Home Pet Care Pet Surgery: How to Care for Your Pet Properly After an Operation?

Pet Surgery: How to Care for Your Pet Properly After an Operation?

by Vetic Editorial
Published: Last Updated on 1.6K views

Pet surgery is often more stressful for the pet parents than it is for the lil fur balls. Even when they are coming out of anaesthesia and beginning to move, dog and cat parents do not stop worrying. 

We completely understand how you feel right now if your pet has surgery scheduled soon. Or if your pet has just undergone surgery. And we are here to ease your anxiety by telling you how you can provide optimal care for your pet after surgery. 

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) by pet parents and their answers. 

Is Cat or Dog Surgery Always Serious? How do I Prepare for My Pet’s Surgery?

The first and most obvious advice, at the risk of being redundant, is – please follow every step your veterinarian has recommended. If they have told you to keep your dog or cat from drinking water, please do not allow your fur baby to drink water. 

The same suggestion goes for food and medication. Don’t hesitate to ask your vet about post-operative diet and exercise. Make sure you have a direct line of communication with your vet or the clinic. 

We prefer 24/7 facilities for our pets since emergencies such as vomiting, loose stool, constipation or loss of appetite may occur after an operation. And we want to be able to provide the necessary medical attention and care to our pet even if it is well after midnight. 

Should I Stay With My Cat Or Dog After Surgery? 

We recommend waiting 20-30 minutes after the surgery so your pet begins to regain consciousness. Vetic runs pre-anaesthetic tests to check liver and kidney function and other pre-anaesthesia tests to minimise the risks of every pet surgery. Still, you should wait in the clinic for a while since your pooch will feel disoriented, dizzy, scared and, even, nauseous while coming to. 

Pet surgery is stressful for animals and pet parents

You should stay beside them when they come out of anaesthesia. You can place their favourite blanket or your t-shirt (make sure it’s clean) near their head so they have a touch of familiarity in a strange place. Take the time to talk to the vet about post-op care, diet, activities, medicines and follow-ups. Make a list of questions before surgery and note the answers as per your vet’s response. Buy the necessary supplies at the vet store before heading home.

How Soon Can I Take My Pet Home After Surgery?

Leave the clinic only when the surgeon gives your pet the green signal. Don’t rush out immediately after the surgery, even if it was “just” a neutering or spaying procedure. Give your pet some time to recuperate. Get your car ready by spreading out clean and thick towels, pee absorbent pads or ready a crate, depending upon the size, breed and species of your pet. 

Make sure to get your pet on the car seat as safely as possible. Don’t allow them to run or jump. Carry them out with the help of veterinary assistants and/or friends, if necessary. Sit with your pet, so they don’t topple over. Ensure that the drive is smooth. 

How Can I Care for My Cat or Dog at Home after Pet Surgery?

Once you are home with your pet, your pet should feel relaxed. Although disoriented, your dog or cat should be responsive around you. Sometimes, cats and dogs may feel dizzy for 4 to 6 hours after surgery. Their recovery from anaesthesia will depend upon their metabolism rate and the nature of the anaesthetics used. 

Dogs sleep more after pet surgery

In all probability, your neutered dog or cat will want to sleep for a long while after coming home. So, put them in their bed, with their blanket on top. They may be disoriented but it’s up to you to make them feel comfortable. 

How Can I Keep My Dog Comfortable After Surgery?

The best way to help your dog remain relaxed and comfortable after surgery is by allowing them to rest in familiar places. Keep them in their crates or cages, on their bed or YOUR bed, wherever they are used to sleeping. Make sure they have access to fresh water and a place to pee and poo (don’t take them outside for at least 7 to 10 days after pet surgery). 

Put an E-collar to prevent them from licking their surgery site. Keep them comfortable – turn the AC on if it’s hot, and switch on the room heater if it’s cold. It is super common for neutered dogs and cats to cut their stitches open while grooming. So you have to be extra vigilant. 

Most importantly, don’t forget their pain medication! Human painkillers can be addictive and harmful and bla bla bla…only when they are abused. Pain medication for cats and dogs is NECESSARY after surgery. They are unlikely to harm your pooch if you maintain the correct dose. Pain meds are crucial for improving the quality of life of any animal immediately after any surgery, be it spaying, neutering or TPLO.  

Can I Leave My Dog Alone After the Operation?

Honestly, no! We are never comfortable telling you, ‘It’s okay to leave your pet unsupervised after surgery.’ You may want to check out 24/7 in-patient facilities like Vetic that have boarding facilities for pets as well as 24/7 veterinary presence. 

If you have a busy schedule, you should check out veterinary facilities that offer pet boarding of post-op patients. You need to keep a keen eye on cats and dogs for at least 72 hours after their surgery. 

e-collar after pet surgery

Cats are masters in acrobatics, and even if you keep them in a cage, there’s no guarantee that they will keep their E-collars on and not lick or tear the stitches. While we tend to underestimate dogs, there is always the chance they’ll either hurt themselves or rip their stitches open. 

You need to check if your cat or dog is chewing or licking their stitches. If so, talk to your vet surgeon immediately. Excessive licking and scratching near the surgery site can lead to infections. 

What Should I Feed My Pet After Surgery?

Let’s go back to FAQ #1. Ask the vet if your dog or cat can go back to their regular diet on the very day of their surgery. Sometimes, vets will recommend soft, easy-to-digest food for the first 24 to 48 hours depending on the nature of the surgery. At other times, pets can go right back to eating their dog food or cat food after surgery. 

For the first 24 hours, feed your dog or cat small portions of their regular food. Many small animals experience nausea due to anaesthesia. Feeding them a heavy meal immediately after they wake up can result in vomiting. And you do not want a dog or cat with stitches to throw up!

Should I Exercise My Pet After Surgery?

Would you get up and walk a mile after any minor surgery? Then why would you want your pet to do something similar? Take your pet for walks and play dates once your vet gives permission. Do not engage in any play that involves exertion – tug, fetch or running. 

Some dogs and cats are energetic and love to run about. Do not indulge them. If necessary, rely on their crate training for the next 7 to 10 days. Resting more and moving less ensures faster recovery after any surgery. 

The case will be different if your pet requires physiotherapy after surgery. Never miss any physiotherapy appointments after a Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery. Your dog will need all the help it can get for a fast recovery immediately after a TPLO. Speak to your surgeon to determine the correct time and frequency of physiotherapy or hydrotherapy. 

Will My Pet Require Extra Treatment And Medicines After Surgery?

The extent of care, treatment and medication will depend upon the nature of your pet’s surgery, age and health. Each cat or dog requires personalised care and treatment. Your vet should run complete blood tests before the surgery to get a clear picture of your pet’s health. 

Pomeranian Spitz medicine

There is no straight way to answer this question. Ask your veterinary surgeon about additional treatment, medicines and special care before you take your pupper or kitty home. 

Can Complications Arise from a Simple Surgery Such As Spaying or Neutering? 

Even the simplest surgeries can become complicated. That typically happens not due to the fault of the surgeon, assistant doctors, or instruments but due to the age and health of the patient. 

That’s why you should always Google “24/7 emergency vet near me” well before the hour of need. In fact, you should always have a list of emergency veterinary clinics with trauma care, diagnostic imaging and blood tests, and an array of experts present throughout the day and night. To find out what these clinics look like, visit Vetic

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