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Helping Your Pet Recover After Surgery

Helping Your Pet Recover After Surgery



Surgery can be quite scary for pets and pet owners alike. Pets require special care during the first few days and sometimes weeks post-surgery. When it comes to recovery after surgery, pet parents need to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach or standard timeline for all pets’ recovery.

This is because each pet and surgical procedure is different. How long your animal companion takes to recover after surgery will depend on several factors. These include their fitness level, health, age, type of procedure performed, and other post-op specifics.

Post-op Care for Pets



Generally, it is normal for most pets to be a bit lethargic and sleepy for the first one or two days after surgery. As a caring pet owner, you should let your animal friend rest and recover. But like most pet owners, you may not know what to expect or how to help your pet recover.

After surgery and recovery, when it is time for your pet to go home, the veterinarian or veterinary technician will schedule an appointment to go over discharge (take-home) instructions. 

During this appointment, your veterinarian at Animal Emergency Center of Killeen will give you detailed recommendations tailored to your pet, their individual needs, and the procedure they just underwent. It is important to listen to your vet carefully and follow the advice given.

Adhere to Medication Schedules



You need to follow the full course of medications prescribed by your veterinarian. Pain medications, for instance, are essential to reduce discomfort. The last thing you want is for your animal companion to live in constant pain and discomfort throughout their recovery period. Furthermore, unmanaged pain can slow the recovery process.

Sometimes, depending on the type of surgery performed, your veterinarian may prescribe several types of medication. They may also recommend anti-anxiety medications to help your pet’s body focus on healing. They may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent and/or fight infections.

Confine Your Pet After Surgery



You need to understand that even the most minor surgery is invasive.  Confinement  allows cut tissue to heal back together faster and properly.

Therefore, you need to give your pet time to rest and heal once they get home from the animal hospital. Often, this means restricting how much physical activity your pet can tolerate. 

Keep Your Pet Isolated From Kids and Other Animals



Following surgery, your pet is likely to be more irritable. They may snap or bite at kids or other animals. The disorientation from anesthesia and pain following surgery might make your pet behave abnormally for the first day or two. This behavior is usually temporary, so keep small children and other pets away from your post-op pet until they are healed.  If you have any concerns about your animal’s behavior post-op, please contact Animal Emergency Center of Killeen for advice.  Sometimes, medications need to be adjusted or added to help control this.

Other ways to help pets recover after surgery include:

  • Take your pet outside every few hours during the day to allow them to urinate.  Follow discharge instructions carefully regarding how to do this safely.

  • Give your pet plenty of water since they will need liquids more than usual.

  • Follow your veterinarian’s instructions for proper wound care.

  • Prevent your pet from licking the incision since it can pull out sutures or lead to infection

  • Keep the incision site clean and dry

When in doubt, never hesitate to contact Animal Emergency Center of Killeen for advice by calling (254) 628-5017.


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