Pre-Anaesthesia FAQ

This section answers some of the questions owners commonly ask about their pet’s anaesthetic. If your question is not covered here, please ask and we will be happy to address any concerns you may have regarding your pet’s procedure.

Click here to download the Pre-Anaesthesia FAQ

When To Come In

The best time is between 8.30 and 9.00am on the morning of the anaesthetic. You will be given an appointment with a nurse or vet as appropriate.
We may be able to board cats overnight before an operation. If this is more convenient let us know, but please be aware there will be an extra charge for this service.

Food & Water

Your pet should be fed their normal diet, unless otherwise directed, as they will make a quicker recovery if well nourished.

In order to minimise the risk of vomiting during anaesthesia, please remove food from 7pom the evening before they are coming in.

*NOTE* This advice does NOT apply to rabbits or other small pets, who must have food constantly available. Please check with the vet to see if this applies to your pet.
Water must be freely available until the morning, but please do not give any milk.

Contact Number

Please be prepared to leave a telephone number where we can reach someone at all times, as it is vital for us to be able to contact you during the procedure if necessary.

When To Phone

Most work involving anaesthesia is performed in the morning. However, our theatres operate all day so procedures can occasionally be unavoidably delayed. Our staff will endeavour to keep you as up-to-date as possible during the day and will contact you once your pet is recovering from their anaesthetic to update you and arrange a discharge appointment (usually scheduled between 4-6pm at mutual convenience).


Clipping of hair is usually required for taking blood samples, giving anaesthetic drugs and for surgical incisions. If this is a problem (e.g. for a show animal) please mention this to a member of staff when your pet is admitted.

Blood Tests

Before giving anaesthetic or sedative drugs we give all owners the option of having blood tests run for their pet. Older animals can develop organ damage over time but young animals can also be born with problems that are not immediately obvious. Whilst not a guarantee of good health or indeed anaesthetic safety, these blood tests screen for kidney disease, liver damage, blood sugar and protein levels and count the red and white blood cells (haematology). Some disease can significantly affect the anaesthetic or increase the side-effects of some of the routinely used drugs. These blood tests are an extra safeguard to screen for the more common problems we encounter in animals that appear ‘healthy’. The member of staff admitting your pet will ask if you would like these test to be taken and can advise on the extra costs involved.

Additional Procedures

If there is anything else you would like us to look at whilst your pet us with us, please mention it when they are left in the morning. This is usually possible as long as there is no conflict with the main procedure and, more importantly, if it does not unduly prolong the anaesthetic.