


  • prevention of licking, scratching and rubbing is essential - use a cone collar, inflatable neck collar or a body suit to protect the incision, if needed
  • licking adds moisture in the form of saliva to the tissue that is in the process of healing, which greatly increases the risk of infection and the need for antibiotics (additional cost)
  • licking, rubbing and scratching also irritates the incision with the rubbing motion over the tissue, which greatly increases the risk of delayed healing and the possible need for incisional repair (additional cost)
  • some pets have a reaction to the suture material placed under the skin - this cannot be predicted and may occur a few weeks after surgery; call if your pet's incision appears thickened or irregular at any time during the weeks after surgery, as exam and medications may be advised (additional cost)


  • in most cases, the appointment to discharge your pet will be scheduled after the procedure is completed
  • as per the comments above for the admit, it is important to arrive at the scheduled time, and we request that you call if you are running late
  • please allow 10-25 minutes to review detailed instructions for home care and any possible follow-up
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