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Surgery Prep Form – Oral Care

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Surgery Prep Form – Oral Care

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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: Oral Care (Dogs & Cats)


  • with the exception of a small amount of food given with the premedications, 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, as well as grass or feces, edible bones, toys, mice, etc.
  • if your pet may have eaten anything the morning of the procedure, 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.


  • some dogs and cats will be sleepy after surgery, while others have nearly normal energy
  • the typical recovery period for a routine dental procedure without added treatments is within 24 hours
  • the typical recovery period for a nonroutine dental with added treatments (extractions, gum treatments, pocket treatments, biopsy, etc) is up to 2 weeks post dentistry
  • in most cases, you MUST LIMIT ACTIVITY the night of the procedure and be certain to keep cats indoors and take dogs out on a leash for one day after routine dentistry, or for a few days if additional work is needed for the mouth
  • if additional treatments are needed for the mouth, then your pet should not carry anything in the mouth, chew on toys, eat feces (dogs) nor hunt for up to 2 weeks after the procedure or after the recheck exam
  • DOGS: if extractions or other treatments are needed, avoid Doggie Day Care, the Dog Park and training classes (ask the staff for ideal time frame)
  • CATS: after surgery, be prepared to carry your pet to the vehicle in a secure manner, ideally with a small crate

INCISION (suture typically will dissolve in the mouth)

  • if there are one or more incisions in the mouth, it is essential to try to offer softer foods and avoid all hard and soft toys for up to 2 weeks (depending on the location of the incisions)
  • do not allow your pet to eat feces as the mouth is healing
  • chewing on firm or soft objects may cause the suture to break down and the incision to open; in some cases, this will simply delay healing (may need additional medications and recheck exams), but in others, the incision will require repair and additional medications - any follow-ups would be an additional expense


  • 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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