Spring is right around the corner which means it’s kitty and puppy season! There are a lot of spays and neuters on the horizon. Today’s tip is “How to Care for your Pet after Surgery” (any surgery)!
The healing process begins with you once your pet is out of the operating room and on his or her way home. The period of time right after surgery is also the time when most complications can occur so make sure you have your list of do’s and don’ts before you leave the office. Remember your veterinarian staff is there to help you through this experience. If you have a question just ask. There are no dumb questions.
Ask your veterinarian or technician to show you the best way to lift or support your pet after surgery when it is required. Your pet may also be feeling leftover effects of anesthesia several hours after their procedure which can cause him or her to be unsteady on their feet. It will be helpful to keep your pet contained in a quiet space and ensure that they get adequate rest. The staff might even recommend “crating” your pet for a certain amount of time. Sometimes this can be difficult to do but is very important in the recovery process. Turning on a radio or TV or giving them a toy or small treat might help make the seclusion easier. If it’s your cat that is being confined you might want to consider a dog crate that you can fit a small litter pan into.
Pets receive fluids during many surgeries so they might need more frequent trips outside to use the bathroom. ALWAYS keep them on a leash and as soon as they are done bring them back in.
If your pet is receiving medication always ensure that you are giving them their meds on the schedule that the staff went over with you. Sometmies the best thing to do is keep a log of what you have given and when. Remember that medication (especially pain killers) can alter their reflexes so try to keep them from things such as stairs, slippery floors, etc.
A question that we get a lot is “what should the site look like?”. Some swelling is normal immediately after surgery but watch for signs of oozing, odor, heat, excessive pain, excessive bruising, or excessive redness. The biggest thing to remember is if something doesn’t look right call your vet immediately. That’s what they are there for!
Recovery times can be anywhere from a few days to 6 months. It all depends on the pet and the procedure. Make sure to always schedule your follow-up as your vet recommended. Before you know it your pet will be back to new.