PHASES OF SURGERY
Home Recovery Guidelines
We strongly recommend you keep your pet confined in a crate or small room the night after surgery.
Your pet may be groggy when you get home, experiencing a "hang-over" from the anesthesia. Your pet will typically require 18-24 hours to recover from the general anesthesia. Most animals will be back to normal when the anesthesia leaves their system entirely.
Your pet may sleep much more than normal for 18-24 hours following surgery.
You pet may be a little agitated due to the after-effects of anesthesia. Avoid handling your pet too much as he/she may try to bite or scratch you.
Isolate your pet from children and other pets. He may be more prone to snapping or nipping at other pets and even children due to the after-effects of anesthesia.
Your pet may have poor balance. This will make climbing stairs or getting in and out of the car more difficult than usual, so be ready to assist. Help your dog in and out of the car as sudden movements can damage the stitches.
Make sure your cat has a comfortable spot to sleep in a confined, secure, quiet place. Once settled, they will likely sleep it off and will be fine upon awakening. Use shredded paper for litter or "Yesterday's News" kitty litter for 2 weeks after surgery.
What you see on the day of surgery is what we consider normal. There should be no drainage. A very small amount of redness/swelling at incision may occur.
Check incision site daily until healed. Check for redness, swelling, discharge, or bleeding. If noted, call immediately. Keep the incision clean and dry for two weeks (no bathing or swimming).
Keep Elizabethan collar on when your pet is not under direct supervision to prevent licking of the incision. Licking or biting the incision could cause the wound to re-open and become infected.
If you pet needs additional pain relief or tranquilizers once you are home, do not hesitate to call for refills.
Our clinic uses absorbable sutures, so typically removal is not required. If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, they will need to return in 14 days to have them removed.
Anesthesia tends to make animals experience nausea, so your pet may not want to eat when he/she gets home after surgery.
You need to re-introduce food slowly. Offer a small amount of food and water as soon as animal is fully awake. If vomiting occurs, wait until the next day to give more food. Provide your normal amount of food and water to your pet on the day after surgery.
Do not change your pet's diet at this time and do not give junk food, table scraps, milk or any other people food for a period of one week. This could mask post-surgical complications.
Your pet’s appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery.
If your female dog was in heat, we may postpone the surgery for three months after the heat cycle.
If your female cat is in heat, we can still perform the surgery.
The healing process takes 14 days.
Any strenuous activity could disrupt the healing process.
Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet. It is very important that you limit your pet's activity during the healing process.
Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm.
No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity during the 7-10 day recovery period.
Do not bathe your pet or have it groomed during the recovery period.
When outdoors, dogs should be on a leash.
Spaying and neutering are safe surgeries, however, complications can occur. If you feel your pet is having a complication or are unsure, you should contact us at 570-595-9081.
Potential complications include:
• Swelling of incision site, that is enlarging-separation or opening of the site
• Discharge or bleeding from the incision
• Difficulty urinating
• Labored breathing
• Decreased appetite
• Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours
It is better to check and find nothing wrong than to ignore a potential problem. Don't hesitate to call if you have any questions.