Post Operative Care

The following paragraphs are a brief explanation of some of the things that may concern you about your animal’s care when he/she comes home from hospital.

You may have noticed that your pet was a bit drowsy and uncoordinated when you arrived at the hospital to pick them up.  This is due to the anaesthetic that they received during the day and this behaviour may continue even after arriving home.  All animals are individuals; therefore their recovery from anaesthetic will also be very individual.

While recovering, a range of conditions may be seen.  These include shaking whilst asleep, in-coordination while walking, third eyelid protrusion, dilated pupils and occasional confusion in regards to their surroundings.  All these signs are temporary and will resolve spontaneously.  

Your pet could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to recover fully from its anaesthetic.  Older animals commonly take 1-2 days to return to normal.

Animals that have undergone an anaesthetic are unable to efficiently regulate their body temperature.  Therefore, they should be kept in a moderately warm environment, free from drafts, for the first 1-2 days following their anaesthetic.

Restricted exercise is often recommended after surgery.  Please follow recommendations suggested at time of discharge from the hospital.

We recommend feeding a smaller meal than normal the night your pet arrives home.  As your pet has been fasted for 24 hours, it may tend to overindulge which can lead to vomiting. However, water should be available at all times.  Normal feeding can resume the following day, unless otherwise instructed.

If your pet has sutures or drains in place, these areas should be kept clean at all times.  Bathing of the affected area can be done with warm salty water or diluted betadine solution and cotton wool.  You should not allow your pet to swim or be fully bathed until the sutures are removed.  Do not let your pet chew or lick the sutures, as this may result in wound healing complications.  If you find that chewing/licking is a problem please contact the clinic to get a deterrent spray or an E-collar.

There may be some swelling and redness at the suture line, which is a normal soft tissue reaction.  However, be aware of any abnormal discharge from the wound, which could indicate infection.  Be sure to note when the drain or sutures are due to be removed and contact the hospital for an appointment. 

If your pet has been sent home with any medications, please ensure you read and fully understand the instructions for administration on the opposite side of this sheet.  If you do have any queries, please do not hesitate to ask the vet or one of our knowledgeable nurses.