7 Ways on How to Take Care of Your Pet After Surgery

How To Treat Your Dog After Surgery

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When a person chooses to become a pet parent, the health and care of your pet fall onto them completely. In case the pet gets sick and requires surgery, the owner has to ensure that they take care of the ill pet before and after the operation.

It is vital to keep in mind essential things that would provide the pet recovers completely. The owner can get pet info from the vet on how best to take care of the sick animal and what not to do during this time. 

1. Keep your pet indoors and limit their movement to prevent opening up the stitches

Most pets would not like to sit still even after surgery, and it is up to the owner to find ways to confine the animal indoors to prevent infections and tampering of the wound. This time would enable the wound to heal and the pet to have the recommended rest it needs. 

Depending on the recommended time of confinement, the owner has to make confinement comfortable and warm in a crate where there is foot traffic for the pet to stay still. The pet’s bedding should be changed frequently to prevent bacteria and parasites from accumulating. 

2. Clean the wound daily to prevent infections

The owner has to check on the wound regularly for any discharge or discoloration which are signs of infections which include pus discharge or localized reddening, oozing of blood or other fluids from the incision, swelling or foul-smelling discharge; for the duration of the post-op period which is approximately 10-14 days after surgery.

The wound should be cleaned and redressed daily. Take steps to prevent your pet from picking at the stitches through biting, chewing or scratching. You can use Elizabethan collars, a bucket-like device worn around the neck. Your pet may not like it but it essential so that the pet doesn’t interfere with the wound.

There are unique animal shirts that the owner can get in pet stores to cover the wound. The wound and bandages should be kept dry, and in case the dog has to go outside for a walk or to pee, a plastic covering should be placed over the bandage and secured with tape. There is no need to wash the pet for at least ten days. 

3. Administer post-op medication as instructed by the vet

The anesthesia will eventually wear off, and the pet may require pain medication to prevent discomfort. This is part of the post-op medication given to the owner to administer to the pet at home. The vet will also prescribe antibiotics that will prevent infection.

Hyperactive pets will be given sedatives or anti-anxiety medication so that they can rest after surgery. However, this does not mean that all surgeries require post-op medication. Post op details will vary based on the pet info such as species, age, condition, etc. 

4. Watch your pet’s diet

This is the time that the owner needs to watch what the pet eats. The food should be nutritious and aid in the recovery of the pet. Depending on the instructions of the vet, give your pet bland food. Check on your pet’s appetite and any signs of vomiting.

Serious concerns regarding feeding should be directed to the vet as it can be a sign of infection, pain or other health concerns. The owner will need to adjust the pet’s calorie consumption during this period as the pet won’t be requiring extra energy as it rests. 

5. Monitor pet for the first few hours for systems

Just as in humans, it is important to monitor the patient for worrying symptoms immediately after surgery to arrest any complications.

Some problematic signs include; Lethargy (unsteadiness) particularly after 24 hours, Vomiting – particularly after 24 hours, Excessive redness and Swelling around the surgery site, Bleeding from the wound, excessive sleeping, shivering, pale gums, labored breathing, Discharge from the wound, loss of appetite among others. 

6. Keep your pet entertained after surgery

For the duration the pet remains confined in the house, the owner should keep the patient comfortable and entertained. A pet in recovery requires more attention from the owner as it can get thrown off since its routine has changed. Playing and snuggling with it can be helpful in lowering its anxiety and aid in quick recovery.

It may still need to be walked but after the recommended observation period. Changes in the pet’s routine will lead to frustration and thus the need to boost its morale. The owner could introduce toys and games that require minimum movement. 

7. Stick to the follow-up appointments

In case the owner doesn’t know how to change bandages, he or she may need to take the pet to the vet to have the dressings changed otherwise there will be pressure sores and inhibited blood flow to the healing area. Bandages shouldn’t be too tight or too loose that’s why its best to leave its application to a professional.

This is where the vet gets to remove stitches, cast and carry out other tests. Follow up appointments also help the vet determine if the pet is getting better and if the surgery was a success. Complications can be detected early and actions are taken to save the pet. 


Pets are part of the family, and when they are sick or injured, they require the same attention and care from their owners. It is vital to adhere to the advice given by the vet on how best to take care of a pet after surgery as this is the only way they will recover faster.


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