Pets aren’t just there to keep you company
after work, they are truly a part of the family. Just like any other family
member, when your pets get sick or sick or hurt, you take them to the vet to be
checked out. It’s inevitable that at some point your pet will likely need to go
in for some kind of surgery, whether it’s a routine spay/neuter or something
more complicated. No matter the procedure, you will want to do everything you
can to help your pet feel comfortable and cared for after the procedure because
quality care leads to quality healing.
If your pet is about to undergo surgery of any type, here are a few tips to help you care for them as best as you can.
Them Use The Bathroom More Often
If your pet was hooked up to an IV and
received fluid, they’ll likely need to go to the bathroom more often the day of
and the day after surgery. If you have a dog, make sure you take it outside more frequently than normal to
ensure its bladder isn’t too full. Likewise, if you have a cat, you may want to
clean the litter box a little more often to create a welcoming environment (and
avoid accidents in the house).
Pet-Proof Your House and Make it Comfortable
If you haven’t already done so leading up to
surgery, be sure to pet-proof your house before your pet’s return.
You’ll want to be extra cautious to any potential hazards around the home
because your pet will be groggy and may hurt itself more easily after a
surgery. Additionally, you can create a separate “healing space” (think:
recovery room) for your pet when they get home. Make it cozy and keep all
essentials closeby for them so they don’t have to travel across the house.
Encourage Lots of Rest and Sleep
Just like humans, pets require lots of rest
and sleep in order to fully heal and recover from surgery or injuries. For
older pets, this isn’t a hard task, but if you have a new puppy it may want to
play or jump around which isn’t great for healing. You can promote rest and
sleep by creating a cozy bed for them in a room where they won’t be disturbed.
Keep the lights dim and consider putting a sound machine nearby to drown out
the noise of kids running around or the doorbell ringing. The less stimulation
there is, the more your pet will be able to rest.
Easy On The Food and Focus on Water Intake
After being put under anesthesia, your pet may
feel a little nauseous and resist eating. This is okay, and to be expected. Don’t try to push food on your pet if they
don’t seem interested in it in the first few days following surgery. Instead,
focus on water intake to ensure hydration. Pets can quickly become dehydrated
if they aren’t taking in enough fluids which can lead to vomiting and other
It may be tempting to just give your pet
treats so they have something in their tummy, but the reward is not worth the
risk. If you’re truly concerned about your pet’s eating habits after a few
days, consult your vet.
Follow Your Vet’s Directions With Medications
Chances are good that your vet will prescribe some sort of medication
for your pet after the surgery. Whether it’s an antibiotic or pain medication,
be sure to read the directions carefully so you are well versed in how much and
how often you should be giving the medication to your animal. If it’s a pain
medication you don’t want to over-do it; be on the lookout for if your pet is
in pain while the drug is active in its system. If your pet was given an
antibiotic, it’s important to administer the right amount of medicine for the
full duration your vet instructed you, regardless of how well your pet may seem
to be doing.
an Eye Out for Infections
There’s a good reason your pet got sent home
with a cone around its neck—it’s so your animal is not tempted to try to
“clean” its wound/incision by licking it. Any time a pet has a wound, particularly
one that requires stitches, it’s essential to ensure it remains clean and taken
care of to avoid infection. Monitor any signs of infection, such as redness,
swelling, pus/discharge, or hardness. Additionally, if your pet seems to be
generally unwell, that could indicate an infection, so it’s important to call
your vet as soon as possible if you suspect there’s a chance of infection.
The bottom line is that your pet will need a
little TLC in the days after surgery. As long as you’re attentive to your pet
and help it get lots of rest, there’s no reason to expect anything but a full
recovery. Your furry friend will be itself again in no time!