Dog in hospital recovering after surgery.

When your pet is hospitalized due to a surgery or is recovering from an illness or injury, it is a stressful time for both you and your pet. You will have concerns about how your dog or cat will be cared for and what you can do during this critical time in their recovery.

The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services knows that hospitalization is stressful but is sometimes required to help your pet recover. By outlining what to expect during this time, we hope to ease some of your fears, as well as better support you and your pet.

Why Hospitalization?

An injury, illness or emergency happens to almost every pet at some point during their lifetime. It can be a sudden illness, an unexpected cruciate ligament tear that requires surgery, or maybe a poisoning from ingesting a toxic substance. No matter the cause, emergencies and veterinary stays happen, and there is always a risk of disease, acute illness, or accident.

We are thankful that, with advancements in veterinary medicine, many treatments and surgeries can be done within a day and with less invasive methods. Still, major surgeries and injuries that need critical care and attention require longer stays. In these situations, hospitalization is necessary because the pet requires 24-hour monitoring and care.

What Happens When Your Pet is Hospitalized

If your pet needs to be hospitalized (outside of an emergency situation), you’ll receive instructions for admittance from a veterinarian or other staff. They will advise you when to arrive. Typically, you will drop your pet off in the early morning for surgery.

Most pets who receive hospital care will be housed in our postoperative recovery area, or if the situation is critical, in our Intensive Care Unit. An ICU for pets is much like that of human ICUs in that it is equipped with specialized technologies and monitoring systems for more advanced care.

While your pet is in the hospital, they will receive 24-hour monitoring by doctors and technicians. During the stay, pet owners will receive updates as required and if any new situation with your pet’s health status changes.

Many pets receive IV therapy while in the hospital, along with specialized diet and medications per the pet’s condition. The treatment plan will vary according to the reason your pet is in hospital.

Can I Visit My Pet?

For the health and recovery of your pet and other pets, we generally discourage visitation. In lieu of visitation, the vet team makes communication a priority so you know what to expect and how your pet is progressing. There are cases where the medical team feels it is in the pet’s best interest to have visits from their owners. If so, the team will speak with you about visitation.

Going Home

Once your pet is ready to be discharged, you will be notified of the date and time to come to get your fur friend. Your pet’s aftercare instructions will be given to you and a follow-up appointment will be scheduled. It’s a great idea to bring with you any questions about caring for your pet after a hospital stay.

Once you feel comfortable knowing what to do after your pet is discharged, you and your pet can go home for rest and recovery. A veterinary technician or assistant will phone you a few days after discharge to see how your pet is doing and if you have any concerns.

When Your Pet is Hospitalized

When your pet is hospitalized, it can feel daunting. Knowing what to expect and how to best care for your best friend will alleviate some of the worries. As always, your caring team at OVRS is more than happy to take the time to discuss any questions about hospitalization, recovery, or pet-related questions. Please phone us!