Caring for our pets after an emergency procedure is always a challenge. While every dog’s behavior is different, it is always better to prepare ourselves and ensure that we understand how to care for them accordingly, so they can be their usual self quickly and without significant complications.
First, follow Your Vet’s Post-Op Instructions.
Several different veterinarian procedures will require home care for your doggy. It can be a dental extraction, spaying, neutering, removal of benign growths, or any other surgery; most pets will be stressed, sluggish, and not quite themselves for a few days.
With that in mind, following your vet’s instructions is always the best choice. After the procedure, your vet and staff will ensure you have clear instructions on caring for your dog, from primary care to medication schedules.
Follow these instructions carefully, and in case of any doubts or concerns, always ask or call even after arriving home. You and your veterinary professionals want your pup to recover soon, so do not hesitate to ask for guidance if needed.
In brief, following your veterinarian’s emergency care instructions is crucial to ensure proper post-treatment care for your animal. If you need clarification, don’t hesitate to call their office. Your vet will be happy to help clarify any confusion.
What to Expect, Rest & Recovery Stage
Suppose your pet was under heavy medication or anesthesia during the procedure. In that case, the medicines or anesthesia will knock your doggy for a while and take some time to wear off.
The initial stage is when a puppy is lethargic, weak, and shaky, which are expected side effects. Some might be cranky, disrupted, or have mood changes, but they will all ease with plenty of rest and time.
Soreness and lack of appetite can also be part of their initial reaction; just be patient and always be aware of abnormal behaviors, and -always- feel free to provide the office with a call later on if you need clarification about what to do.
The animal recovery process varies based on multiple factors, including size, breed, type, emergency severity, and the success of medical treatment or surgery. So, it is essential to allow animals time to rest after a veterinary emergency, regardless of the severity.
Research suggests that the body’s healing process is most effective during periods of sleep. During sleep, pets regulate essential hormones that aid stress control and appetite regulation. Adequate sleep also enhances memory, mood, and overall health in animals.
During sleep, the body can allocate more energy towards recovery as there is less physical and conscious mental activity. Sleep allows the generation of white blood cells to strengthen the immune system and repair blood vessels through tissue growth, aiding the fight against infections and viruses.
If your pet becomes restless from being confined, giving them gentle exercise is still possible. However, it is essential to avoid strenuous activity or involve them in any hazardous situation, such as extreme temperatures or mountainous terrain, and remember that they are still in the recovery stage.
Creating the Right Conditions for Aftercare and Resting
After emergency treatment, it’s common for pets to feel tired or lethargic for 12–24 hours. Limiting their activity is vital to avoid worsening health issues and slow healing. Try to avoid accidents at all costs, especially right after treatment.
Veterinarians advise creating a designated resting space for pets where they can avoid disturbance. It is recommended to keep pets indoors to prevent excessive movement that may hinder the healing process and reduce the risk of exposure to harmful pathogens before the immune system has fully developed.
To help your pet sleep well, ensure their environment is comfy and relaxing. Factors like comfort, noise, temperature, and light impact rest. It’s also wise to set a regular bedtime for your pet to help them fall asleep easier each night.
Proper Nutrition For Pet Aftercare
A pet’s proper diet and nutrition are essential for true healing, and consuming high-quality food with appropriate vitamins and minerals is crucial. Following your veterinarian’s instructions for post-op foods and feeding time is critical. Every pet and case differs, so feeding can vary from point to case.
Adjustments are needed to accommodate medication. It’s important to note that each species has specific nutritional needs. If you have questions about cat or dog nutrition, we can guide what type of food to give to your cat and what dog nutrition requires.
After a pet emergency or procedure, pets may experience a loss of appetite for up to 24 hours. Lack of appetite can be caused by pain medication, trauma, or exhaustion. It’s vital to ensure that your pet receives proper nutrition to aid their recovery. But don’t force-feed your pet. Start with lighter meals. Overfeeding can lead to nausea and discomfort. If your pet vomits, give it water and try again later. Repeated vomiting or diarrhea may require a vet visit.
Medication Management at Home For Pet Aftercare
After your pet’s emergency or surgery, vets prescribe painkillers and antibiotics.
Always apply the full dosage time to ensure the effectiveness of the prescribed antibiotics, even if the animal shows signs of improvement, before completing the medication.
When we do not correctly administer the medication, we are putting our pets at risk of developing antibiotic resistance to bacteria and exacerbating the animal’s condition. And if an animal displays elevated energy levels, a veterinarian may also suggest administering sedatives or antianxiety medication in conjunction with pain management.
Either way, one must closely observe one’s pet when medicated and be vigilant for adverse effects.
Physical Therapy For Pets
In some cases, if your pet had major surgery or the injured affects them with physical ailments, you may need to provide or take them to physical therapy. And certain body parts may need guided exercise to function correctly.
Physical therapy or pet rehabilitation after an emergency or surgery offers excellent advantages, such as muscle strengthening, improved coordination and balance, weight reduction, pain relief, and mental stimulation.
Failure to return to their routine after surgery can be challenging for dogs to adapt to, so following through with the entire rehabilitation process is essential. Many Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapists (CCRT) are trained in animal anatomy, physiology, therapeutic exercise, and neurological rehabilitation to rehabilitate your pet.
CCRTs will help your doggy to:
- Decrease pain,
- Increase circulation,
- Build muscle/prevent muscle atrophy,
- Improve limb function,
- Boost healing,
- Control weight, blood pressure, cholesterol,
- Heal tissue,
- Improve the quality of life,
- Reduce stress on joints,
- Perform regular activities,
- Alleviate anxiety.
Pet Rehabilitation at Home
Studies recommend seeking professional guidance for your pet’s first few movements after an emergency, surgery, or injury to avoid potential harm, such as undone stitches or infections in open wounds.
A skilled physical therapist can help prevent incorrect healing of bones and muscles, reducing the likelihood of future complications. Along with regular sessions, you may have to help your pet perform specific exercises at home.
Once your pet is mainly healed and learns how to complete the physical therapy at home with the correct form, you can talk to your vet and therapist about reducing the number of physical therapy appointments.
Love & Attention to Pet Recovery
We adore our pets; they are family to us, so we all know that pets require attention and care, similar to children. Setting aside time to spend with them is vital for their well-being.
When animals are ill and confined, the inability to explore their surroundings is frustrating and provokes loneliness. When we provide our pets with plenty of love and care, we are preventing depression itself. An animal’s mental state can impact its ability to recover. If your pet is stressed and unhappy, healing may take longer.
Head Back For a Visit to your Trabuco Canyon Vet
During the follow-up appointment, make sure to cover all your concerns, plus get the following things checked:
- Physical exam.
- Prescription refills.
- Cast or splint removal.
- Stitch removal.
To learn more about caring for your animal after treatment, don’t hesitate to contact BrightCare Animal Care. We specialize in veterinary neurology and emergency services for small animals.
As pet owners ourselves, we want to help all owners as much as we can. Our veterinarians are available to assist with any doubts or concerns. We will be happy to help.