Surgery is just as big a deal for pets as it is for humans—even more so when you consider your pet can’t tell you how they feel after going under the knife. This makes it crucial for pet owners to be attuned to their dog’s needs and know beforehand the ins and outs of caring for a recovering animal.
It starts with listening to your doctor, especially when it comes to dispensing medicine, cleaning and disinfecting wounds, and pushing fluids to avoid dehydration.
5 Things To Do Before Your Pet Comes Home from Surgery
1. Keep your pet from getting too excited. When we’re recovering from being sick or a surgery, we’ve all been told, “Get some rest.” But for our furry friends, understanding that they need to take it easy doesn’t always compute. That’s why it is a good idea to restrict their movements by confining them to a small, comfortable enclosure with a bed designed with pain relieving cushion.
2. Make sure to have a supportive bed. Since most pets will be sleepy after a surgical procedure it is doubly important to make sure their bed supports their injuries yet is soft enough to promote a speedy recovering.
3. Get on their level. So long as it’s done with care, it’s great to cuddle and pet your special patient but it’s best to keep them on their bed on the floor and out of your bed because negotiating the step up to a mattress (and box spring) could lead to a fall or overexertion that could exacerbate their injury.
4. Keep them warm, not too hot and not too cold. According to a study in the journal Veterinary Record, over eighty-percent of dogs suffered from hypothermia or low core body temperature after anesthesia. This might lead you to overcompensate and wrap them in a heavy blanket but, because of all their fur, this can lead to overheating.
For this reason, it’s good to keep on a bed that raises them off the floor and, if needed, cover them with a light blanket made of breathable fabric.
5. Keep them and their bed clean and free of germs. Of course, because accidents can happen when a pet is groggy from the effects of being put under or when wounds are still healing, it’s good to have a bed with a removable cover that you can wash as needed. This also helps when you need to keep the wound clean and dry.
With all that it entails, from a trip to the vet and taking medication to painful incisions and the disorientating effects that come with trying to lessen their discomfort, surgery is confusing for any pet.
During his time, just being there for them and making them as comfortable as possible will go a long way to a speed recovery.