How to Care For Your Dog after Surgery

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Following surgery, your dog is going to need as much care and attention, as you would after an operation so here are some tips on how to ensure your pooch makes a fast and easy recovery.

The most important thing that you need to do is to pay attention to your vet’s advice. They will give you a set of instructions post-surgery that you should adhere to so that risks of complications and infection are limited. They will provide you with pain management information and any necessary medication. Dogs cannot tell you when they are in pain so keep a close eye and if they seem to be in an excessive amount of discomfort call your vet to ask for advice.

Immediately after surgery your dog will be groggy, this is totally normal and can last up to 24 hours. The dog won’t understand what has happened so is likely to be quieter and more subdued than normal. Give them space and keep an eye on them, if they are still sleepy more than 24 hours after surgery it is worth checking in with the vet for advice.

Give your dog the perfect place to recover by making sure they have a comfortable bed located somewhere that they won’t be disturbed. In some instances, especially after orthopedic surgery, the vet may advise that the dog should be kept in a cage to limit movement. If this is the case, ensure the cage is big enough for the dog to turn easily.

It is quite normal for your dog to be off his normal food post-surgery, but nutrition will aid their recovery so try to encourage them to eat. Simple meals that are easy to chew and digest like rice and cooked chicken is a great post-op meal and you should find that after a day your dog will return to its usual food. If they continue to refuse food, contact your vet as it may be a sign of underlying complications.

Your dog will have to wear some kind of protective collar following surgery so that they can’t reach the wound. As it heals the wound will itch but licking or scratching will cause infection so keep the collar on as instructed, even if the dog shows signs of discomfort. When you’re out with the dog, make sure you cover their bandage with a plastic bag to ensure the wound stays dry and prevent the dog from scratching or rubbing against the wound. If you notice any sign of swelling or redness in the area of the wound you should contact the vet immediately.

Recovery times vary depending on the type of surgery, age and fitness of the dog. In general, soft tissue surgery takes 2 – 3 weeks and orthopedic surgery 8 – 12 weeks. For dogs that attend doggy daycare or if you use a dog walking London service, make sure you pass on all the information to ensure your dog makes a speedy recovery.