Post Operative Care
Some useful advice and information about the care of your pet, following an anaesthetic. Please feel free to call the surgery at any time, if you require any further advice.
Recovering from an anaesthetic can be hard work!
The anaesthetic protocol which we use, here at A+G Vets, enables us to use medication which is short acting and rapidly cleared from the body. This means our patients are expected to make a smooth and rapid recovery. However, it will still take a minimum of 24 hours for the effects to have worn off fully and for some patients, especially older ones; it could be 48 – 72 hours.
In most cases, there will be a small area of hair on the foreleg which has been clipped. This is where the intravenous catheter has been placed, for either administration of intravenous medication and / or fluids. There may also be a clipped area at the side of their neck – this was where a pre-anaesthetic blood sample was taken. The hair will grow back in approx 3-4 weeks and should not affect your pet in any way.
Care of the Wound
Please be aware that the area around the operation site may be tender so avoid handling the area unless instructed. It is very important that your pet does not lick or chew at the operation site or suture. This can introduce infection or even cause the wound to breakdown, meaning another anaesthetic would be necessary. We advise the use ofSmart Collars, which prevent your pet from reaching the wound or interfering with it. Many patients do not like these collars, so you could use a t-shirt, baby grow or boxer shorts to protect the wound, however these do not offer the same protection as a Smart Collar and pets are still able to reach the wound. The collars can be taken off for exercise or feeding but should be replaced immediately.
The operation site should be checked daily to ensure there is no swelling, redness or infection. If there are any of these signs, then you should phone to make an appointment.
Your pet will have been offered something to eat, during their stay with us. We will advise you if they have eaten this meal. A light diet should be offered in the evening, such as boiled chicken or scrambled egg. If your pet will not eat this food, then a small amount of their normal diet can be offered. If you prefer, you can take home a can of RCW Sensitivity, which is a bland chicken & rice based diet suitable for post-operative recovery.
On the evening of the procedure, we advise that dogs should only be allowed out into the garden, supervised and if necessary, on the lead. Dogs should not be allowed off the lead near a road for 24 hours, as they can still be disorientated and lose their road sense temporarily. All patients should have restricted exercise until their sutures have been removed, either 10 or 14 days later. With cats, we advise that they need to remain indoors, until the sutures have been removed.
Restricted exercise means that dogs should be on a short lead outside and even in the garden, if they are particularly bouncy. Short, frequent walks of 15-30 minutes are advisable. Any over-exertion can lead to sutures bursting or a swelling around the wound, called a seroma. This can delay wound healing and may even lead to another anaesthetic to repair any damage.
Cats with sutures need to be kept indoors to restrict their exercise. If possible, you will need to restrict their access to high areas within the home environment.
Care of Dressings
If your pet has a bandage or dressing covering the wound, it is important to keep this dressing clean and dry. When exercising, the bandage needs to be covered with either a drip boot (which can be obtained from the surgery) or a plastic bag. This bag should not be left on for long periods of time, as it will cause the foot to sweat.
Please pick up our leaflet “Care of Bandages” from the reception for further information.
If your pet has received any dental treatment, then it is imperative to offer soft foods for the next 2-3 days, as their mouth will be tender. If they have had any teeth extracted, then this may be extended until sockets have healed.
Dental home care needs to be started almost immediately post-operatively as plaque can start to build-up just eight hours after dental treatment. One of the nurses will discuss dental home care with you in detail.
Our patients are normally discharged with a pain-killer, which should be given the day after the surgery. Other medications, such as antibiotics, may also be given out. One of the nurses will discuss the medication which your pet is going home with. Please feel free to ask any questions regarding this treatment.
How to contact the Surgery
Please call the surgery if you require to be seen. We have an appointment system and will arrange a convenient appointment, so you can be seen by either the vet or the qualified nurse.
Outwith normal surgery hours, we have 24 hour emergency care. Please phone the surgery to obtain the emergency mobile telephone number. This is extremely important as the emergency number may change on annual leave or Bank Holidays.
Tel – 01324 815888
Your pet may have a bandage around their forearm, where their catheter was placed.
Please remove this when you get home;
failure to do so, will result in a swollen,