Post-Operative Care For Your Dog - Tips For A Healthy Recovery

Surgery can be a stressful time for both dogs and their human owners. No matter whether the surgery was performed to treat a medical condition or it was a routine neutering, your dog will need ample time to recover. Not only will he require extra love and care from you, but they will also need a clean and dry place to recover indoors. At the same time, you also need to monitor his condition to ensure that he is recovering normally.

Watch for Abnormal Recovery

Signs of abnormal recovery after surgery or anesthesia will vary and can include:

* Pale gums

* Decreased appetite and thirst

* Persistent fatigue or lethargy

* Excessive bleeding from the surgery site

* Trouble breathing

* Diarrhea

* Vomiting

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately.

Routine Care

After surgery, your dog will require a little extra care and attention. Their normal daily routine will need to be adjusted until they have fully recovered from their procedure.

Food and Water: Your veterinarian will advise you as to when to offer your dog food or water after he returns home. There are some dogs that will be uninterested in eating straight away. They will more than likely be more interested in food the next day. If your dog vomits after eating on the night of surgery, just take the food away; sometimes dogs feel nauseous after anesthesia. If he continues to vomit, call your vet immediately.

Playing: Depending on the procedure performed, playing and jumping should be restricted for at least ten days after surgery. Rough housing and too much physical activity can cause the incision to reopen and swell. When you are unable to keep an eye on your dog’s behavior, place him in a kennel, crate or a small room until you return. If possible, carry him up and down stairs. Avoid taking long walks and always ensure that your dog is on a leash. As a safety precaution, keep your dog away from other animals.

Bathing and swimming: If you would like to give your dog a bath, please wait until 10 days after surgery to do so. Bathing before this time can allow water to be carried along the suture and into the skin. The same applies to letting him go for a swim.

As a general rule, you should not allow your dog to lick the surgery site. Although it is their instinct to do so, this can cause an infection or wound breakdown. Dogs are typically given an Elizabethan collar after surgery that will prevent him from reaching the surgery site with his tongue. Make sure that the collar stays on the dog for at least seven days after the surgery.  If your dog was prescribed any medications, make sure that you follow dosage instructions properly.

It is hard work looking after your dog after an operation, but the correct care can mean the difference between a fast recovery and a long drawn out recuperation. If you are uncertain about the symptoms your dog is experiencing and your vet is unavailable, you should call an emergency vet center or if the symptoms appear minor, there are some valuable resources online where you may be able to find the answers you are looking for.


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