PATIENT POST-SURGERY HOMECARE
Your pet has just had surgery and will require special attention to ensure progress is satisfactory. All surgeries cause pain and stress. Because stress can slow the healing process, the care you give in the first hours and days after your pet comes home is the key to a successful and comfortable recovery.
Our skilled surgeons take every precaution to minimize the pain of
surgery. We employ the latest methods and products in a proactive approach
that includes administering pain medication before, during and after
Upon leaving the hospital to go home, your pet will become excited which may result in excess thirst and gulping of food. Therefore, for two days, give small amounts of food and water 3-4 times per day. Please do not encourage activity for 5 days. Try to prevent jumping and stair climbing for an additional for the first 3-5 days as well
The incision should be examined once daily. (more info on suture care can be found here) A certain amount of swelling is normal, a large amount is abnormal. If in doubt, call the hospital. Drainage from the incision of more than a few drops is abnormal, so if this occurs please call the hospital. Also, call if any of the following occur:
If your pet sustained a fracture (broken bone):
Your part in the post-operative care is as important as the surgery itself. Small degrees of movement at the fracture line may hinder the cellular healing response. Of course the purpose of the implant is to prevent this movement, but if your pet is allowed too much activity, movement at the fracture line will occur. In fact, the implant may loosen or break with continued stress and the purpose of the surgery lost.
Early in the post-operative period, the pain and discomfort your pet experiences will cause him/her to limit their own activity. However, with time (generally 2-4 weeks) the swelling and pain decreases and they will want to increase activity. It is extremely important to remember that the bone is not healed at this time and most stresses are still absorbed by the implant. You must continue to enforce rest and supervised exercise only. As a rule of thumb you should allow exercise on a leash only. We realize that enforced rest becomes more difficult with increasing post operative time, but you must continue this practice until the fracture is healed (usually 6-8 weeks). Radiographic assessment of the healing response may be needed from 4 to 8 weeks after surgery. The variance in time relates to the age of the patient, severity of the break and the location of the break (different areas of the bone will heal at different rates).
Physical therapy and general care of the incision are important. The
skin incision should be checked daily for signs of irritation and/or
drainage. If one of these does occur, please contact your veterinarian.
Please avoid cleaning the incision of particles of dried blood. This
is uncomfortable to your pet and not necessary. Occasionally they may
excessively lick the sutures. This in itself will cause irritation
and drainage. If this occurs, contact your veterinarian. As a rule,
the sutures can be removed 10-14 days after surgery. Please make an
appointment for suture removal at this time.