To make the post-operative period as comfortable as possible here’s some advice which we hope you find useful, but if at any stage, day or night, you have any cause for concern and need to ask any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 01638 560000.
What should I do when my pet arrives home after its operation?
On arrival home you should keep your pet warm and comfortable by providing a soft clean bed, in a quiet and draught free room. At first, pets are often reluctant to eat or drink but this is normal. They should be offered a drink of fresh water and small amounts of tasty food such as Prescription Diet i/d or a/d which aid rapid recovery. Please keep your pet indoors overnight (or longer if instructed) and allow use of litter trays for cats. Please discourage any jumping or activity that will cause excessive stretching of the wound, especially during the first seven days post-operatively.
My pet seems sleepy, quiet or whimpers – is this normal?
Your pet has been given a general anaesthetic or a sedative and a strong painkiller. These drugs take a number of hours to wear off and may cause some patients to appear drowsy for a day or so. Sometimes the animal whimpers and appears shivery and slightly stiff and some may pant, vocalise and become “clingy”. You can ease this by keeping your pet company and patting it. Over the following few days the behaviour should return to normal. However, if you are concerned please contact the surgery.
Why has my pet’s fur been clipped?
One or both of your pet’s front legs, or other areas, may have been clipped to afford aseptic access to the skin, e.g. where the drugs were administered or blood sample taken. Some patients (undergoing more than the most basic of procedures) had a catheter or needle placed into a vein in their leg to allow administration of fluid and drugs.
Why has my pet developed a slight cough since the operation?
Your pet may have had a tube placed in the trachea (windpipe) during the anaesthetic – this can occasionally cause mild irritation and therefore a slight cough as an after-effect. If so, it will settle down over the next few days. If a cough persists please contact the surgery.
What about medication at home?
Please administer any medication you had been given as prescribed and monitor progress as above. In case of difficulties with the drugs please contact the surgery.
What should I do about wound dressing?
In some cases the wound may be covered with a special absorbent dressing, used to protect wounds and absorb any discharges. This dressing should stay in place for about 6 hours. We remove such dressings 3 days after the op. Do not worry if this dressing comes off earlier.
What should the wound look like, and when should I be concerned?
The wound should be clean with the edges together and the skin a normal or slightly reddish/pink colour. Bruising may occasionally be seen around the wound. This may not appear until a few days after the operation, this is due to seepage of blood tinged exudates under the skin edges. Sometimes a small amount of exudate may seep intermittently from a fresh wound for up to 24 hours, especially if the animal is too active.
When must I contact the surgery immediately?
If you see continuous seepage or a large quantity of blood, intermittent blood seepage continuing for more than 24 hours, any large swelling, excessive redness or darkness of the skin or a smelly discharge from the wound. If you notice breathing difficulties or distress.