It's normal to worry about pets before they have surgery. Even if your ferret only needs a routine procedure, you may be a little anxious. It helps to be prepared so you know what is going to happen. So, make sure to ask your vet surgeon these questions before your ferret has its operation.
1. Is Your Ferret Fit Enough?
Your vet will assess your ferret's overall health before they recommend surgery. Having an operation may not be a problem for a young ferret; however, older pets may have undiagnosed health conditions that may need to be sorted out before surgery. Your vet can tell you about any risks once they've evaluated your pet.
If your ferret is having a major procedure or is a little elderly, then your vet may want to run a series of blood tests before they go ahead with the procedure. These tests should tell your vet, and you, if it is OK to proceed.
2. Does Your Ferret Need to Fast?
If your pet is having a general anaesthetic, then its stomach needs to be empty during surgery. This helps prevent problems like aspiration in the lungs when stomach contents are regurgitated up.
Ferrets have relatively speedy digestive systems. They process food in as little as three hours. Unlike larger animals which need to fast for a relatively long time to ensure their stomachs are clear, you may not need to fast your ferret for too long.
For example, your vet may recommend not feeding your pet for a three-hour period to match its digestive speed. Bear in mind that it's important not to fast your pet for longer than your vet's recommended time. Ferrets need to eat regularly and, if they don't, then they may develop blood sugar level problems.
3. When Can Your Ferret Come Home?
Your pet will need some recovery time at your vet's clinic after surgery. Your vet can tell you how long this is likely to last.
Remember that this schedule may be subject to change. Your vet is likely to want to make sure that your ferret is eating before they let you take it home. If your ferret doesn't eat relatively quickly, then it may have a longer stay in the recovery clinic; it may need to be given a nutrient fluid drip until it eats something to keep its system ticking over.
If you have any other questions about your pet's surgery, talk to your vet.