Post-Op

The First Day After The Operation

All animals will receive an injection to provide pain relief combined with a sedative when admitted for surgery. Yet some procedures are more painful than others and all animals vary in their recovery from anaesthesia. We will only discharge your pet once we feel that he or she has recovered sufficiently well to be cared for at home. This may mean that your pet may stay an extra night or two in hospital in order for us to provide nursing care.

The theatre nurse or veterinary surgeon will discuss the post-operative care of your pet when you come to collect it as well as the medication to be administered.

Dogs will be able to walk to the car, but need help to get in and out. Please make sure that you do not touch the wound when lifting.

Cats should be kept indoors for the first night – make sure that you have a litter tray ready. Dogs can be let out into the garden for a short while but should be kept on a lead.

Offer small quantities of water every few hours and also a light meal. We provide a tin or sachet of Hills ID which is a special diet designed not to cause sickness. A small meal of cooked chicken or white fish could be fed as an alternative. Some pets will not eat the first evening and this is no cause for concern.
Many pets will spend the first night sleeping; some will shiver a bit more than normal and others will seek reassurance from their owners. A good night’s rest usually resolves these issues and you should have a much brighter pet the following morning.

A few important points

  • There may be a slight leak of serum (bloody fluid) from the wound; this should stop within 24 hours
  • You may notice a shaved area on the foreleg where the anaesthetic injection was given and also on the lower neck if a pre-op blood test was performed. The hair usually re-grows over 4-6 weeks.
  • The anaesthetic tube passed into your pet’s windpipe may cause a soft cough which should resolve in a couple of days.
  • Please monitor the surgical wound closely. An occasional lick should not cause any damage but persistent licking will cause a wound to swell and may also introduce infection or pull out some of the sutures. It is very important that you should contact the surgery if you notice any problems with the wound.

The Next Week

Cats can be treated as normal unless you were instructed to confine them.

Dogs should be kept on a lead and taken for gentle walks. It is important to prevent your dog from rough play and swimming. Restrict jumping and access to stairs as far as possible.

Make sure that you follow the instructions given to you when you collected your pet from the surgery, e.g. covering a bandage when outside.

The Tenth Day

Please bring your pet to the surgery for the removal of his/her stitches, after which it can be treated normally. An appointment needs to be made for this.