Why You Need To Follow Dietary Directions Before And After Pet Surgery

Posted on: 24 February 2017

If your pet is due to have surgery soon, chances are your veterinarian has given you some instructions for what you need to do prior to surgery. These instructions most likely include directions about when your pet should stop eating. Following surgery, your pet will probably also receive similar directives regarding when and what your pet can eat after the procedure. Many pets are allowed to eat and drink whenever they feel like in the home, especially in multi-pet households. However, it's very important for you to follow these directions exactly. Read on to learn what dangers food and drink can pose during and following surgery.

Food Interaction

One of the biggest reasons for restricting your pet from eating for a certain amount of time prior to surgery is that food can interact with the medication your pet is given. Depending on the type of surgery, your pet may be given a wide variety of medication, including antibiotics and anesthetic. Food can slow down the rate at which these medications are absorbed, which can have negative effects during surgery. For example, if your pet's anesthesia isn't absorbed the way it should be, your pet could regain consciousness during surgery.


Eating or drinking prior to surgery can potentially cause your pet to vomit during the surgical procedure. If a pet is conscious when they throw up, they will take steps to spit out the vomit. However, if your pet is unconscious, they might aspirate their own vomit. If this fluid gets into the lungs, it could cause pneumonia, or worse, it could suffocate your pet.

After surgery, most vets will suggest easing into food and drink slowly. While your pet isn't likely to aspirate vomit, they may be experiencing nausea from the anesthesia for a few hours after the procedure. Vomiting causes many muscles in the body to contract, which could not only be painful, but it could potentially pull stitches apart if your pet has had surgery on their abdomen, back, or throat.

Follow The Rules

While it can be a hassle to limit what your pet has access to, your vet is making these suggestions for the safety and well-being of your pet. Keep in mind that you're not being a mean pet parent for depriving your pet of food and water for a brief period of time; you're doing the right thing to keep them safe while they're operated on. Contact a company like Coastal Carolina Animal Hospital to learn more.


caring for a variety of pets

How many animals do you have in your household? Do you have a variety of pets that your family adores? If you have a multi-animal household, it is important that you find a vet that can care for each of them. Having troubles finding a vet that cares for all types of pets? Visit my website to learn how my family has managed to keep all of our eleven pets healthy over the years. There are preventative measures you can take to ensure that your pets are healthy and signs that your pets need vet care immediately. Hopefully, our experiences can help you maintain a house full of healthy pets.