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Post Operation Care

It can be an emotional experience when your pet needs an operation and once at home, further care provided by owners is a vital part of the healing process and post-operative care. Whether you plan on having your pet operated on or you already have, here are some post-operative notes to help you through the recovery period.

After an operation, lots of rest and relaxation is needed so a comfy place to sleep in peace and quiet is recommended. Your dog may be wearing a buster collar - a cone-shaped collar that prevents licking - so it's a good idea to prepare your home and remove any fragile items that may be vulnerable to being knocked! 

Cats should be kept indoors for 1-3 days following anaesthetic, so ensure that your home is cat escape proof!

If you are finding it difficult to care for your pet during recovery or have any concerns at all, please call us for advice.

Click on the links for the relevant information on post-operative care.

  • General anaesthesia
  • Sedation
  • Castrate cat
  • Castrate dog
  • Spay bitch
  • Spay cat
  • Orthopaedic
  • Dental
  • Bandage and wound care
  • Rabbit

General anaesthesia

General anaesthesia

Your pet has had a general anaesthetic and may well be drowsy. This is normal and should resolve in 24-48 hours. They need to be kept quiet, warm and comfortable with free access to fresh water.

A small area of hair will have been clipped from one or both front legs - this is where the intravenous cannula has been placed in order to administer medications. There may be a small dressing in place called a ‘pressure bandage’ which can be removed in a few hours. If your pet has also had a blood sample they will have had a patch clipped on their neck. These areas can sometimes appear red or bruised, which can be normal. They should be kept clean and dry and should resolve in 24-48 hours.

Your pet may be wearing a buster collar or medical t-shirt. This is to prevent them from licking any wounds and must be kept in place until the post-operative assessment where further instructions will be given.

Medications prescribed by the vet will have been explained to you on discharge however if you have any questions or concerns please contact the practice directly. Please read the instruction label and make sure that you understand how and when to give them. If you have any questions please contact the practice.

Your pet will have been offered food on recovery from their procedure but you can feed them a small amount of their normal food tonight. Don’t worry if they are not hungry, their appetite should be back to normal after 24 hours. If they do appear hungry then please feed them little and often rather than one large meal. Routine feeding can usually resume within 24 hours.

Wound dressings should be kept in place until the post-operative assessment unless instructed otherwise at discharge. Dressings must be kept clean and dry and regularly checked for swelling, smell or discharge. Foot dressings can be kept dry by covering with a plastic bag but these must be in place for as little time as necessary. Your pet should be discouraged from interfering with any dressings by using a buster collar or medical t-shirt.

Your pet will require a post-operative assessment with a vet or nurse a few days after the procedure. This will be to make sure that they are recovering from their anaesthesia, that any wounds are healing well and to discuss any further medication or management of their condition. The post-operative consultation is included in the price of the procedure however a change of dressing or bandage will incur a charge.

Sedation

Sedation

Your pet has had a sedation and may well be drowsy. This is normal and should resolve within 24 hours. They need to be kept quiet, warm and comfortable with free access to fresh water. Cats should be kept indoors for 3-4 days.

A small area of hair will have been clipped from one or both front legs - this is where the intravenous cannula has been placed in order to administer medications. There may be a small dressing in place called a ‘pressure bandage’ which can be removed in a few hours. If your pet has also had a blood sample they will have had a patch clipped on their neck. These areas can sometimes appear red or bruised, which can be normal. They should be kept clean and dry and should resolve in 24-48 hours.

Your pet may be wearing a buster collar or medical t-shirt. This is to prevent them from licking any wounds and must be kept in place until the post-operative assessment where further instructions will be given.

Medications prescribed by the vet will have been explained to you on discharge however if you have any questions or concerns please contact the practice directly. Please read the instruction label and make sure that you understand how and when to give them. If you have any questions please contact the practice.

Your pet will have been offered food on recovery from their procedure but you can feed them a small amount of their normal food tonight. Don’t worry if they are not hungry, their appetite should be back to normal after 24 hours. If they do appear hungry then please feed them little and often rather than one large meal. Routine feeding can usually resume within 24 hours.

Wound dressings should be kept in place until the post-operative assessment unless instructed otherwise at discharge. Dressings must be kept clean and dry and regularly checked for swelling, smell or discharge. Foot dressings can be kept dry by covering with a plastic bag but these must be in place for as little time as necessary. Your pet should be discouraged from interfering with any dressings by using a buster collar or medical t-shirt.

