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What to expect after your dog has surgery

Much like humans, dogs have a tough time recovering after surgery. As such, you should take it upon yourself to ensure they have a smooth transition back into their normal daily routine and habits.

If you’ve never experienced this before, then you probably haven’t got a clue what to expect after your dog has surgery. Every dog is different, but don’t worry, here are a few things to be on the lookout for post-surgery:

  • Changes in behaviour/mood

This is one thing that you can be sure of after your dog has had surgery. A key thing to be aware of is that your pet is likely to be a lot sleepier and less active than usual. This is simply because the effects of the anaesthetic or sedative are still in their system and can take a few days to wear off. Give it some time, and they should be back to their energetic self soon.

  • Changes in regular habits

Another thing to be prepared for is a change in habits for your dog. It’s highly likely they will be urinating more frequently, which is down to the fact that they would have most likely been on fluids during and after the surgery.

Following on from this, there’s every chance your dog will feel constipated because of the anaesthetic. So, don’t be surprised if their movements aren’t as regular as they usually are.

Lastly, surgery and the combination of injections can make your dog feel a little nauseous. Your vet will advise you when you should be able to feed them.

  • General wound care

If your dog has had surgery, you will most likely have to take care of the surgical site once your dog comes home. This means you have to monitor them closely and prevent them from licking their stitches as it can cause infections. Sometimes, the best way to do this is by making them wear an Elizabethan Collar - a cone-shaped device - which stops them from getting at the area.

You should also check their wound every day for the next two weeks after surgery. Make sure it’s always clean and dry, tending to it if you must. If they have bandages on the site, then your vet will instruct you how long to keep them on for.

  • Medications

After surgery, your vet will prescribe your dog with pain medication and sometimes, antibiotics. Usually, this is only needed for a week or so after the procedure. Make sure you remember to give your dog the correct dose of medication at the recommended time, taking note of any special instructions included.

  • Post-op check-up

It’s vital that you come back for a post-op checkup within two weeks of the surgery. This is just so your animal surgeon can check that the wound is healing and everything is going okay. Talk to your vet after the procedure, and they’ll usually book you in at a convenient date.

If you have any extra questions about what happens to do your dog after surgery, then don’t hesitate to contact your vet. They are your first port of call. South Eastern Animal Hospital does a wide range of surgical procedures from dog desexing to animal anterior cruciate ligament repair. As a top animal surgeon in Melbourne, we can provide the best advice for your pet. Contact us to book your appointment today.