How to look after your pet after surgery

February 14, 2020

How to care for your pet after surgery?

As a caring pet parent, you’ll want to ensure your dog or cat heals as quickly and painlessly as possible after having surgery. In this article, our post-surgery care recommendations will address any questions or concerns you may have about your pets recovery.

Don’t worry if your pet is sleepy

It’s absolutely normal for your pet to appear unsteady or drowsy after surgery. That’s usually a side effect from general anaesthesia or sedation. This should go away within hours and sometimes a day or two.  Keep in mind that your pet needs rest to recover from the surgery but if he or she appears overly quiet and disoriented for an extended period, please let us know.

Examine your pet’s wound often

In order to make sure your pet is healing well and prevent any infection.

  • Inspect the wound site twice a day and ensure there’s no excessive discharge, swelling, bleeding or gaping
  • Keep the surgical incision area clean and dry
  • Do not bathe your pet or allow them to swim
  • Clean the surgical drains strictly according to directions
  • Seek advice and clarification in case of any uncertainty about after-care instructions. We are here to help.
  • Do not leave your furry friend unsupervised if playing with other pets
  • Prevent your pet from scratching or chewing their stitches to avoid ruptured wounds and infection

Prevent your pet from chewing stitches

We highly recommend putting an Elizabethan collar around your pet’s neck to keep it from chewing stitches on the wound site. An alternative is to apply a bitter-tasting spray directly on the wound to discourage your cat or dog from licking, chewing, and biting. We will discuss the best option for your pet at the time of their discharge after surgery.

In some cases, where necessary, we may prescribe anti-itching medication to relieve discomfort. If your pet does try to chew their stitches, you may be able comfort them simply by massaging or gently rubbing the areas around the wound, avoiding direct contact with the wound itself.

Got a question?

We’re here to help you with any urgent enquiries or assistance you might need. Need a little extra help, or not sure if you should bring your pet in for a check-up? Give our team a call and we’ll happily answer your questions.