Humane Society of Huron Valley: Post-Surgery Instructions

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After Surgery

Going Home: Rest is important for your pet tonight. Please take him or her home to a warm, quiet, dark, comfortable place where your pet can get some sleep. (Please keep any other animals away, even if they are pals.)

Side Effects: The first day after surgery, your pet may act peculiar. Mostly, your pet will want to sleep, but he or she may cry, shake, drool, or be uncoordinated. This behavior can be normal for the first few days, but your pet should be back to acting like itself soon after that. If your pet appears in pain, call the clinic for a consultation. Coughing may also occur for several days after surgery. This may be caused by irritation from the endotracheal tube.

Complications: Check your animal's incision site daily. You may notice some swelling at the incision site.

  • If the bulge is firm, there is no drainage, and your pet's behavior and appetite are normal, don't worry. The bulge is your pet's response to internal suture material. This can be a fairly large bulge, especially in cats.
  • If you notice drainage or if the bulge is soft, movable, painful, or red, it may be infected and should be checked by the veterinarian. Call the HSHV clinic (662-4365) to schedule a drop-in appointment. We will fit you in to be sure your pet is seen as soon as possible.
  • In female animals, if the edges of the incision are pulling away, or if any intestinal material is protruding through the incision, it is a surgical emergency! Wrap a clean towel snugly around your pet's abdomen, tape or pin the towel in place, and take her to the HSHV Veterinary Clinic immediately.

Excessive licking of the incision should be stopped. Bitter Orange or Chew Guard can be applied around the incision to discourage licking. These can be purchased at the HSHV Clinic. If licking continues you may need an E-Collar to prevent it.

Food and Water: Offer your pet a small amount of water when you get home. Your pet may not be interested in eating until the next morning. Offer your pet a small snack in the evening. If your pet vomits, take the food away. Offer a small amount of food the following day. Normal appetite should return within a few days. If your pet is not eating after the first 36 hours, call the HSHV clinic (662-4365) to schedule a drop-in appointment.

Going Outside: Physical activities should be limited for ten days to allow proper healing of the surgical site. Cats should be kept indoors during this time. Dogs should be taken outside only on a leash, and only to urinate and defecate. Do not let your dog run or jump, even if he or she wants to play as usual. If your pet is too active too soon after surgery, your pet could tear out the sutures and develop a hernia, internal bleeding, or failure of the incision site.

Animals in Heat: If your pet was in heat at the time of surgery, she may continue to be receptive to males for several days. If she is allowed to mate during this time, she could be seriously injured. Keep her away from intact males. In dogs, a blood-tinged vaginal discharge may persist for more than a week following surgery.

Male Animals: Even though the testicles have been removed, there may be residual, live sperm in the reproductive tract. Your pet may be capable of getting a female animal pregnant for several weeks after surgery.

Stitches: Most of the sterilization surgeries performed at the HSHV Veterinary Clinic are closed using absorbable sutures. If skin sutures were used (for certain spays, umbilical hernia repairs, wound repairs, etc.), please call the HSHV Clinic (662-4365) for a suture removal visit in 10 to 14 days.

Kennel Cough: This is a very common highly contagious viral disease of dogs. It can last for several weeks with persistent symptoms. Commonly these symptoms are dry, hacking cough and occasionally green nasal discharge. If coughing is the only symptom, either no treatment or cough suppressants may help. If there is green nasal discharge your pet may need antibiotics call the clinic for more information.

This page was printed on Nov 28, 2014 7:05:40 AM from http://hshv.convio.net/site/PageNavigator/clinic/postsurgery.html.
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All images and photographs are courtesy of HSHV staff and Jeffrey E. Roush of Two Cat Studios.