What questions should you ask your pet’s surgeon?

Trusting your vet or a surgeon with doing surgery on your beloved pet is not as easy as it sounds.

It requires a lot of trust.

To help you establish that trust, here are some questions I feel are reasonable to ask your vet or your surgeon.

  • Are you a board-certified surgeon, i.e. a true specialist?
  • What’s my pet’s exact diagnosis?
  • What are ALL of the treatment options?
  • What is the specific surgery you recommend?
  • What is the purpose of the surgery?
  • Why do you think this surgery is a better option than the other ones?
  • Is my pet a good candidate for this surgery?
  • Who is the best person to do the surgery?
  • How many of these surgeries have you done in your career?
  • How many of them have you done in the last year?
  • What are the possible risks and complications?
  • How common are they in general?
  • How common are they in your patients, in your hands?
  • What is your success rate?
  • Are there additional tests required before surgery?
  • How will my pet be monitored during and especially after surgery?
  • How long will the surgery take, and how long will my pet need to stay at the clinic?
  • If there is an overnight stay, who will supervise my pet?
  • How will pain be assessed and addressed?
  • What is the expected recovery like?
  • How long will it take for my pet to fully recover?
  • What are the postop care instructions and restrictions?

Even though this list looks long, and seems like it would take hours to answer, a good surgeon should answer many of these questions during the consultation anyway.

So check those questions off as they go, and ask the remaining questions after that.

It’s critical to have open and transparent communication with your surgeon to ensure you make an informed decision about your pet’s surgery.

If you would like to learn how we can help your pet with safe surgery and anesthesia, please contact us through www.DrPhilZeltzman.com

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Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ, Fear Free Certified

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling veterinary surgeon in Pennsylvania & New Jersey. An award-winning author, he loves to share his adventures in practice along with information about vet medicine and surgery that can really help your pets. Dr. Zeltzman specializes in orthopedic, neurologic, cancer, and soft tissue surgeries for dogs, cats, and small exotics. By working with local family vets, he offers the best surgical care, safest anesthesia, and utmost pain management to all his patients. Sign up to get an email when he updates his blog, and follow him on Facebook, too!