Once your dog undergoes surgery, you must play a crucial part in aiding their recovery. Our Los Angeles County veterinarians have provided a set of guidelines on how to look after your dog following surgery properly.
Always Follow Surgery Post-Op Instructions
In the days before and after surgery, you and your dog will likely feel some stress. However, understanding how to care for your canine companion after they settle in at home is critical to helping them get back to their routine as soon as possible.
Upon returning home after your dog's procedure, your veterinarian will provide you with clear and detailed instructions on how to take care of your furry friend. Following these instructions closely is essential to ensure a safe and successful recovery. Don't hesitate to ask for clarification if any of the steps are unclear.
If you find yourself unsure about a specific step in your vet's guidance, you can always reach out to our office for assistance. Depending on the procedure, it will either be done at our facility or by a skilled veterinary surgeon near Los Angeles County.
Whether our veterinarians handle the procedure or refer you to a specialist, the Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach team in Los Angeles County is dedicated to providing top-notch care for your dog. We're here to offer guidance on effective at-home practices that can greatly benefit your dog's recovery, including post-operative care.
Effects of General Anesthetic
Chances are, your veterinarian used a type of anesthesia to ensure your dog stayed asleep and didn't feel any pain during the surgery. It might take a while for the effects of the anesthesia to fade after the procedure.
Feeding Your Dog After Surgery
After surgery, your dog might not feel like eating. This is normal and can happen because of the anesthesia or feeling nauseous. To make things easier, you can offer them a smaller portion of a light meal, like chicken or rice. This is gentler on their stomach than their regular food.
No need to worry if your dog isn't eating right after surgery. Their appetite will likely come back within a day. After about 24 hours, you can start giving them their usual food little by little. If it's been more than 48 hours and your dog still isn't eating, contacting your veterinarian is a good idea. This could be a sign of infection, and they'll be able to help.
Managing Your Dog's Pain After Surgery
After your pet's surgery, the vet will explain the pain relievers and medicines they're prescribing. This helps prevent infections and manages any discomfort. They'll tell you the right amount, how often to give the meds, and how to do it safely. Make sure you follow these instructions closely to keep your dog from unnecessary pain and side effects. Don't hesitate to ask if you're unsure.
If your dog gets anxious after surgery, the vet might give them anti-anxiety meds or sedatives. These help them stay calm while healing. Remember, never give your dog human meds without asking the vet first. Those meds are unsafe for pets, even though they help us humans feel better.
Set Up a Quiet, Comfortable Space
Make sure your dog has a peaceful place to rest and heal. Set up a comfortable bed in a calm area, giving them space to relax away from household commotion. Providing this cozy bed is essential, as it reduces the risk of putting too much pressure on any bandaged or sensitive areas of your pet's body.
Dog Shaking or Coughing After Surgery
Have you noticed your dog shaking or coughing after surgery?
If your dog had a tube placed in their trachea (windpipe) while receiving anesthesia, this may have caused mild irritation and a slight cough. A mild post-surgical cough will usually diminish over the next few days. Contact our hospital if the coughing persists or worsens.
Shaking after surgery is typically an after-effect of anesthesia or pain control medication. Have your pet frequently eat small amounts of food, then hold them in your lap or sit next to them while speaking to them and giving lots of reassuring pets. The extra love and attention will help.
Restrict your Pet's Movement
Following your pet's surgery, the vet might suggest limiting your dog's movement and physical activity for a certain period. Quick stretches or jumps can interfere with the healing process and lead to reopened incisions.
The extent of confinement needed after the surgery depends on the type of procedure. You might not have to go to the extent of using a full cage or crate. Most dogs can remain indoors for a few days, with occasional trips outside for bathroom breaks.
However, preventing your dog from climbing stairs or jumping on their favorite furniture might be a challenge. If you can't directly supervise, consider keeping your pup in a safe and cozy room in the house.
If your dog is recuperating from orthopedic surgery, they might need to stay in a smaller pen, similar to a laundry room, gradually increasing exercise as they recover.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.