Veterinary emergencies can be traumatic and exhausting for all parties involved. At BrightCare Emergency Animal Care, we understand how scary the fear of losing a pet can be, but we also want to remind our pet owners that there’s still a lot of work to be done even after seeing an emergency vet.
Your veterinarian will guide you through the process of how to take care of your pet after an emergency. Considering how hectic a pet emergency can get, we understand if you aren’t able to take note of every little thing they say. In case you don’t remember every single detail at the animal hospital, you can always refer to this guide about how to care for your pet post-emergency!
Rest & Recovery Improves Pet Aftercare
Every animal’s journey to recovery is different. It depends on many factors, such as the size and breed of the animal, the severity and type of emergency, and the outcome of the emergency treatment or surgery.
Because post-treatment care varies so much, it’s important to pay close attention to your animal’s veterinarian as they give you emergency care instructions. Don’t hesitate to give the office a call later on if you are confused about what to do. Better safe than sorry! Your vet will be happy to clarify the issue.
With that being said, most animals will need time to rest, no matter what vet emergency they’ve suffered.
The body heals best during sleep.
When pets are asleep, their bodies regulate all types of important hormones that support stress control, appetite regulation, and more. Getting proper sleep is also useful for improving an animal’s memory, mood, and overall health.
Because the body is not occupied with much physical or conscious mental activity during sleep, it can focus more caloric energy toward recovery. As your pet rests, its body generates white blood cells to aid the immune system in fighting off infections and viruses. The brain also triggers tissue growth to repair blood vessels during sleep.
Should your pet get antsy from confinement, you can still take them out for some light exercise! Just make sure you aren’t engaging in any high-intensity exercise in a risky environment (extreme temperatures, mountainous terrain, etc.).
How Can I Help My Pet Rest Well?
To ensure your pet is getting the sleep it needs, you should create a comfortable environment where it can relax and doze off. Environmental factors such as comfort level, noise level, temperature, and light can all affect your pet’s ability to rest. It’s also a good idea to establish a sleep schedule for your pet at night. Regulating your pet’s bedtime can make it easier to fall asleep every night.
Let your pet nap throughout the day as well! Create a space where they can retreat without being bothered by other family members.
Why Is My Puppy Lethargic?
Chances are, your pet will already be pretty exhausted once you get home from the animal hospital. Sure enough, there are many concerning reasons why your pet could be lethargic before coming back from the emergency vet. Pet parents should be careful as dog lethargy can be the result of an infection or metabolic and organic diseases.
However, you shouldn’t worry if your pet is tired or lethargic for 12 – 24 hours after the emergency treatment. In fact, it’s a good idea to limit their activity for a while once you get home. Too much activity can exacerbate health problems and slow down healing. You definitely don’t want your pet getting in an accident right after treatment!
Your veterinarian may even suggest confining your pet inside so they don’t run around outside. Too much movement can place stress on your pet’s body and cause it to heal incorrectly. Exposing your pet to the outdoors can also expose it to harmful pathogens before its immune system is strong enough to protect them against sickness.
Proper Nutrition for Pet Aftercare
Your pet also requires a proper diet and nutrition to heal correctly. Eating high-quality, nutritious food with the right vitamins and minerals is vital to the healing process.
Talk to your veterinarian about what type of food is best for your pet’s situation, as this can vary with each case. You may have to change your regular pet food to accommodate your pet’s medication as well! Another thing you’ll have to take in mind is that different species have unique nutritional requirements. We’ve got you covered if you’re wondering what type of food to give to your cat and what dog nutrition requires.
It’s not uncommon for pets to lose their appetite for 24 hours after an accident. This may be due to their pain medication, trauma, or exhaustion. Regardless, you need to make sure your pet is getting the food they need to get better!
Never force-feed your pet. Instead, try feeding it lighter meals at first. Giving a patient more food than it is ready for can result in nausea and discomfort. If your pet vomits, give it plenty of water to stay hydrated and try again later. Repeated vomiting or diarrhea may necessitate another visit to the vet.
The most common medications an emergency vet in Trabuco Canyon will prescribe for animals are painkillers and antibiotics. If your veterinarian prescribes antibiotics, make sure to give your pet the full dosage over the recommended about of time, even if your pet starts to feel better before the medicine runs out. Otherwise, the bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance and make your pet sicker than it was in the first place.
For big, energetic animals, the doctor may prescribe sedatives or anti-anxiety medications in addition to painkillers. Make sure your pet is under constant supervision if you do give it medicine. It’s important to keep an eye out for how they react to the side effects.
Physical Therapy During Pet Aftercare
If your pet was injured in an accident or suffers from a physical ailment, you may need to take them to physical therapy. Certain body parts need guiding exercises to function correctly.
Pets who suffer from neurological conditions affecting the nervous system or spine may have trouble with regular activities like walking or eating. In this case, you definitely will want to look into physical therapy to improve your pet’s quality of life.
A veterinary physical therapist, also known as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT), can rehabilitate your animal. CCRTs understand animal anatomy, physiology, therapeutic exercise, and neurological rehabilitation. Working with one can:
- 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.
Can I Take My Dog To The Emergency Room
Along with regular sessions with the CCRT, you may have to help your pet perform certain exercises at home. Once your pet is mostly healed and learns how to complete the physical therapy at home with the correct form, you can talk to your vet and CCRT about reducing the number of physical therapy appointments.
It’s important to see a professional the first few times because your animal could hurt itself trying to move around without guidance. Intense physical activity could cause stitches to become undone and open wounds to infection. A good physical therapist will prevent bones and muscles from healing the wrong way, so your pet won’t have any future complications from its injuries.
Love & Attention Improves Pet Aftercare
This might seem obvious, but we’ll include it anyway! Our pets are like children, and they need lots of love and attention to get better. Even if you can’t play fetch with your dog or feed your kitten kitchen scraps, you can still schedule some time to spend time with your beloved pet.
Animals can get lonely when they’re all cooped up without the ability to explore. Keep your pet from getting depressed by making sure they get a lot of TLC. An animal’s mental state can definitely affect its ability to get better. If your pet is constantly stressed and sad, it won’t be able to heal as quickly!
Head Back For a Visit to your Trabuco Canyon Vet
After a week or two, you’ll want to check in with your local and emergency vet and update them on your pet’s progress. Eventually, you will need to take your animal back to the hospital or clinic for a follow-up. When you take your pet back to the vet, you can expect:
- Physical exam.
- Prescription refills.
- Cast or splint removal.
- Stitch removal.
Need to take My Dog to The Vet?
It just depends on what the original emergency was! Some pets might not even need a follow-up with the vet.
If you do take your pet to the animal hospital, however, write down any questions beforehand. If your pet has been behaving oddly or the emergency symptoms have not gone away, you’ll want to ask the vet. They can alter your pet’s post-care treatment to address the problem.
For more information about post-treatment care, give us a call at BrightCare Animal Care! We specialize in veterinary neurology and emergency services for small animals.
As important as our jobs are, we know that being an owner is an even bigger responsibility. That’s why we want to provide as much help as we can to the people who provide homes for all our furry friends in Orange County. Feel free to reach out to one of our veterinarians! They will be happy to help.