Your pet will require a post-operative assessment with a vet or nurse a few days after the procedure. This will be to make sure that they are recovering from their anaesthesia, that any wounds are healing well and to discuss any further medication or management of their condition. The post-operative consultation is included in the price of the procedure however a change of dressing or bandage will incur a charge.

Castrate cat

Castrate cat

Your cat has had a general anaesthetic and may well be drowsy. This is normal and should resolve in 24-48 hours. They need to be kept indoors for 3 days, quiet, warm and comfortable with free access to fresh water.

A small area of hair will have been clipped from one or both front legs - this is where the intravenous cannula has been placed in order to administer medications. There may be a small dressing in place called a ‘pressure bandage’ which can be removed in a few hours. If your cat has also had a blood sample they will have had a patch clipped on their neck. These areas can sometimes appear red or bruised, which can be normal. They should be kept clean and dry and should resolve in 24-48 hours.

Medications prescribed by the vet will have been explained to you on discharge however if you have any questions or concerns please contact the practice directly. Please read the instruction label and make sure that you understand how and when to give them. If you have any questions please contact the practice.

Your cat will have been offered food on recovery from their procedure but you can feed them a small amount of their normal food tonight. Don’t worry if they are not hungry, their appetite should be back to normal after 24 hours. If they do appear hungry then please feed them little and often rather than one large meal. Routine feeding can usually resume within 24 hours.

Castrate dog

Castrate dog

Your dog has had a general anaesthetic and may well be drowsy. This is normal and should resolve in 24-48 hours. They need to be kept quiet, warm and comfortable with free access to fresh water.

A small area of hair will have been clipped from one or both front legs - this is where the intravenous cannula has been placed in order to administer medications. There may be a small dressing in place called a ‘pressure bandage’ which can be removed in a few hours. If your dog has also had a blood sample they will have had a patch clipped on their neck. These areas can sometimes appear red or bruised, which can be normal. They should be kept clean and dry and should resolve in 24-48 hours.

Your dog may be wearing a buster collar or medical t-shirt. This is to prevent them from licking any wounds and must be kept in place until the post-operative assessment where further instructions will be given. Wound dressings should be removed in 24 hours by gently peeling them away from the skin. The wound should be monitored for any swelling, bleeding or discharge.

If your dog will allow it, please apply a cold compress to the scrotum for 5 minutes twice daily for the first 3-5 days to reduce any swelling or bruising. This can be achieved by using a handful of cotton wool or kitchen towel soaked in cold tap water.

Medications prescribed by the vet will have been explained to you on discharge however if you have any questions or concerns please contact the practice directly. Please read the instruction label and make sure that you understand how and when to give them. If you have any questions please contact the practice.

Your dog will have been offered food on recovery from their procedure but you can feed them a small amount of their normal food tonight. Don’t worry if they are not hungry, their appetite should be back to normal after 24 hours. If they do appear hungry then please feed them little and often rather than one large meal. Routine feeding can usually resume within 24 hours.

Your dog must be on restricted exercise immediately post-op. They should be allowed out to the toilet on a lead for 24-48 hours. After this we recommend short lead exercise for 5-7 days or until the post-operative assessment when the vet or nurse will advise you on an exercise regime.

Your dog will require a post-operative assessment with a vet or nurse a few days after the procedure. This will be to make sure that they are recovering from their anaesthesia, that any wounds are healing well and to discuss any further medication or management of their condition. The post-operative consultation is included in the price of the procedure.

Spay bitch

Spay bitch

Your dog has had a general anaesthetic and may well be drowsy. This is normal and should resolve in 24-48 hours. They need to be kept quiet, warm and comfortable with free access to fresh water.

A small area of hair will have been clipped from one or both front legs - this is where the intravenous cannula has been placed in order to administer medications. There may be a small dressing in place called a ‘pressure bandage’ which can be removed in a few hours. If your dog has also had a blood sample they will have had a patch clipped on their neck. These areas can sometimes appear red or bruised, which can be normal. They should be kept clean and dry and should resolve in 24-48 hours.

Your dog may be wearing a buster collar or medical t-shirt. This is to prevent them from licking any wounds and must be kept in place until the post-operative assessment where further instructions will be given. Wound dressings should be removed in 24 hours by gently peeling them away from the skin. The wound should be monitored for any swelling, bleeding or discharge.

Medications prescribed by the vet will have been explained to you on discharge however if you have any questions or concerns please contact the practice directly. Please read the instruction label and make sure that you understand how and when to give them. If you have any questions please contact the practice.

