What to expect after your pets routine surgery

What to expect after your pets routine surgery

When you collect your pet after surgery the nurse will provide you with a buster collar (head cone cone), pain relief and a discharge sheet. The discharge sheet will have guidelines on what to expect when your pet comes home.

Eating: Once your pet goes home with you they will still be slightly drowsy and dull after the anaesthetic and medications they received. Most pets will have a reduced appetite and some may show very little interest in eating the evening they go home. Some pets may also be nauseous  after surgery, this is not unusual. The day after surgery your pets eating habits should start to return to normal. If your pets reduced appetite persists please phone the clinic for further advice.

Please note, some pets can also experience constipation following a general anaesthetic, this can negatively affect their appetite. If this is the case with your pet please call the clinic and we can offer advice.

Medication: Most pets will be sent home with some pain medication after surgery. Specific instructions will be given by your Vet with your pets medication and it is extremely important they are followed. You will also be given a buster collar (cone) for your pet to wear after surgery. This is vital as it prevents your pet from licking or chewing at their wound, this could open the delicate tissue or introduce bacteria and result in a serious infection. If your pet does not tolerate the buster collar there are alternatives that can be purchased, such as a surgery suit.

Exercise: It is important to prevent your pet from over-exercising themselves after surgery. For the first 2 days keep them in a warm confined area with plenty of bedding and keep dogs on a lead when they go outside to go toilet. After 2 days you can allow your pet more freedom in the house but outside and walking should be restricted. It is also important your pet is not allowed to climb stairs or jump on furniture for 2 weeks after their surgery. Your pet should be kept as quiet as possible after the surgery.


Healing time: Most young healthy pets will heal from a soft tissue surgery, like a spay, castrate or lump removal after 10-14 days. During this time all the blood vessels, muscles and skin are healing and creating scar tissue which will strengthen and allow your pet to return to normal activity. Before the 10 days are over this tissue is very delicate and can be easily damaged, this could result in the wound opening or your pet bleeding.

Your pet will generally feel well after 3-5 days so it will become more difficult to limit their activity. Puzzle feeders or snuffle mats can help use up some of your pets energy without risking their wound.

Pets that have major surgery on organs or orthopaedic surgery will usually have a longer recovery, in some cases up to 8 weeks.


Follow-up: You will be advise on any follow-up visits when your collect your pet after surgery. Things to look out for at home are:

  • Excessive lack of energy, persisting longer than the first 24hours after surgery.
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling, redness or discharge from surgical site.
  • Bleeding from the wound.
  • Bad smell from the wound.

For further information please call your local clinic where a Vet or Nurse will be able to assist your query –  https://highfield.ie/.


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