Pre-Surgery: If your pet needs a bath, give it a day or two before they will be going into surgery – you won’t be able to bathe them for seven to ten days afterwards if they have sutures or any sort of open wound. The night before the surgery, take away all food and water from your pet when you go to bed. Vomiting at the time of anesthesia may lead to aspiration. If you are not able to drop off your pet between the specified times on the day of the surgery (usually between 8:05 and 8:30 am), the Folly Road Animal Hospital will board them the night before for free and take care of all pre-surgery procedures for you.
Post-Surgery: When you pick up your pet they will probably still have traces of anesthesia in their system, so don’t give them food and water immediately (especially not after that bumpy care ride!) Wait until they are home and comfortable and try giving them just a small amount of water; if they are unable to keep it down take it away until morning when you can try another small amount of water. If they hold down the water without vomiting, you can give food. If any vomiting continues for more than 2 hours, you should call the veterinarian. You will also want to wait until the next morning to give them any pain medication. Most pets are given a shot of pain medication before the surgery that will last for 24 hours.Giving any further pain medication before the next morning might overdose the animal and could cause problems. Most dogs will go home with an oral NSAID for post-surgical pain, while cats and very small dogs might receive buprenorphine (an opioid). If you want to be sure that pain management is included in your pet’s aftercare, you are welcome to request it at any time.
Most animals will come out of surgery with sutures that will need to be kept clean and dry for 7-10 days afterwards. If your pet has sutures, keep them out of water and mud until the sutures have been removed. Keep your pet from licking, biting or scratching the affected area. Constant licking can cause a secondary bacterial infection at the site of the sutures. Biting or scratching can cause the sutures to be pulled out. If your dog won’t stop harassing the sutures, you can put Lickguard cream or “Yuck Spray” around the wound. Sometimes an E-collar or “Bite Not” collar might be necessary to prevent your pet from biting or licking the area. We also have a bandage material which delivers a small electrical shock when an animals tongue makes contact with it. If your pet continues harassing the incision, and you notice that it appears red or swollen, call your vet for an appointment. Also look for swelling associated with the incision which might indicate a fluid pocket or hernia which will need immediate veterinary attention. Do not apply hydrogen peroxide, ointments, witch-hazel or other astringents without the advice of a veterinarian. Do not bathe the pet or allow it to go swimming until the sutures are removed. Do not administer any kind of pain relief without first consulting with your veterinarian. Certain types of over the counter pain relief may be dangerously incompatible with drugs already administered to your pet at the time of surgery.
After 7-10 days, make an appointment to have sutures examined and removed.