Your dog will have been offered food on recovery from their procedure but you can feed them a small amount of their normal food tonight. Don’t worry if they are not hungry, their appetite should be back to normal after 24 hours. If they do appear hungry then please feed them little and often rather than one large meal. Routine feeding can usually resume within 24 hours.

Your dog has had major abdominal surgery and must be on restricted exercise immediately post-op. They should be allowed out to the toilet on a lead for 48 hours. After this we recommend short lead exercise for 14 days or until the post-operative assessment when the vet or nurse will advise you on an exercise regime.

Your dog should be discouraged from interfering with any dressings by using a buster collar or medical t-shirt.

Your dog will require a post-operative assessment with a vet or nurse a few days after the procedure. This will be to make sure that they are recovering from their anaesthesia, that any wounds are healing well and to discuss any further medication or management of their condition. The post-operative consultation is included in the price of the procedure.

 

Spay cat

Spay cat

Your cat has had a general anaesthetic and may well be drowsy. This is normal and should resolve in 24-48 hours. They need to be kept indoors for 3 days, quiet, warm and comfortable with free access to fresh water.

A small area of hair will have been clipped from one or both front legs - this is where the intravenous cannula has been placed in order to administer medications. There may be a small dressing in place called a ‘pressure bandage’ which can be removed in a few hours. If your cat has also had a blood sample they will have had a patch clipped on their neck. These areas can sometimes appear red or bruised, which can be normal. They should be kept clean and dry and should resolve in 24-48 hours.

Your cat may be wearing a buster collar or medical t-shirt. This is to prevent them from licking any wounds and must be kept in place until the post-operative assessment where further instructions will be given.

Medications prescribed by the vet will have been explained to you on discharge however if you have any questions or concerns please contact the practice directly. Please read the instruction label and make sure that you understand how and when to give them. If you have any questions please contact the practice.

Your cat will have been offered food on recovery from their procedure but you can feed them a small amount of their normal food tonight. Don’t worry if they are not hungry, their appetite should be back to normal after 24 hours. If they do appear hungry then please feed them little and often rather than one large meal. Routine feeding can usually resume within 24 hours.

Your cat has had major abdominal surgery and must be on restricted exercise immediately post-op. They should be kept indoors for 14 days or until the post-operative assessment when the vet or nurse will advise you on an exercise regime.

Your cat will require a post-operative assessment with a vet or nurse a few days after the procedure. This will be to make sure that they are recovering from their anaesthesia, that any wounds are healing well and to discuss any further medication. The post-operative consultation is included in the price of the procedure.

Orthopaedic

Orthopaedic

Your pet has had a general anaesthetic and may well be drowsy. This is normal and should resolve in 24-48 hours. They need to be kept quiet, warm and comfortable with free access to fresh water.

A small area of hair will have been clipped from one or both front legs - this is where the intravenous cannula has been placed in order to administer medications. There may be a small dressing in place called a ‘pressure bandage’ which can be removed in a few hours. If your pet has also had a blood sample they will have had a patch clipped on their neck. These areas can sometimes appear red or bruised, which can be normal. They should be kept clean and dry and should resolve in 24-48 hours.

Your pet may be wearing a buster collar or medical t-shirt. This is to prevent them from licking any wounds and must be kept in place until the post-operative assessment where further instructions will be given.

Wound dressings should be kept in place until the post-operative assessment unless instructed otherwise at discharge. Dressings must be kept clean and dry and regularly checked for swelling, smell or discharge. Foot dressings can be kept dry by covering with a plastic bag but these must be in place for as little time as necessary. Your pet should be discouraged from interfering with any dressings by using a buster collar or medical t-shirt.

Medications prescribed by the vet will have been explained to you on discharge however if you have any questions or concerns please contact the practice directly. Please read the instruction label and make sure that you understand how and when to give them. If you have any questions please contact the practice.

Your pet will have been offered food on recovery from their procedure but you can feed them a small amount of their normal food tonight. Don’t worry if they are not hungry, their appetite should be back to normal after 24 hours. If they do appear hungry then please feed them little and often rather than one large meal. Routine feeding can usually resume within 24 hours.

Your dog must be on restricted exercise immediately post-op. They should be allowed out to the toilet on a lead for 24-48 hours. After this there will be a slow reintroduction to exercise as advised by the vet.

Your pet will require a post-operative assessment with a vet or nurse a few days after the procedure. This will be to make sure that they are recovering from their anaesthesia, that any wounds are healing well and to discuss any further medication or management of their condition. The post-operative consultation is included in the price of the procedure however a change of dressing or bandage will incur a charge.

