Putting your clients at ease before surgery

Watching your pet disappear into the back room of the vets ready to undergo surgery can be a distressing experience – especially when you don’t know much about the procedure.

As a veterinary professional, it is important to be mindful of this and offer up reassuring words before the client’s pet goes under.

In this blog, we discuss how to go about alleviating clients of any anxieties they may have around anaesthesia using effective and clear communication techniques.

Explain the procedure 

It may sound obvious, but talking clients through the procedure can actually help put their minds at ease. A lot of our fear as humans comes from the unknown, so explaining the surgery step by step – including who will be operating, the safety procedures in place and the expected outcome – is really reassuring.

Go above and beyond

Be ready to answer any questions your clients may have – even if they seem trivial, it probably means a lot to them if they’re asking in the first place. Anaesthesia anxiety often crops up so it might be worth outlining the safety measures that will be taken, as well as the lack of risk involved. For extra anxious owners, you could send a picture over text or email of their pet resting peacefully after the operation to put their fears to bed.

Manage expectations 

Naturally, your client will probably be curious as to how their pet will behave/look etc. after the procedure. Be transparent when discussing this and try not to use too much medical jargon. As much as it is crucial to be sensitive, it is also equally important to be honest. For example, if the client’s dog may struggle to walk after the operation then you need to let them know. You don’t want anyone having a nasty surprise at the other end, so your best approach is to manage expectations early on.


Inform the pet owner that they need to monitor their fluffy friend when they return home after surgery and contact the surgery if the patient exhibits the following signs of pain:

  • Restlessness

  • Trembling/shaking

  • Decrease in physical activity

  • Loss of appetite

  • Chewing or scratching surgical site

Remind the pet owner that it is protocol to receive a follow-up call the next day during which they can raise any concerns.

We hope you found this article of use – remember, our lovely consultants are always happy to share career advice should you have any questions.

Get in touch today on 0203 9784 104 or drop us a line via [email protected].

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