Tips to Help Your Pet Recover After Surgery

Surgery can be scary for pets and their human companions. Knowing what to expect after surgery and what to watch for can be helpful. Specific post-surgery instructions will vary depending on the following factors:


  • Pet’s condition before the procedure

  • Nature of the procedure

  • Whether there were complications during the surgery


Surgery may be necessary when your animal companion has a condition that calls for this intervention. Once your pet is out of surgery, it would help to know how to care for them to accelerate recovery. The healing process is a critical period in your pet’s recovery. So, you should know what to do when your furry friend is recovering at home.


Here are the steps to take to help your animal companion recover faster after surgery:


Follow Your Vet’s Post-op Instructions


It is normal to experience some stress when your furry pal has to undergo surgery. However, knowing how to take care of your pet after surgery can help alleviate much of your anxiety and help your pet feel better sooner. 


Your veterinarian will give detailed instructions after the surgical procedure on caring for your four-legged companion at home. Following those instructions and seeking clarification for those you need help understanding is critical. After all, the first few days and weeks following surgery require special care. 


Keep Your Pet Warm but Not Hot


Your pet’s temperature sensors will not work correctly in the first day or two following the procedure as the effects of the anesthesia wear off. Your pet may not know whether it is cold or hot. So, it is best to help them out by adjusting the temperature. 


Keep Your Pet Isolated From Other Animals and Children


Your usually sweet and docile pet might be pretty cranky after surgery. They might snap and bite at children and other animals due to disorientation from anesthesia and pain following surgery. This unusual behavior is temporary, so there is no need to worry. However, it is best to isolate your pet from other animals for about two weeks. That will prevent them from licking your pet’s wounds or playing with them too aggressively. 


Keep Your Pet on the Floor


Even if you think the anesthesia is all gone, your furry family member might still have an occasional stumble or fall off the couch or bed. Even worse, they may fall down the stairs. Furthermore, obstacles will be more challenging to navigate. It would help to prepare a comfortable place to rest near the door. 


Keep Your Pet Hydrated


Your furry friend might not feel thirsty, but they will need more liquids than usual. So, you should give water frequently. Please do not leave them alone with the water bowl. An overly groggy pet can drop their head into the water and drown.


Other tips to help your pet recover faster include:


  • Take your pet outside every few hours to allow them to urinate

  • Care for the wound properly to prevent infections and other complications

  • Prevent licking or pulling out of the sutures

  • Take short walks for the first two weeks

  • Keep the wound dry



Most pets will recover from abdominal and other soft tissue procedures faster than operations involving joints, ligaments, or bones. Generally, soft tissue procedures heal almost entirely within three weeks. However, it might take about six weeks for complete recovery from soft tissue surgeries and up to six months for surgeries involving bones or ligaments.


For more about pet surgery, visit Community Pet Outreach at our Lewisville, Texas, office. Call (972) 848-8930 to schedule an appointment today.

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