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. Our vets in most cases use internal disolvable sutures, If this is not the case you will be notified on discharge if external sutures have been used that will need to be taken in usually 14 days post surgery.
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 pain relief medication at the time of surgery and few days worth of further pain relief, 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.
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. 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.
Removing sutures and follow up
As our vets routinely use internal disolvable sutures, in most cases the sutures don't need to be removed. If they do need to be removed you will be notified at discharge and the length of time before the sutures will need to be removed. In most cases we like to see the animal back at the clinic for suture removal so we can check that the wound has healed and the sutures are ready to be removed. There is usually no charge for suture removal.
In most cases there is no need for a follow up visit. As long as the wound is healing well and there is minimal amount of inflamation and your pet is happy and healthy then a follow up check up is not indicated. However if you are at all concnerned please don't hesitate to contact us and oragnise and follow up examination.