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Postoperative Care Instructions

Happy Dog Looking Out the Car Window

By Lathrop Veterinary Center

If your pet’s surgery was in the last 24 hours:

  • Offer a small meal tonight. Sometimes anesthesia can cause decreased appetite or nausea. If your pet vomits, withhold food and water until morning and call the hospital. If your pet is not interested in their regular diet, it is ok to offer a bland diet of boiled chicken (no skin or bones) or cottage cheese to encourage eating.

  • Keep pet in a confined area away from other pets and children for a day. Do not place them in a high place (bed, sofa, etc.) Rest and sleep are essential for healing.

  • If your pet is painful please call our office and we can prescribe pain medication for your pet. Do not give aspirin, Tylenol, or Advil to your pet, these can be deadly

  • You must keep your pet from licking the incision and/or Stitches. If your pet cannot be restrained from licking, we recommend an E- collar. Please note that repairing any self-inflicted damage to the incision site will be at the owner’s expense.

  • If your pet has sutures, these will need to be removed in 10-14 days.

  • Check the incision daily for redness, swelling, or discharge. Please call us if any noted.

  • Keep your pet in a clean environment that is quiet, warm, and dry. Indoors is best.

  • Restrict your pet’s activity. Leash walk dogs only, and discourage running, jumping, or rough play for 7-10 days.

  • Do not submerge your pet in water (bath, swimming etc.) for one week, or until sutures are removed. If you must bath your pet please contact our office for special instructions.

If your pet was spayed or neutered today:

  • Keep males and females separated. They may try to breed for several weeks after surgery. Neutered males can be fertile for up to six weeks after surgery. Spayed female dogs that were in heat can continue to have bloody discharge for a few days after surgery.

Please call the office if:

  • Your pet is not eating or drinking 24 hours after surgery

  • Your pet is vomiting more than 12 hours after surgery

  • Excessive swelling or discharge of the incision site

  • Your pet exhibits lethargy, fever, or pain

Please call us if you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet after surgery!