Although you may be very anxious to see your pet as soon as possible and get them home, it is advisable to speak to the veterinary nurse or veterinary surgeon prior to actually seeing your pet.
This will enable complete and thorough postoperative instructions to be given to you, a follow-up appointment can be scheduled and the account settled. It is also an ideal time for you to ask any questions that you have thought of during the day.
Instructions for postoperative care will vary and will depend on the type of surgical procedure your pet has undergone. However, some basic guidelines are set out below.
- Your pet is likely to be drowsy for 24 to 36 hours. It is common for dogs to whine after an anaesthetic but this is a known side effect of the pain relief drug we use, and not usually anything to be concerned about. Provide a comfortable bed/basket away from draughts and noise.
- Vomiting or diarrhoea may occur in the immediate postoperative period. Light palatable meals, given little and often, can help reduce the likelihood of this. If vomiting or diarrhoea occurs, consult your vet.
- Exercise should be restricted until the final check-up. Cats must be kept indoors postoperatively and dogs must be exercised on a lead only.
- Check the wound daily. There is no need for you to bathe the wound, but it is very important that you prevent your pet licking it. Licking of a surgical wound can cause inflammation and introduce infection which may necessitate further medication. The pet may try to remove sutures while licking which could mean another general anaesthetic to replace them. Buster collars, or bandages are ways of preventing self-mutilation (inquire at the surgery about these).
- Bandages should be kept clean and dry. They must be checked daily for signs of swelling above or below the bandage, discharges and so on. If at all concerned, contact your vet.
- Ensure medication is given at the stated dosage and that the course is completed.
- If you become at all concerned about your pet’s health during the postoperative period do not hesitate to contact us.