Pet Surgery Recovery Tips

Get Your Dog or Cat  Back On Its Paws After Surgery

Just like their owners, pets will undergo a recovery process after any type of surgery. While the healing rate will vary from patient to patient, there are some key things to be aware of while your pet is returning to their normal state of being. As an owner you might not know what to expect, but monitoring the progress of recovery and engaging in the proper care of your pet after surgery is essential. There is nothing better than seeing your dog or cat back to normal after having an operation and here are some tips to make sure that happens as fast as possible.

Surgery Site: Make sure to regularly check the incision and sutures on your pet. When you are taking your pet home from the veterinary hospital make a mental note or take a picture of the surgery site. Generally speaking, the incision is at its best immediately after leaving the clinic. Here are some signs of a potential infection:
-Discoloration of flesh around site
-Abnormal discharge (green or yellow in color)
-Bad odor radiating from site
-Bruising or swelling
-Excessive bleeding from the incision
Behavior: Restrict any type of licking or other forms of agitation to the surgery site. This can cause infection as well as inhibit the healing process. Be aware that your pet will and should rest a lot after surgery but take note that if your pet is experiencing excessive lethargy it may be a sign that there is something wrong. Be on the lookout for any other behavior that is not common with your pet, such as wincing or vomiting.
Bowel Movements: It is not uncommon for a pet’s bowel movements to be out of the norm for several days following surgery. Diarrhea is also not uncommon after anesthesia. It may also take longer for your pet to relieve itself so do not be alarmed. This is common following intestinal surgery. However, if your pet has not done so by the first post-operative follow up notify your veterinarian to find out the best course of action.

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Limit Mobility: Immediately following surgery it’s important to restrict your pet’s movement to increase the rate of healing of the wound. This can be done by crating your pet. Make sure to have enough water in the crate and check often to ensure the bowl is not knocked over. If your pet is constantly trying to lick their wound consider an Elizabethan collar to prevent unwanted attention to the surgery site.

Exercise: Your pet surgeon can tell you what kind of exercise and what the appropriate timeframe is for your pet to begin normal mobility again. This will vary from patient to patient depending on the type of procedure that is conducted, but in general no running, jumping or bathing is a good rule to follow for 10 days post operatively.

Feeding: Your pet’s appetite will probably be lighter than usual due to any medications used during surgery. This is commonplace and starting your pet with a bland meal is recommended. After that moving to a normal diet and portion size should be OK. Act accordingly to your pet’s behavior and vet’s orders.
Bathing: It’s common practice to wait 10 days before bathing your pet after surgery to decrease the risk of damaging the surgery site or causing infection.

-Make sure you have all the necessary medications before leaving your vet
-Elizabethan Collar (also known as an e-collar) to prevent your pet from licking its wounds
-Any type of dressings you might need to cover the surgery site if needed
-A light colored blanket is recommended for your pet to sleep on so you can easily identify any excessive bleeding or abnormal discharge

Our pets are a valuable member of our families and it’s never easy to see them in distress. Hopefully by following these tips your loved one will be back to normal in no time. At Home Animal Hospital offers a state-of-the-art surgery rehabiliation for  Maui Pets facility and experienced staff.

Call (808) 873-0102 for a post-surgery consultation with one of our expert pet surgeons.

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