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Post Op Instructions for Surgery Dogs

Your dog is recovering from spay or neuter surgery, which requires continued nursing care at home to ensure a successful outcome. Your job during the recovery period at home is just as important as the surgical procedure just completed. Home care mainly involves restriction of activity because your dog does not understand the significance of the recovery period. Most dogs become very active in a short period of time, and confinement indoors by you is of the utmost importance.

  • FEEDING: Soften food with warm water. Some degree of nausea and grogginess is expected following general anesthesia. Please feed small amounts two to three times during the next 24-hour period and let your dog rest. Consumption of excessive amounts of water should be avoided. It is normal for dogs not to produce a bowel movement for up to 48 hours after anesthesia.

  • ACTIVITY RESTRICTION: Your dog may be slightly weak or disoriented for a period lasting up to 24 hours, as an after-effect of the anesthetic. As a precaution, keep your dog away from areas that they could fall or be injured. Avoid strenuous play or long walks. Use controlled walking up/down stairs. No running, jumping, rough play, playing with other pets, swimming, or bathing for 10-14 days. Keep outdoor time to a very minimum. Leash walk only for 14 days.

  • CONFINEMENT: When your dog goes outside to eliminate, it must be on a short leash and returned indoors immediately. If your dog must be left alone, it should be confined to a crate or other small area. This strict confinement and restrictions of activity is necessary during the entire recovery period. Excessive activity often leads to injury or serious complications. This means additional expense and added discomfort for your dog.

  • E-COLLAR: Your dog will likely be sent home with an e-collar to prevent them from licking the incision. Keep the e-collar on at all times to prevent infection or other post-op issues. Licking usually leads to chewing and removal of sutures, which can occur in a matter of minutes.

  • INCISION: Try to deter your dog from bothering the incision area with an e-collar or t-shirt. Check the incision daily for any signs of excessive swelling, redness, opening, discharge, etc. The incision should look better each day. Call your GRRA medical team member if you are concerned.

  • COUGH: Your dog may have a slight cough for 24 hours after the procedure due to irritation from the endotracheal (breathing) tube. If this persists for 2 days or more, please contact your GRRA medical team member.

  • MEDICATION: Your dog may be sent home with pain medication, an anti- inflammatory, and/or an antibiotic. Please follow all label instructions and give with food to avoid an upset stomach.

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