There are many common surgical procedures dogs may need to undergo to maintain a healthy life as they age. Most of these surgeries are quick, and the dog can go home the same day. However, once the dog is home, the pet parent will need to review the post-surgical information the vet sent home with them. The following dog health advice will help pet parents adequately prepare for their dog’s surgical recovery.
Post-Surgery Recovery and Aftercare for Dogs
Before the dog comes home from surgery, the pet parent should make sure their dog has a safe and comfortable place to rest in a quiet area of their home. If the home has multiple pets, measures should be taken to keep the other pets away from the dog. Other pets may instinctively try to lick the dog’s incision site — which could lead to an infection.
Pet parents also need to plan to stay home and monitor their dog for at least 24 hours after the surgery. The 24 to 48 hours after surgery is when surgical-related health problems are most likely to occur. While the pet parent monitors their dog, they should also take the following precautions to ensure their dog doesn’t have any post-surgical complications.
Most vet clinics do an abundance of spay and neuter surgeries every year. However, just because they are common surgeries doesn’t mean complications don’t happen. If a problem does occur, it’s usually an infection. Thankfully, there are many precautions pet parents can take to help prevent the incision site from getting infected:
Cone Collar: The vet clinic will send the dog home with a cone collar. Dogs don’t like these collars, and most attempt to take them off. Pet parents are responsible for ensuring their dog keeps the cone collar on. The purpose of the collar is to prevent the dog from licking the incision site and pulling the sutures out. A dog can damage the incision site severely if they manage to pull out the sutures, and will need to get them back to the vet very quickly.
Medications: When the dog comes home from surgery, they will likely still be feeling the effects of the anesthesia and pain medicine the vet gave them. The pet parent will likely be given pain medication and an antibiotic to give their dog. Staff at the vet clinic will go over the medication instructions, and it’s vital the pet parent adheres to them and doesn’t give their dog the wrong dosage.
Exercise: Exercise and playtime should be restricted for two weeks to prevent the incision from tearing open.
Dental surgeries are most common in older dogs and include teeth extractions. As the dog ages, their teeth are prone to decay. The post-surgical care after dental surgery is the same as other post-surgical care, except the dog should also be fed soft food for at least a week.
Additional Dog Advice
Pet parents should call their vet immediately if they suspect their dog has a post-surgical health complication. Signs of a problem include not eating or drinking for 24 hours after surgery.
Learn more about KeraVet Bio Advisor, Dr. Cherice Roth, Chief Medical Officer for Fuzzy, by visiting her on LinkedIn.
This story was originally published March 17, 2022, to the Fuzzy website.