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Dog Surgery Aftercare

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Dog Surgery Aftercare

Surgery can be an unpleasant experience for your dog. It is important for their health and happiness to give your pet the best post surgery care.

What to Expect After your Dogs Surgery

Dogs are usually given general anaesthetic when being operated on. This will leave them sleepy post operation. When collecting your dog after their surgery, as with any dog after anesthesias, it’s likely for them to be wobbly on their feet. It is likely that your dog will need to take further medication after an operation which will be given to you by the vet. This medication could be in the form of anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and pain relief. Uncomfortable and confused, in most cases dogs will need to sleep off the effects of the anaesthetic. It is advised to let them sleep, giving them some peace and quiet without being disturbed. In some cases, disorientated dogs after surgery may show aggression which may persist until your dog fully recovers from the pain of the surgery.

What Kind of Food Should you Give your Dog After Surgery?

While all dogs respond differently to surgery, a common post surgery side effect is lack of appetite. This is normal and most dogs wont eat after surgery. It is likely caused by nausea from the anesthetic and general discomfort from the surgery. Although not ideal, this is perfectly normal and your dog can go a day without eating without adverse side effects. 

Here are some tips to help your dog eat post surgery:

Warm up their food

Adding warm water to dry food will make it soft and easier for your dog to eat. Heating food in the microwave can also enhance its smell making it more enticing for them to eat it.

Give your Dog Tastier Protein or a Home Cooked Meal

If your dog wont eat their own food, prepare a home cooked meal of chicken and rice. This could also be substituted for other carbs and protein as long as it isn’t too rich as to not further upset their already sensitive stomach.

Hand Feed your Dog

Gently hand feeding your dog small bits of cooked chicken may give them the needed encouragement. Make sure not to russh them or force them to eat.

Feed your Dog Baby Food

Baby food is easy to digest with no chewing required so this may be a good option to get your dog eating after surgery.

Manage your Pets Pain After Surgery

Your vet will start pain management for your pet before their procedure even begins. Managing your pets pain is always a priority but it is particularly important after invasive procedures. When bringing your pet home after surgery it is essential to follow your vets instructions carefully and consistently. The specific aftercare medication will depend on the nature of the surgery but generally a dog anti inflammatory (NSAID) will be the base of your dog’s medication with the possibility of other added medication.

Care for your Dogs Surgery Wounds

After the stress of surgery it is best to allow your dog to rest in familiar territory. Although it is recommended to leave them in peace it is also important to keep them under close observation during the first 24 hours after surgery. Dogs will sometimes lick their wound and it may be necessary for them to wear a cone. Alternatively they could wear a surgical recovery suit for dogs if your dog won’t sleep in a cone.

Recovery Times and Follow Up Appointments

Operations involving soft tissue such as neutering and abdominal surgery will recover quicker than those involving bones, ligaments or joints. Your pet should be fully recovered from soft tissue operations after 6 weeks of healing. Bone and ligament operations will take significantly longer and will depend on the extent of the surgery. Make sure to always take your vets advise and go to all scheduled follow up appointments.

If you are concerned about the rate at which your pet is recovering it as advised to get in contact with your vet.