Caring for a Recovering Pet After Surgery
September 13, 2023
When a pet undergoes surgery, whether it’s a routine spaying or more complex surgery, it can be a stressful time for the pet and owner. Understanding how to care for your recovering pet after surgery is crucial for a comfortable healing process. While your veterinarian will give you plenty of recovery information, we’ve outlined a few extra things to keep in mind.
Common Behavior in Pets After Surgery
After surgery, your pet will likely be disoriented. It can take anywhere from 24–48 hours for anesthesia to completely wear off after an operation, so your animal may have lower energy and slower reflexes. You may also notice any of the following behaviors post-op:
- Excessive panting
- Decreased appetite
These symptoms should subside after 48 hours. If your pet is still having a hard time recovering from their operation, it’s best to call your veterinarian right away.
How Do I Keep My Pet Comfortable?
Helping your pet whenever possible will help them bounce back from their surgery with ease. Keep in mind that veterinarians recommend that your pet is closely observed throughout the first 12 hours after their surgery.
After surgery, an incision spot should be left alone to heal. A comfy, soft cone for your dog or cat prevents them from licking or biting an incision site, keeping bacteria and other germs away. If your pet had surgery done on their head or face, a pet cone will stop them from incessantly scratching and risking the incision to reopen.
Pet Surgery Suit
Some pets object to anything around their neck, whether that be a collar or pet cone. A surgical recovery suit is your next best option for your pet to heal after surgery. Surgery suits are typically made with soft fabrics, fun colors and patterns, so be sure to find something that matches your pet’s personality.
Keeping Your Pet Calm After Surgery
While your pet recovers, you’ll likely see their energy levels increase day by day. You’ll want to keep them entertained but try to avoid excessive exercise or rough play. Lick mats, toys and other activities are all ways to slowly build your pet back to its normal routine. If your pet is up for the challenge, consider working on training or easy commands.
Post-Op Pet Medication
Some operations have long recovery times and your pet may need pain medication to heal. Your veterinarian will evaluate your pet’s condition and make a recommendation that aligns with their treatment plan. Don’t give your pet additional medication without consulting your veterinarian first.
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