All hours phone: 07-5715003 

511 Cameron Road, Tauranga, (Between 10th &11th Ave)

POST-OPERATIVE CARE OF PETS 

The recovery process in pets that had surgery is usually simple; however, it is important to remember that proper post-operative care helps healing, speeds recovery and minimizes the risk of requiring additional corrective surgeries thereby determining the overall success of the surgery.  

How long will my pet be in the hospital after surgery?
Complications after surgery are most likely to occur immediately following surgery, therefore the length of time your pet will be in the hospital’s recovery room after surgery is determined by the type of surgical procedure your pet has undergone.

My pet is ready to be discharged from the hospital. What should I do?
Try not to be overwhelmed that your pet is returning home from surgery and you have no idea what to do next. Make sure you have understood the post-operative care instructions for at-home care completely. Take a copy of the instructions home with you. Take notes if necessary and do not be embarrassed to ask questions if you are not clear. Generally post-operative care instructions include medication and diet information, monitoring the incision, confinement and recheck appointments.

We are home. Now what?

  • In order to ensure full comfort during surgery, your pet has been given general anaesthesia. The effects of anaesthesia can last for several hours after surgery thereby making your pet appears drowsy for a day or so. In such cases you may want to allow him rest in a quiet and contained place before he returns to his regular routine. If the drowsiness persists more than 24 hours after surgery contact your vet. 
  • If you pet is crying, gets snappy, appears restless or does not want to lie down in spite of appearing very tired, he might be in pain. Use prescription pain medications for pain relief and keeping your pet comfortable.
  • During the first couple of days after surgery, your pet will generally need to urinate more frequently as they received the IV fluids during the surgery. Thus provide him regular opportunity to pee.
  •  It is normal that your pet is not interested in eating or drinking on the first day after surgery. However, make sure fresh water is always available in case he wants to drink it. You can also offer small amount of food if you notice he is in search of food unless food is contraindicated by your vet. Providing large amount of food is not advisable as occasional vomiting may occur in immediate post-operative period.
  • Make sure your pet does not scratch or chew at the sutures or bandages at the incision site. Keep the e-collar on your pet if your vet gave you one. 
  • Some swelling at the site is normal immediately after surgery, but any sings of persistent swelling, odour, pain, oozing, bleeding, pus or missing or loose staples or stitches is not. Recheck with your vet if required.
  • In order to prevent infection the incisions need to remain dry. If it becomes dirty clear it as instructed by your vet. If your vet advised changing bandages, do so accordingly. Do not bath your pet or let him swim during the post-operative period (generally 2 weeks).
  • It is important to restrict activities of your pet such as exercising , playing, roughhousing, jumping up and down off furniture, getting in and out of vehicles, during the post-operative period. Such activities might lead to breakage of the stitches and other post-operative complications. Keep your pet isolated form other animals and kids.
  • Keep all recommended follow-up appointments so that your veterinarian can monitor your pet’s progress.


 

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SmartVets Animal Hospital