How to Help your pet recover
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU BRING YOUR PET HOME
LICKING OR BITING AT INCISION SITE
IF YOUR PET WAS IN HEAT
• Once surgical procedures are completed and after full recovery from anesthesia, animals are discharged from the clinic the same day as surgery.
DOG AND CAT DISCHARGE TIMES ARE SET WHEN YOU SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT. PLEASE FOLLOW THOSE INSTRUCTIONS.
•Our doors are locked until these discharge times. It’s important to arrive on time as you need to be there to view our discharge video. If you arrive early please wait in your car while we get your pet ready to go home. (*Late Fee may apply)
• Plan to be here 20-30 minutes for discharge. Please note that in the rare event of unforeseen circumstances or emergencies at the clinic there may be a longer wait at discharge.
• We will review the (After Surgery Instructions) with you. You will be told what to expect over the next few days as your pet recovers from surgery.
• You will be told of any conditions or medical issues the veterinarian may have found during examination which may require follow up at a full service veterinary clinic.
• Your pet had major surgery with general anesthesia, which means he/she was unconscious during the operation.
• In female dogs and cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall.
• In male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. Male dogs have an incision just above the scrotum. Male cats have two incisions, one in each side of the scrotum. Male cats may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal – the swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU BRING YOUR PET HOME
• We strongly recommend you keep your pet confined in a crate or small room the night after surgery.
• Your pet may be groggy when you get home, experiencing a “hang-over” from the anesthesia. Your pet will typically require 18-24 hours to recover from the general anesthesia. Most animals will be back to normal when the anesthesia leaves their system entirely.
• Your pet may sleep much more than normal for 18-24 hours following surgery.
• You pet may be a little agitated or aggressive due to the after-effects of anesthesia. Avoid handling the animal too much as he/she may try to bite or scratch you.
• Isolate the animal from children and other pets. He may be more prone to snapping or nipping at other pets and even children due to the after-effects of anesthesia.
• Your pet may have poor balance. This will make climbing stairs or getting in and out of the car more difficult than usual, so be ready to assist. Help your dog in and out of the car as sudden movements can damage his stitches. Lift the dog by wrapping your arms around the dog’s chest/front legs and rear/back legs.
• Make sure your cat has a comfortable spot to sleep in a confined, secure, quiet place. Once she’s settled, she’s likely to sleep it off and will be fine upon awakening.
• What you see on the day of surgery is what we consider normal. There should be no drainage. A very small amount of redness/swelling at incision may occur.
• If animal allows, check incision site once daily for one week. Check for excessive redness, swelling, discharge, blood or if incision site is open.
• Do not clean or apply any topical ointment to the incision site.
• Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures.
• Male cats do not have any sutures.
• All sutures are absorbable on the inside. The very outer layer of skin is held together with surgical glue.
• If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, he/she will need to return in 7-10 days to have those removed.
• All female cats, female dogs, and male dogs receive a small green tattoo on the incision line.
• This is a universally recognized tattoo that identifies your pet has been spayed or neutered.
• Tattoos are generally not placed on male cats.
• Anesthesia tends to make animals experience nausea, so your pet may not want to eat when he/she gets home after surgery.
• You need to re-introduce food slowly. Offer a small amount of food and water as soon as animal is fully awake. If vomiting occurs, wait until the next day to give more food. Provide your normal amount of food and water to your pet on the day after surgery.
• Do not change your pet’s diet at this time and do not give junk food, table scraps, milk or any other people food for a period of one week. This could mask post-surgical complications.
• Your pet’s appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery.
DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO LICK OR BITE THE INCISION
• Licking or biting the incision could cause the wound to re-open and become infected. To keep your pet from licking the incision during healing process we recommend an E-collar be worn during the recovery period. You may purchase an E-collar from Operation PETS for $10.00 you can buy one at PetSmart, PETCO, etc.
• Other products like Lick Guard or Bitter Apple are topical ointment and sprays that may also be purchased at Operation PETS, PetSmart, PETCO or Walmart. These products have a bitter taste that deters licking and chewing.
If your female dog or cat was in heat at the time of surgery, you must keep her away from un-neutered males for at least two weeks. While she is unable to become pregnant, she will still attract intact males for a short period of time.
• The healing process takes 7-10 days.
• Any strenuous activity could disrupt the healing process.
• Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet. It is very important that you limit your pet’s activity during the healing process.
• Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm.
• No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity during the 7-10 day recovery period.
• Do not bathe your pet or have it groomed during the recovery period.
• When outdoors dogs should be on a leash and taken for short walks only for next 10 days.
• Non-feral cats should be kept indoors for the next 10 days.
• Keep animal away from all hazards (including stairs).
Spaying and neutering are very safe surgeries; however, complications can occur. Minimal redness and swelling should resolve within several days. Please contact Operation PETS immediately (Tuesday-Friday) if redness and swelling persists or if you notice any of the following:
• Pale gums
• Discharge or bleeding from the incision
• Difficulty urinating
• Labored breathing
• Decreased appetite
• Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours
Operation PETS will re-check your pet at no charge at our clinic for any complications resulting directly from surgery. There may be a minimal cost for medication if needed (such as antibiotics) or an e-collar.
Operation PETS cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-operative instructions or for contagious diseases in post-operative period.
Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery.
If there is an emergency when Operation PETS is not open, please call your regular veterinarian or one of the following 24-hour veterinary emergency hospitals for medical assistance.
Grand Island Animal Hospital
2323 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY
Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center
3930 North Buffalo Rd, Orchard Park, NY
Greater Buffalo Veterinary Services
4949 Main Street, Amherst, NY
3443 South Park Ave., Buffalo, NY 14219
Phone: 716-783-8998 | Fax: 716-783-8099
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