Dun Laoghaire 01 280 2041
Foxrock 01 289 5335
Kilmacud 01 278 0480

Food before and after surgery

One of the most common questions we are asked is what I feed my pet before and after surgery.

Our patients do need to be starved before a general anaesthetic but not for as long as previously thought.

Historically patients were starved for long periods of time since the anaesthetic agents used often meant a high risk of vomiting. The anaesthetic agents we now use do not induce vomiting at the same rate at all.

We now recommend the following:

  • All pets to have access to water until time of admission
  • All pets to be fed again before owner goes to bed (approx. 1030pm night before)

If your pet is going to be late in the morning having their surgery, we will give them a small amount of food to eat.

After surgery we need to ensure your pet is fed something tasty (humans get tea and toast!!!!!) but something that will not upset their delicate tummies after a general anaesthetic.

Because they have been starved overnight, we like to feed our patients once they are standing up after their surgeries. Sometimes due to life commitments owners cannot collect their pets early so we can feed your pet in hospital for you.

The food we feed in the hospital is formulate for recovery after your pet’s surgical procedure.

  • It is highly digestible to improve absorption of nutrients to aid recovery
  • It provides high levels of electrolytes to replenish the losses associated with surgery
  • It contains a superior antioxidant formula which supports digestive health
  • It has a great taste to ensure your pet enjoys their food.

We recommend feeding this same food for 2-3 days after surgery.

If your pet is reluctant to eat:

  • Make sure their feeding bowl is clean and there is no residue of washing up liquid or disinfectant
  • Offer food by hand initially – your pet will appreciate your affection
  • Warm food to body temperature – but no hotter – before feeding it to your pet
  • Discuss with us if your pet refuses to eat for more than 12 hours after surgery

We can organise an individual post-operative feeding plan for your pet on the day of surgery.

Please note there will be an additional cost for the food.