Cat neutering: preparation for the procedure and postoperative care
In order to prevent possible complications after cat neutering, the owner must not find a competent surgeon and to prepare the pet for the procedure properly. In addition, it is very important to pay enough attention to the neutered cat during the recovery period and to follow all the recommendations of the vet.
Preparing for the neutering procedure
The most important thing for a successful surgery is good health, of course. This is especially important in case the surgery will be performed under general anesthesia. In this case it is necessary to examine even a most healthy animal: you should visit a vet therapist and cardiologist, undergo echocardiogram and pass urine and blood tests. If the test results are satisfactory, you can select the date of surgery. It is desirable that the cat remained under the supervision of an adult family member for at least two days after the operation. That’s why it makes sense to set the date based on the working hours of the owner.
It is useful to ask your veterinarian about how to prepare a cat for the neutering: the vet should give you all the details about necessary manipulations, based on the individual characteristics of your pet.
Consult the veterinarian about how to prepare the cat for the neutering procedure. Usually the last feeding should be about 12 hours before the operation. Sometimes a laxative is given to the cat 24 hours before the surgery. Anyway it is imperative that the cat’s stomach was empty during the surgery and during the period of waking up from the narcotic sleep. During this time you should exclude the possibility of cat’s vomiting as it may result in asphyxiation. If the surgery is planned to be performed under local anesthesia, it is also better not to feed the cat before that, because the cat tolerates the operation more easily with its stomach empty. Besides the trip to vet clinic may make the cat sick, so does the excitement of being examined, so having no food in the stomach will help to prevent possible vomiting. Take away the container with water 3 hours before the operation. You may also shave the cat’s scrotum, but usually it is the vet who does it.
A trip to the clinic
You will need:
- The id-card (or the passport) of the owner and pet documents;
- A convertible carrying or a basket;
- A warm blanket;
- Some napkins or paper tissue in case the cat wet’s itself.
You should carefully listen and write down the recommendations of the vet concerning what you should feed the neutered cat with, how to debride the wound, when to start giving food and water after the surgery, what are dangerous symptoms of complications and so on.
Before the surgery, the veterinarian will examine and weigh the cat, and measure its cardiac rhythm. After that the vet is likely to ask you to wait a bit (depending on the type of anesthesia). If the surgery is performed under general anesthesia, it is desirable to leave the cat for a day in clinic under the supervision of doctors. If this is not possible, you should put a sleeping pet into the basket, cover it with the blanket and take home.
If the surgery was performed under local anesthesia, the owner should debride the wound with the prescribed medication and thoroughly wash the cat litter after each use. Caring for a cat neutered under general anesthesia is more complicated.
After general anesthesia the cat is likely to sleep for a while. In order to prevent any injuries you need to put the cat on a mattress spread on the floor. Every 30 minutes you need to move the cat from the one side to the other not to prevent muscle numbing. Having woken up the animal feels disoriented and is a bit awkward in its movements. Unsteady gait, staggering head, dull look – that’s ok for the rehab period, there is nothing to be frightened.
Some animals wake up on the way home, others only in 3-5 hours – it depends on the drug, on the organism and on the skills of anesthesiologist. While the cat sleeps, periodically check its reaction – touch the nose, hairs in the ear, tickle its feet. If the cat wrinkles her nose, tries to remove the foot, wiggles with its mustache in response – everything is normal.
In case neutering was carried out under local anesthetic, the behavior of the pet on arrival home may surprise the owner: the cat may restlessly wander about the room, or, vice versa, hide in a secluded place, unwilling to contact with the owner. This is ok for rehabilitation period, you just need to leave the cat alone for a while, making sure that it is not too active licking its wound.
It is necessary to put the cat litter without filler in the room where the cat is sleeping. Be ready that the cat can pee in the wrong place: do not punish it, because it is not a manifestation of discontent or revenge, but the consequences of anesthesia.
Once the cat wakes up, you need to moisten its throat – gently pour 1/3 spoon of water in the cat’s mouth or drop it from a pipette. You shouldn’t give water to your pet until it fully wakes up as after the narcotic sleep the swallowing reflexes are disturbed (the bowl of water should be removed to an inaccessible place). After neutering the cat is usually not hungry, because of the experienced stress and recovery from anesthesia, so you shouldn’t force your pet to eat. The first feeding should be at least 8 hours after recovery from anesthesia, provided that the pet is fully recovered. It should be a light meal – some small serving of soup or dry food soaked in water.
First 24 hours the neutering aftercare includes close monitoring of the pet’s condition. Sometimes the response to anesthesia may appear a few hours after surgery, it happens rarely, but it may happen. If you notice the signs timely, nothing terrible will happen – your pet will be rendered help and within a day it will have fun playing with its favorite toy. Noticing the following symptoms, you should immediately go to hospital:
- Swelling of the lips, tongue or eyelids;
- Pale or bright scarlet mucous membranes;
- Wheezing in the chest, shortness of breath;
- Lowered body temperature or fever;
- Irregular heartbeat.
Sometimes the cat refuses to eat for two or three days after the operation. If its reflexes, temperature and heartbeat are normal, there are no reasons for being worried. It may happen with nervous animals as a result of psychological trauma. However, it is advisable to consult a specialist. After inspecting the cat the vet may prescribe sedatives and / or nutrient solutions.
During the week after the neutering you need to debride the wound with the medication prescribed by the veterinarian. Elizabethan collar is required only if the cat is suffering from the oral cavity diseases (to prevent infection) or if it licks the wound too aggressively.
Many owners are concerned about what to do after the neutering in order to prevent the pet from putting on weight? It is rather simple: just reduce the usual serving by 10-20%. If a cat eats dry or canned food, you can replace the usual food with those specialized for neutered cats (in this case, there is no need to reduce the serving, since the feed composition is quite balanced. What products your have to avoid when feeding your neutered cat? The same products that are harmful for any cat actually: raw fish, greasy and salty food, sausages, backed goods and sweets.
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