Eating and Drinking
Feed a small meal for dinner the evening after your pet’s surgery. Do not restrict water intake but do prevent your pet from drinking excessively. If your pet eats or drinks too much, it is likely that they will vomit. This is the result of the activity of some anesthetic and pain medications and is normal. If your pet continues to vomit call the veterinarian. If your pet refuses to eat for more than 48 hours or refuses to drink for more than 24 hours, call the veterinarian.
Surgical incisions should be checked at least twice per day. Watch for redness, swelling and drainage. Rarely a suture or staple will become undone. If you notice any of these symptoms, the veterinarian should check the incision. Keep the incision clean and dry. Limit activity so that no stress is placed upon the sutures or staples. No swimming or baths until the incision is healed.
Antibiotics and other medications
Be sure to give all antibiotics and other medications as directed by the veterinarian. Prior to stopping any medication or changing frequency or dosage, call the veterinarian. If you feel that any medication is making your pet ill, call to discuss the symptoms. Often other medications are available that may be easier on your pet.
If your pet was sent home with an e-collar, do not remove it. Your pet can eat and drink with the e-collar on and taking the collar off will put your pet at risk of needing another expensive procedure. If you feel that the e-collar is causing a problem, discuss the situation with the veterinarian but do not remove the e-collar.
Most surgeries require time to heal. Incisions in the skin and most abdominal organs are healed in 10-14 days. Incisions in tendons and muscles take significantly longer to heal. Fractures of bones and some orthopedic procedures may take six to eight weeks to heal. It is important to restrict physical activity during this period of healing. At times this may mean confinement in an airline crate or in a small room. Follow the veterinarian’s instructions and call the veterinarian with any questions or concerns.
Occasionally, bandages will be placed over a surgery site or over an injury. Bandages should be changed regularly, often daily and never left on for more than three days. If a bandage begins to smell bad, drainage seeps through a bandage or if the bandage gets wet, the bandage should be changed immediately. Remember bandages should be clean, dry and smell good. Call the veterinarian if you have any concern or question.