Your pet may also require post-operative x-rays in 6 weeks. An estimate of costs can be arranged on request if not already. Your pet will require sedation or general anaesthesia to perform these x-rays.

For further information please visit the website of our visiting orthopaedic specialist: https://www.auorthopaedics.co.uk/owner-resources

Dental

Dental

Your pet has had a general anaesthetic and may well be drowsy. This is normal and should resolve in 24-48 hours. They need to be kept quiet, warm and comfortable with free access to fresh water.

A small area of hair will have been clipped from one or both front legs - this is where the intravenous cannula has been placed in order to administer medications. There may be a small dressing in place called a ‘pressure bandage’ which can be removed in a few hours. If your pet has also had a blood sample they will have had a patch clipped on their neck. These areas can sometimes appear red or bruised, which can be normal. They should be kept clean and dry and should resolve in 24-48 hours.

Medications prescribed by the vet will have been explained to you on discharge however if you have any questions or concerns please contact the practice directly. Please read the instruction label and make sure that you understand how and when to give them. If you have any questions please contact the practice.

Your pet will have been offered food on recovery from their dental procedure. To avoid unnecessary pain or discomfort please feed a soft food for the next 5-7 days. They can be offered food this evening, but don’t worry if they are not hungry, their appetite should be back to normal after 24 hours. If they do appear hungry then please feed them little and often rather than one large meal. Routine feeding can usually resume within 24 hours.

Following your dog’s dental procedure, they should be allowed out to the toilet on a lead for 24 hours. After this they should be able to return to their normal level of activity.

Your pet will require a post-operative assessment with a vet or nurse a few days after the procedure. This will be to make sure that they are recovering from their anaesthesia, that any wounds are healing well and to discuss any further medication or management of their condition. The post-operative consultation is included in the price of the procedure.

Bandage and wound care

Bandage and wound care

A small area of hair will have been clipped from one or both front legs - this is where the intravenous cannula has been placed in order to administer medications. There may be a small dressing in place called a ‘pressure bandage’ which can be removed in a few hours. If your pet has also had a blood sample they will have had a patch clipped on their neck. These areas can sometimes appear red or bruised, which can be normal. They should be kept clean and dry and should resolve in 24-48 hours.

Your pet may be wearing a buster collar or medical t-shirt. This is to prevent them from licking any wounds and must be kept in place until the post-operative assessment where further instructions will be given.

Wound dressings should be kept in place until the post-operative assessment unless instructed otherwise at discharge. Dressings must be kept clean and dry and regularly checked for swelling, smell or discharge. Foot dressings can be kept dry by covering with a plastic bag but these must be in place for as little time as necessary. Your pet should be discouraged from interfering with any dressings by using a buster collar or medical t-shirt.

Your pet will require a post-operative assessment with a vet or nurse a few days after the procedure. This will be to make sure that they are recovering from their anaesthesia, that any wounds are healing well and to discuss any further medication or management of their condition. The post-operative consultation is included in the price of the procedure however a change of dressing or bandage will incur a charge.

Rabbit

Rabbit

Your rabbit will have had a general anaesthetic today and fur may have been clipped from one or more areas. The anaesthetic should wear off within a few hours of the procedure, however you may notice that he/she remains a little unsteady or drowsy for up to 48 hours. During this time please keep them indoors in the warm and relatively quiet.

If your rabbit usually shares a hutch or cage with another rabbit, please keep them apart during the healing process, which is usually 10-14 days, to avoid any interference with the wound or rough play.

It is vital that you monitor you rabbit to ensure he/she is eating and toileting normally. If they are not eating by the following morning after their procedure, please contact the surgery immediately. Your rabbit may have been sent home with some syringe food. Please give 3-15mls up to 6 times per day until bedtime, or until your rabbit is eating normally.

Please also monitor for normal faeces; if they appear softer or smaller than usual, please let us know.

Pain relief medication will have been provided. Please read the instruction label and make sure that you understand how and when to give them. If you have any questions please contact the practice. If you feel that your rabbit is uncomfortable and may require further pain relief, please contact us. Signs of pain include a hunched posture and reluctance to move or eat.

It is important that your rabbit does not lick or interfere with its surgical wound as this can cause infection and other complications. Please contact us if you are concerned. It is advisable to keep your rabbit on towels or sheets whilst healing to avoid any bedding material from contaminating the wound.

Please feel free to ask any questions at your post-operative assessment in 2-3 days’ time. If you are at all concerned about your rabbit please contact us as soon as possible.

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