When your pet has had surgery – whether it’s routine desexing or a major emergency – you can help their recovery after discharge from hospital. Our staff will take you through any relevant post-surgery and medication instructions, but below are some basic care instructions for you to follow.
Please ring us immediately on (02) 4832 1977 if you are worried about any change in the condition of your pet once back at home.
Your pet will have a small clipped area, usually on the foreleg but occasionally on the neck. This is where the first anaesthetic and sedation was given into the vein (or a blood test taken), before gas anaesthesia was initiated. A larger area will be clipped for the surgical site. These will grow back quickly.
When you arrive home, put your pet in a quiet, warm and comfortable place. Make sure you keep children and other household animals away for the first 24 hours. While our vets always administer long acting pain relief medication to get your pet comfortably through the first 24 hours, he/she will still be drowsy and recovering from the anaesthetic into the next day. Pets need time and TLC to recover and heal.
Food and water
Don’t give your pet too much to eat or drink in the first 24 hours. It’s best to give a number of small meals, but don’t force your pet to eat too early.
What to look for
Animals are remarkable – they bounce back in a few days, even after the most major surgery, so please contact us if your pet refuses to eat and is obviously not well.
If your pet has had dental treatment, there may be some initial blood staining in the saliva. We recommend soft food for the first 2 to 3 days.
Check any surgical incisions and sutures twice daily. Please ring us immediately if you have any concerns. The wound should remain dry and a normal colour – there should not be any redness, swelling or weeping. Ring us if your pet is constantly licking the wound – we have easy-to-wear collars that prevent pets reaching their wounds (and causing infection), but allow them to eat and drink normally.
If your pet has a bandaged wound, it is essential the dressing stays clean and dry. Cover bandages or plaster casts with a plastic bag when you take your pet outside, but take it off while inside to prevent moisture buildup. Please report any damage, moisture, swelling, discharge or smell coming from the dressing or cast immediately.
Until stitches are removed (in 7-10 days), give your pet gentle exercise only, preferably on a lead. Rest is the best way to help wounds heal with no complications. Note: in routine desexing we often use absorbable sutures that don’t require removal.