If your dog has recently undergone an operation and you are anxious about bringing them home and keeping them as safe and comfortable as possible, then take a look at these 7 top tips which should ensure your best friend makes the best recovery and that you can be confident that you are doing everything you can to help.
- Comfort and Quiet
Coming round from anaesthetic will probably leave your friend feeling a little woozy and wobbly as well as bruised from the actual operation. All this will most likely result in them being somewhat subdued as well. They’ll want to sleep off these effects, so ensure you’ve got a comfy and cozy spot for them to snuggle into. Their current basket might be too constricting so make sure they’ve got enough space to curl up in comfort and allow sensitive body parts the space they need to heal – but not so much space that they overdo it. See tip 4 for more info on this. Also, remember to keep their environment quiet and free from stress so they can recuperate in peace.
Keep to a simple “light and white” diet which centres on cooked white meat such as chicken and rice, all of which are easier to digest than standard dog food. It might take 24 hours for your dog to want to eat again, so start with light meals and then slowly reintroduce their normal diet over a few days. A better diet will speed up recovery. Of course, if your dogs’ appetite doesn’t pick up or you are worried contact your vet immediately.
- Pain Management
Your vet will most likely give you medication to give to your dog to help manage their pain after their op. Make sure you stick to the directions on when and how to give the meds as that will ensure the drugs will be effective at keeping your dog from experiencing any pain or unwelcome side effects.
Sudden stretching after surgery can interfere with the healing process, so make sure you keep your dogs’ exercise to a minimum at first – perhaps starting with little toilet breaks outside. Always keep an eye on your dog so they don’t jump or climb unnecessarily. Some ops will require your friend to be on cage rest, such as after orthopedic surgery, so even though it may feel bad restricting their movement, this is for the best. A crate that they can turn around in and with space for food and water bowls that won’t get soiled are essential.
- Wound Care
Try to ensure your dog doesn’t bite or chew their wound sites or bandaging. They may be sent home with a cone-shaped collar – whilst it takes some time to adjust it is for their benefit. Make sure all bandages are kept dry to minimise infection. If bandages start to come loose or look like they need changing don’t try to do it yourself. Take your dog back to the vets, they are the pros and their environment is much more sterile.
Any stitches your dog has will usually be taken out 10-14 days after an op, unless they are the type that dissolves. If any problems arise before then consult your vet.
It is vital you attend all follow-up appointments for your vet to check the progress of your dog, check their bandages and wounds, and ensure their healing is on track. They are the ones that can spot any potential issues or problems – and the reassurance you’ll get from them when they are happy with your dogs’ progress will be a great comfort to you.
- Keeping your dog happy
Its pretty obvious your friend will be a bit dejected during this period. Make sure you keep them stimulated and happy with lots of attention and cuddles, some gentle games, and the odd treat – if it fits in with their prescribed diet.
By following these tips and your vet’s advice, your beloved friend should recover from their operation well and with little stress ensuring you’ll be back out on walks together in no time.
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