Post-surgery Instructions

Post-Surgery Instructions

hugging dog

Your pet has been under general anesthesia.  After surgery, offer your pet a warm, confined, quiet place to rest overnight.  This allows the animal to recover fully from the anesthesia.  You may find that your pet wishes to rest up to two to three days after surgery.

Female cats, all dogs, and all rabbits have sutures (stitches) that are internal and dissolvable.  This means that the sutures do not need to be removed.

Ointment was applied to your pet’s eyes prior to surgery to keep them from drying out. This may cause the fur around the eyes to look oily.  There is no need to clean around your pet’s eyes; your pet will clean his/her eyes on his/her own.

Minor swelling near the surgical incision is normal and may continue for five to seven days after surgery. Check the incision site daily for excessive swelling or drainage.  Swelling larger than a finger’s width, or any drainage should be reported to the Napa Humane Clinic at 707.252.7442 x200.  The incision may take two or three weeks to completely heal.  To decrease the risk of complications (swelling, etc.) prevent rough play between pets and with family members for two weeks after surgery.

Licking the incision area is rarely a concern, however, some animals may require the use of a “cone collar” if this behavior is observed.  These collars may be purchased at most pet supply stores.

It is not necessary and we advise against using any ointments or lotions at the surgical site.

If your pet is fully awake and acting as normal on the evening after surgery, small amounts of water and food may be given. Vomiting and choking are possible, so please watch your pet closely. Your pet may be offered regular amounts of food and water the morning after surgery.

Specifically for dogs:

Do not bathe your dog or allow your dog to swim for two weeks after surgery. Limit activity to leash walks. No off-leash running or rough play.

Female dogs that were recently in heat should not be allowed near male dogs until the incision is completely healed, usually within two to three weeks. This prevents accidental mating that would have dire consequences in a recently spayed dog.

Specifically for cats:

On the evening of surgery, your cat is recovering from anesthesia which may cause dizziness and/or impaired vision.  Please do not allow your cat access to high places where he/she could fall and become injured.

Specifically for rabbits:

You may offer food and water to your rabbit immediately after surgery.

After-hours emergency care:

The California Code of Regulations requires we notify our clients that we do not have veterinary personnel on duty at our Clinic between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., nor do we offer after-hours emergency care. The emergency care clinic serving our area is the Solano-Napa Pet Emergency Clinic in Cordelia – 707.554.6311 – or, call your family veterinarian.

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