Postoperative care – what you should be aware of

Post-operative care is a common cause of anxiety and concern for pet owners. Indeed, dogs and cats after surgery require special care. What should you prepare for?

• difficult first few hours – to provide the animal with an adequate level of anesthesia and analgesia during the surgical procedure, narcotic and psychotropic drugs, which affect the central nervous system, are administered. Despite the fact that only fully awake, i.e. moving on their own, patients are being discharged, for the first few hours after returning home the dog/cat may behave unusually – be more drowsy, or, on the contrary overly excited, have its balance and coordination impaired and/or vocalize excessively. It is important to provide the convalescent with a soft, warm bedding in a quiet place, preferably low on the floor, where it feels safe and comfortable.

• dressing/protective clothing/collar – the postoperative wound should not get dirty and the animal must absolutely not lick or scratch it. Otherwise, it may become contaminated and mechanically irritated, which may cause an infection and inaproproate healing of the skin, which may even result in the need for re-operation.

• diet – unless your veterinarian advises otherwise, the first meal can be served immediately after returning home. It is recommended for it to be small, i.e. a maximum of 1/3 of the normal portion. Good quality, high-protein and, at the same time easily digestible food – preferably wet in mashed form – will provide the animal with the necessary amount of calories and nutrients, without excessively burdening the digestive tract.

• medications – if your veterinarian prescribes medications for home administration, be compliant the recommended doses, hours and routs of administration.

Remember to always follow the veterinarian’s recommendations, and case of any questions/doubts, or if your pet shows any disturbing symptoms, immediately contact the clinic, or go to the nearest 24/7!