Essential post-surgery care tips
Your furkid may have a medical condition that requires a surgical procedure, and it may break your heart to see your precious pet in pain. However, there are some things that you can do to take good care of it after surgery and ease its discomfort, even if it’s a minor one such as sterilisation:
Your pet may be drowsy if it was given an anaesthetic to prevent any undue distress or discomfort during the surgery. While still in a sleepy state, your pet may pick at the wound. To prevent your dog from licking and biting at its own wound, your vet will most likely suggest an Elizabethan collar. That said, the E-collar blocks your pet’s peripheral vision, which can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, so you can consider getting a soft E-collar to ease your pet’s misery.
During the surgery, your pet may receive IV fluids – a cause for frequent urination. Therefore, water should be at the ready for it to replenish fluids.
Due to the drowsiness and even pain, your pet is likely to experience a loss of appetite. Instead of using treats to entice it to eat, offer it some boiled unseasoned chicken or fish – a “light and white” diet – which is easier for digestion.
Besides, your dog may experience post-op nausea and vomiting, so small meals are recommended. However, do note that once or twice is normal if this happens but bouts of vomiting may be a cause for concern. If all goes as per expected, your pet should return to its usual eating habits the day after its surgery.
Activity-wise, do keep an eye on your furkid to stop it from running, jumping, or performing other vigorous movements. This is to prevent the stitches from tearing due to excessive strain. Additionally, your pet may stumble as the effects of anaesthesia wear off. For safety purposes, it should be kept away from high places or household items that can serve as obstacles.
Aside from its physical condition, you should pay attention to your pet’s social activity as well. The pain after surgery may cause it to lash out at others around it, humans and animals alike, so be sure to treat it carefully. For you, this means not only to tune in to your furkid’s emotions but also to pay caution when Doggy is with its playmates in the next two weeks or so. Otherwise, an alternative is to isolate your dog to prevent rough play.
While it is normal for your pet to exhibit unusual behaviour in the first day or two, do keep a watchful eye on it, even in the coming weeks, as long-term behavioural problems may be a sign of distress it’s giving you.
Wound care is crucial for complete recovery. Wherever applicable, your vet will give you instructions on how to clean the wound – this is a good time to clear up any doubts regarding essential care.
Above all, wound care prevents any complications that may arise, such as infection. In this case, whitish-yellow or brownish-yellow pus may ooze from the wound, which is an unmistakable danger sign of infection.
Should you feel overwhelmed, look out for the following key points during the consultation:
- What to expect in the first 24 hours after surgery and what to be wary of thereafter
- Whether to wash the wound, especially in cases where surgical glue is used
- How to check the wound for any signs of infection
The above may give your furkid a restful time but its rate of recovery can differ from other dogs. Do remember, though, always be patient – with sufficient time to heal, it’ll be back to being your playful Doggy in no time!