The care you provide at home is an important factor in your pet's recovery after surgery. Veterinarians Dr. Harvey Goho, Dr. Lydia Goho, and Dr. Shelly Figgatt of Skeet Club Veterinary Hospital and Total Care Veterinary Hospital in High Point, NC, share a few pet surgery after-care tips that you'll want to take a look at if your pet will soon be undergoing surgery.
Offer food and water
Many pets are cleared to eat and drink a few hours after they return home. Decrease the amount of food and water you offer your pet by about half the first time you feed your dog, cat or small animal. It's not unusual for pets to feel a little groggy or nauseated due to the effects of anesthesia. If your pet feels a little lethargic or ill, they may have no interest in eating or drinking initially. It's important to discuss food and water with your pet's veterinarian, as some pets may have feeding restrictions.
Provide medication as directed
If your pet was spayed or neutered, pain medication probably won't be needed at home. If pain medication has been prescribed, follow the schedule provided by the veterinarian to ensure that your pet remains pain-free.
Find a safe place for your pet to recover
Pets need a quiet place to recover following surgery. Although it's a good idea to keep them in a crate or confine them to a small room, pets will still need plenty of attention and reassurance from you during the recovery period.
Use the Elizabethan collar if needed
Most pets dislike wearing Elizabethan collars, also known as "the cone of shame." Although your dog or cat may not be so happy, the collar prevents your pet from licking the wound or biting the stitches. You can remove the cone when your pet eats, but it should be worn at all times otherwise.
Pay attention to danger signs
Before you leave either of our High Point offices, we'll review possible signs of problems, which may include:
- Significant bleeding
- Loss of appetite
- No interest in drinking
- Lethargy after the anesthesia wears off
- Weakness or trouble walking
- Pale gums
- Difficulty breathing
If you notice any of these signs, call our office.
Do you have questions or concerns about pet surgery? Schedule an appointment with High Point, NC veterinarians Drs. Harvey and Lydia Goho and Shelley Figgatt by calling (336) 841-8877 for Total Care Veterinary Hospital, and for Skeet Club Veterinary Hospital, call (336) 886-2315.