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The Road to Recovery: Tips for Caring for Your Pet After Surgery

No pet owner likes to see their furry companion suffer. If your pet has undergone surgery, ensure they are comfortable during their recovery. Your pet may feel disoriented immediately after the procedure, but this is a normal response to anesthesia. Postsurgical care takes time and commitment, but your pet will soon return to its usual self.

Follow The Care Instructions

Your vet will give you care instructions to follow when you get your pet home. Review the instructions and clarify any points you do not understand. Postsurgical care will depend on the type of procedure.

You will receive instructions outlining how to clean the surgical site and administer medications. Do not use medications not prescribed by the vet.

Provide Space to Recover

Give your pet space to recover. Animals react differently to anesthesia. Some become aggressive and bite or growl, while others find it hard to move. Keep the pet secluded for the sake of your family or other pets in the home.

Letting your pet recover in a secluded, warm room with essentials such as water, food, and litter boxes is vital. Avoid offering toys that can get your pet agitated. It is only a temporary measure until your pet regains mobility.

Clean the Surgical Site

Cleaning or caring for the surgical site will depend on the discharge instructions. You may need to change the bandages several times a day. The vet may recommend leaving the wound cleaning to professionals.

If you need to clean the wound,
  • Follow the instructions and use the recommended topical treatments.

  • Look for signs of swelling, redness, discharge, or a foul smell that may indicate an infection.

  • If you notice signs of infection, return to the vet.



Provide a Special Diet

Your pet may not be ready to resume their usual feeding habits soon after surgery. Loss of appetite and lethargy are normal after a surgical procedure. Do not force them to eat their regular portion.

Remember, they use less energy while confined and cannot exercise to counteract the food they consume. Instead, serve smaller portions. Your pet will need food with their medication to keep up their strength.

Monitor the Healing progress

Inspect the surgical site regularly and monitor their condition. Ensure the wound is healing well, and watch for signs such as discharge or severe pain. It could indicate a problem with the site. Keeping your pet alone will protect them from other pets or young children who could inadvertently damage the surgical wound. If you are worried about your pet’s recovery process, do not hesitate to contact your vet.

Limit Movement and Play Time

Ensure your pet remains as still as possible during the first few days. The pet may have pent-up energy they want to release, but jumping and running can tear stitches. Too much activity can prolong the healing process.

Create a calm environment and keep them indoors as much as possible. Use a leash when taking potty breaks. It will take time for your pet to resume its normal playtime activities. Your pet will require a follow-up appointment with the vet to check on its recovery progress.

For more tips on caring for your pet after surgery, visit R Veterinary Group at our Linn Creek, Columbia, or Waynesville, Missouri, offices. Call (573) 245-1027, (573) 346-5733, (573) 443-7274, or (573) 774-3337 to schedule an appointment today.

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