Stomach surgery is one of the most common surgeries in pets. Pets frequently swallow and eat things that are dangerous for them. Other reasons for stomach surgery include tumors, ulcers, punctures, and disease. While veterinarians try their best to treat the pet without surgery, sometimes it's the only way to save a pet's life.
Signs your pet has a serious stomach problem:
Your pet will show specific signs that they are having a stomach issue. Sometimes, especially with tumors and disease, the symptoms may come on gradually. In other cases, such as a puncture, they may show up suddenly. Some of the signs include:
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Blood in vomit
- Excessive bloating
- Trouble breathing
Because the above symptoms can indicate many different problems, the first step is to take your pet to your veterinarian. Tests should be done to rule out things like liver problems, diabetes, or other medical issues. X-Rays will be done to check for any masses or foreign bodies. The tests should also show if the pet is a good candidate for surgery, if needed. Because of surgical risks, if a problem can be cured without surgery, then the veterinarian will suggest other action. If possible, he or she may use a less invasive endoscopic procedure or provide medication.
When surgery is needed:
Surgery may be the only recourse for certain problems such as a foreign body lodged deep in the digestive tract or lacerations to the stomach. Surgery may be done laparoscopically. This involves making a small incision and using a camera inserted into the stomach cavity to guide the surgeon. If a laparoscope is not available, traditional surgery involving opening up the abdomen may need to be performed.
Before and after surgery:
Your veterinarian will give instructions on how to prepare your pet for surgery. Most of the instructions are similar to human surgery, such as restricting food and water intake for a certain number of hours before the surgery. After the surgery, the pet should be able to go home as soon as it is able to keep down food and water. Aftercare usually involves making sure the pet doesn't lick, chew, or scratch the sutures. Pets may also be given pain medication. As for diet, most pets should be able to eat as soon as they get home. Some veterinarians suggest giving only softened, bland food at first until they recover.
Pet surgery can be a scary thing for a pet owner to have to go through, but it could save your pet's life. Though all surgeries have risk, if the procedure is done in time, there should be few, if any, complications for most pets. For more information, contact Kingsport Veterinary Hospital or a similar location.