Why Shave so Much of My Dog for Surgery?

We often get asked, why is my dog’s whole belly shaved when the incision is so small? Why did you shave so much fur for such a small lump to be taken off? Some people think we are being “excessive” or “ridiculous” with shaving so much off.

The real reason behind it is sterility!

We don’t shave pets to give them bad haircuts (we apologize, we are not groomers, but we do our best). We need to shave past the surgical field for sterility reasons. We do not want fur or bacteria getting into any surgical site we need to work on. As much as we love to see you come through our door for a visit, we do not want it to be for complications post-surgery.

You may also notice there are bald patches on your pet’s legs as well. It is where we put in IV access for medications and/or fluids to keep your pet as comfortable and safe as possible during any procedure. We shave the legs for this again for sterility reasons. We do not want hair and bacteria entering the point of access to your pet’s bloodstream.

The pink stain on your pet’s skin and fur; it’s not because we tried to make your pet look “pretty.” It’s a skin cleaner to reduce bacteria and dirt from the areas we will be working on.

We apologize in advance for any bad shave jobs and colouring of your pet while in our care. We do the best and try to make it as even and nice as possible, but our main focus is keeping your pet healthy, comfortable and happy while they are with us.

If you have any more questions about why we shave pets during surgery, please give us a call.

Written by: Lyndsay, Office Manager/Veterinary Technician