Taking care of your convalescent pet
Your pet has undergone surgery and his/her condition is stable enough to bring him/her home. Follow our veterinarian’s advice for a better management of the post-operative period. It’s your turn to play nurse!
Preparing properly for his/her return
Anesthesia and the stress of hospitalization have worn out your companion. Set up a comfortable bed, in a quiet and warm corner (around 77°F) where you can monitor your pet over the first few days.
Treating a wound properly
- Above all, make sure that your pet does not touch his/her stitches! If necessary, put a protective Elizabethan collar around his/her neck to prevent licking.
- Keep dressings clean and dry.
- Contact your veterinarian if the wound weeps, bleeds or if the condition of your pet does not appear to be improving.
The stitches are normally removed within 12 days following the procedure.
Some healing products can help with skin regeneration, talk to your veterinarian about this so that he/she can recommend an appropriate care.
Your cat may have trouble cleaning him/herself and this may cause discomfort. Since post-operative baths are not recommended, rinse-free cleansers can help pets undergoing convalescence maintain a good hygiene.
Exercise and nutrition
A special diet?
Your pet may lack appetite during the first 48 hours, so make sure he/she starts eating again properly and have access to fresh water to maintain hydration
Can your dog/cat exercise after an operation?
Rest is of the utmost importance for a good recovery. Depending on the type of procedure, exercise should be resumed gradually, following the veterinarian’s instructions. After minor surgery (neutering, etc.), cats and dogs are kept inside for 48 hours, followed by short walks on a lead over the next week. After bone surgery (hips, knee, etc.), it may be necessary to restrict the space your pet has access to, with the help of a cage or a recovery pen, for a few weeks. Your pet will need to be walked on a lead for 6 weeks and will be prohibited from jumping and running for 6 to 8 weeks.
Dr Vanessa Marmolejo, veterinarian