Post Op Instructions and Advice
General Post Operative Care
- It is said that following surgery, it is a good idea to keep the pet inside and quiet for a few days (no running, jumping, etc). Good luck!! With some active dogs that is almost impossible. However, try to keep your patient somewhat confined and limit exercise for 7 days while the surgery site heals. This way, they are not as liable to bolt and injure the healing area. If you have ever had anesthesia and surgery, you know that you do not feel your best afterwards. Your pet may shake, vomit, or act painful. This is normal, but if the symptoms get worse, make an appt with the emergency vet or call us the next morning. If your pet vomits, remove all food and water (ice cubes can be given for your pet to lick). Pepcid at 1/4 pill per 10 pounds works great for nausea. Immodium AD, one tablet 2-3 times daily will help any diarrhea that develops from the stress of surgery. An adult aspirin 1 pill per 30 lbs or one baby asprin per 15 lbs two to three times daily may help any discomfort or pain
- To feed your pet after surgery, give them only half of a normal meal on the first day home following the surgery, then feed as normal.
- The most common damage to a surgical area is usually caused by the patient trying to lick or chew the surgical area or sutures because of the minor pain or irritation. Most major pet stores now carry cones that make it hard for the pet to reach and damage the incision. If your pet is licking the surgical area, try to discourage it or get a cone to prevent problems.
- Keep the bandage as dry and clean as possible. If it becomes soaked or very wet, it should be changed or removed because wet conditions favor infection. Swelling and redness of the toes can signal unhealthy things going on underneath, and needs to be checked out.
- Discourage your pet from licking and chewing at the bandage. Bitter apple can be sprayed on the bandage to discourage your pet from licking and chewing. A sock can also be pulled over bandages that cover the feet to help keep the pet from chewing at the bandage itself. Good ol Duct Tape can be torn into strips and layered on the bandage for protection
- Bandages are usually removed between 4 and 6 days, unless further instructed by the veterinarian.
- Keep the suture area dry and clean. If there is any excessive swelling or pus discharge around the suture, make an appointment.
- The same advice about the surgical area above applies to external sutures. Keep your pet from disrupting the healing process...you may need to buy an e-collar or cone
- If there is a slight opening or redness in the suture line, do not panic. We also put 2-3 layers of sutures in to safeguard the surgical area. The internal sutures will usually hold things closed even if some external sutures or staples are removed
- Most sutures can be removed in 10 days, unless further instructed by the veterinarian.