After Surgery Information
Important Additional Information
These instructions are for dogs and house cats. See Trap Neuter Return recovery instructions for community cats here.
No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity for 7 to 10 days.
Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry and warm. No baths during the recovery period. Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats kept indoors.
Keep pet quiet.
Check the incision site twice daily. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal. A firm knot or lump at the incision site is normal. Do not allow pet to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, to prevent the licking, an Elizabethan collar (e-collar) MUST be used.
Lethargy, appetite loss, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing COULD occur up to 24 hours following surgery. Symptoms lasting more than 24 hours should be followed-up by contacting AAAR for a recheck.
Your pet received a green tattoo on their abdomen. This is not an incision.
AAAR will treat at our clinic, at no additional cost, other than take home post-operative medications, for any complications resulting from the surgery.
We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from client’s failure to follow post-op instructions, or for contagious diseases for which the animal was not previously vaccinated.
Your regular veterinarian must address any illness or injury that is not a direct result of surgery.
If there are any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call our surgical line.
Warren surgical line: 586.879.1745; 8:00-5:00. Monday through Friday.
Flint surgical line: 810.780.4978; between the hours of 8:00-5:00. Tuesday through Saturday
If there is an emergency after hours, contact your regular veterinarian, emergency animal clinic. Wilson Vet Hospital has a 24 hour emergency clinic. All About Animals will not reimburse fees from another clinic.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE MY PET TO RECOVER?
It depends upon the length of your pet’s surgery and their individual metabolism. AAAR recommends a minimum of 7 days. Most pets are awake, but disoriented, within 30 minutes following surgery. The disorientation typically fades before the pet is sent home, though sedation from the pain medication could last 24 to 36 hours. This could include shivering, whining and/or grogginess. Healing of the tissues is in “high-gear” for the next 10 to 14 days. Good nutrition, warmth and rest are especially important at this time. Excessive activity such as running and jumping will stress the sutures and could cause the incision to re-open.
HOW SOON CAN I FEED AND WATER MY PET AFTER SURGERY?
Most animals are very excited to be back at home and may eat or drink excessively, causing them to vomit what they just in- gested. Pets sent home the same day should not be allowed to eat or drink for at least one hour to allow them to settle down which decreases the chance of vomiting. At this time only feed them small amounts throughout the evening until bedtime. Eating habits should return to normal the next day. Pets sent home the next day after surgery may resume normal eating, but may not be hungry for the next day or so. In some cases your pet might not want to eat or drink until the following day.
WILL I NEED TO HAVE THE STITCHES REMOVED?
All stitches dissolve internally, unless you are notified otherwise. No further check-up is necessary. There is external glue used, so no sutures will be visible. You will also notice a green line on your pet’s abdomen. This is a tattoo to show that the pet has been sterilized. It requires no additional care.
WILL I NEED TO GIVE MY PET PAIN MEDICATION?
Pain medication is administered by the veterinarian at the clinic immediately following surgery and will last for the next 12 to 36 hours. Nothing further should be given to the pet. Many over-the-counter pain medications can be deadly for cats and dogs.
WILL THERE BE ANY SWELLING OR BLEEDING AT THE INCISION SITE AFTER SURGERY?
A small amount of swelling is normal as the implanted suture material dissolves. Some animals may react more than others to the suture and develop a firm lump or lumps near the incision, which goes away over time, sometimes up to six weeks. A small amount of blood seepage and or bruising from skin blood vessels at the incision site is normal and will subside in approximately one week.
SHOULD I BANDAGE OR PUT AN ANTIBIOTIC ON THE INCISION?
An animal’s first instinct is to lick or chew off anything that is put on them. It is best not to draw additional attention to the incision. If your pet licks or chews at the incision sight, it may be necessary to have them wear an e-collar. This collar can be purchased through us or at most pet stores.
MY AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS SAY TO WATCH FOR LISTLESSNESS. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
It is normal for your pet to be quieter and have a smaller appetite for a few days after surgery. Not wanting to move around at all and not wanting to eat anything after 24 hours should be reported to the emergency technician.