How to care for your pet before and after a surgery?

19 Sep 2015 | by | Posted in: Health


I think one of the scariest thing that haunts pet parents everywhere is the prospect of their furry baby going through a surgery. There are a lot of pet parents who have had to take their babies for a surgery - whether it was to neuter / spay them or for removal of a cyst or tumor or whether it is for a repair to a tear or cut - and trust me the fear cannot be expressed in words. While there are a few "experienced" pet parents, there will be a few who would be a novice. For your help, we bring to you a check list of pre and post operative care for your furry babies.

Deciding on the surgery:

  • Find a trusted veterinarian, a experienced doctor is always recommended.
  • Share all medical details of your dog - vaccinations, medications, allergies, age, weight
  • Ask as many questions as possible about the surgery:
    • ?The duration of the surgery
    • The procedure that will be followed
    • The recovery period post the surgery
    • Precautionary care that needs to be taken
    • Complications, if any are involved in the surgery
    • Type of stitches that will be used - linen / nylon / silk
    • Post operative care to be followed
    • Medications, if any that will be prescribed
    • have a look at the surgical room to assess how well the clinic is equipped

Pre - operative care:

  • Since the surgery will involve anaesthesia, it is advisable that there is a fasting of 8 - 12 hours. Anaesthesia may cause the dogs to vomit which can lead to complications. Do not give any water, biscuits, treats or food to your dog.
  • Follow the schedule for the surgery. Be on time and do not delay the process.
  • Stay with your dog till the anaesthesia takes effect so that your dog does not feel abandoned or lost.

Post surgical check:

  • Post surgical care is as important as the pre surgical care
  • Post surgery, your dog will be disoriented and might show signs of fear or aggression.
  • Keep a tab on the time it takes for your dog to come out of anaesthesia.
  • Ensure that the wound is stitched properly is covered with a waterproof sterile dressing.

Expected temperamental changes post surgery:

Post surgery, your otherwise happy dog may display the following changes in temperament. These are normal and will fade away as the they recover.

  • Your dog is unusually quiet / listless / unresponsive
  • He / she may whine or whimper or might snap
  • He / she may become either aggresively or submissively
  • The ears may flatten against the head
  • he / she may become clingy and seek a lot more affection than other days

Post surgical care, when at home:

  • Do not let your dog lick the stitches or the wound. Licking can delay the healing and cause infection.
  • Keep the surgical wound dry and clean. Use clean wipes in case there is any dirt
  • Make sure that there is no redness / ozzing / foul smell / excessive bruising around the wound
  • Do not allow your dog to scratch the surgical site
  • Your dog may feel excessively thirty or hungry post the surgery. It is anaesthesia.
  • In case you notice that your dog is licking the wound excessively, an Elizabethen collar or E Collar will be super helpful
  • Check with your doctor about what medications need to be administered and if any special diet needs to be followed.
  • Be regular with the follow up and the progress of the healing.
  • Avoid heavy exercises till the stitches have been removed. If they are self dissolving stitches, wait till the doctor gives a go ahead.
  • Post surgery your dog may want to urinate frequently. Be gentle and abide.

Post surgery, your care and love will help in a speedy recovery. Have patience and shower a little more love, as there is nothing more magical than unconditional love.

About the Author


"An ardent writer, a devoted pet parent and a foodie at heart, I believe life is all about new experiences and expressions"

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