June 20, 2022

Top Tips: Caring for your pet after surgery

Written by our Papamoa Clinic team

Just like humans, all animals can react differently to anaesthetic but the general after care remains the same depending on the type of surgery they have had. It is very important that your pet gets the rest and recovery they need to ensure you get the best outcome from surgery.

Here are some helpful tips for taking care of your pet at home after surgery:

  • Keep your pet in a warm environment for at least 24 hours after surgery as they are unable to regulate their body temperature in that time.
  • They may be quite sleepy for up to 24 hours after their anaesthetic, so please do not allow outside access without supervision.
  • Give small frequent meals often. If they have had a dental, then soft food for the next day is ideal as they may have tender gums.
  • Take your dog outside to the toilet on the lead or have a litter tray available for cats, as they have been given intravenous fluids during surgery so may need to toilet more frequently for the next 24 hours.
  • Keep the surgical site clean and dry, checking it daily for any swelling, redness, or discharge. If your pet licks the site, they will need the “cone of shame” to prevent them from removing the sutures or introducing infection.
  • Gentle lead exercise for 10-14 days or as instructed by the vet. Over-activity can cause a delay in wound healing and can even pop a few stitches!
  • Ensure you give the full dose of medication, at the right time (as per the label) to help keep your pet comfortable and pain-free during recovery.
  • Don’t forget to book in for your pets free post-operative check with a nurse or vet, normally 3-5 days later.
  • Always phone the clinic if you have any queries or concerns, no question is a silly question!