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How can I help my dog after surgery?

How can I help my dog after surgery?

After your pup undergoes surgery, you play a key role in helping their full and quick recovery. Diligent and attentive post-operative care is critical to helping your dog return to their daily routine as soon as possible. Here, our Port Jefferson vets share some tips on how you can help your dog recovery after surgery.

Always Follow Surgery Post-Op Instructions

In the days leading up to and following your dog's surgery, you and they will likely both feel some amount of stress. Knowing how to best care for your canine companion after they settle back at home will be key to helping them return to their usual routines and life as soon as possible.

Following your dog’s procedure, you’ll receive clear, detailed instructions from your vet about how to care for your pup at home. Heeding these and complying with them will be vital to a safe, successful recovery. If you do not understand any of the steps recommended, make sure to clarify.

If you get home and realize you forgot how to do a specific step in your veterinarian's post-operative care instructions, you can always call them to confirm. Depending on the nature of your dog's procedure, it will be performed in-house or referred to a professional veterinary surgeon in the Port Jefferson area.

Whether our veterinarians perform the procedure themselves or refer you to a specialist, our team at Jefferson Animal Hospital is dedicated to providing your dog with attentive, high-quality care — as well as advice on at-home measures that can have a significant positive impact, such as post-op care.

Effects of General Anesthetic

Your veterinarian will have most likely used general anesthetic to keep your puppy unconscious and pain-free during surgery. The effects of this anesthesia may take some time to wear off after your dog's surgery.

What if my dog is not eating after surgery?

Your dog may experience a temporary loss of appetite following surgery. This is a common side effect of anesthetics, in addition to nausea. Consider serving a half-portion of a light meal like chicken or rice. This may be easier to digest for your dog than their regular store-bought food.

Your pup's appetite should return within 24 hours of their operation. Then, gradually reintroduce their regular foods into their diet. If your dog hasn't eaten for more than 48 hours after surgery, contact your veterinarian right away. Long-term appetite loss after surgery may indicate infection.

Managing Your Dog’s Pain After Surgery

Following your pup's surgery, your vet will take the time to explain any pain relievers or medications they are prescribing to your pet so they can prevent infection and unnecessary post-surgery pain and discomfort.

Your veterinarians will give you a briefing on the required medication dosage, the recommended administration schedule, and safe administration techniques. Make sure you adhere to these instructions as closely as you can to avoid unnecessary discomfort and any risk of side effects. Contact your veterinarian and ask follow-up questions if you have any doubts about any of the advice they have given.

Some dogs may become anxious or high-strung after surgery. If your dog is experiencing this, your veterinarian may also recommend sedatives or anti-anxiety drugs to help your pet relax while they recover.

A word of caution: Never give your dog human medications without consulting your veterinarian first. While medications for people help us feel better, they are dangerous for our dogs and other pets.

Set Up a Quiet, Comfortable Space

Your dog will require a quiet area to recover and rest following their procedure. This area ought to have a plush bed and enough space for your dog to stretch out and feel at ease; it ought to be separated from the rest of the house. This soft bed is crucial because it can aid in preventing excessive pressure on bandaged or delicate areas of your pet's body.

Dog Shaking or Coughing After Surgery

Has your dog shown any signs of post-operative shaking or coughing? When a tube was inserted into your dog's trachea (windpipe) during anesthesia, this could have led to a slight cough and mild irritation. Usually over the following few days, a mild post-surgical cough will go away. If coughing continues or gets worse, call our hospital.

After surgery, a dog may shake, but it's usually not from a cold or pain; instead, it's from the effects of the anesthesia or the painkillers. Then, while holding them in your lap or sitting next to them, talk to them and give them lots of reassuring pets. Have your pet eat small amounts of food frequently. It will be beneficial to receive more love and care.

Restrict your Pet’s Movement

For a specified period after surgery, your vet may recommend limiting your dog’s movement and physical activity. Sudden stretching or jumping can disrupt recovery and cause incisions to reopen.

Depending on the type of surgery your pet is undergoing, you may not need to make a significant effort to limit your pet's movement with measures such as crate rest. However, most dogs need to stay inside for a few days, only going outside for bathroom breaks.

However, it may be difficult to prevent your dog from climbing stairs or jumping on furniture where they like to nap. If you are unable to provide direct supervision, you may need to confine your dog to a safe, comfortable room of the house.

If your dog is recovering from an orthopedic procedure, they may need to be confined to a pen that is laundry hamper-sized or smaller with gradually increasing amounts of exercise being allowed as time goes on and their recovery progresses.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you searching for information about how to help your dog recover after surgery safely and quickly? Contact Jefferson Animal Hospital today and our team of veterinarians will schedule an appointment for you.

New Patients Welcome

Jefferson Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Port Jefferson companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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