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Caring for the dog after an operation

Many pet owners hardly recognize their dog when they pick it up from the vet after an operation. The animal looks dazed, has an unsteady gait and, to top it all, wears a plastic neck collar that prevents it from seeing. In addition, the dog is shaved around the surgical scar and is “naked” in places. The “shock” and the joy of seeing each other again often lead to the fact that they overhear or immediately forget the important instructions of the veterinarian. Therefore, you should consider the following points if your dog has been operated on.

Make a note of the veterinarian’s instructions

Take a notebook with you to the practice in which you write down:

  • When is the dog allowed to drink and eat again?
  • What can he eat?
  • What medication does he get in what dosage?
  • What do I have to pay particular attention to in the next few days?
  • How much exercise can / should the dog have?

The vet will also be happy to write this down for you if you are too excited to follow his explanations. Also, get a phone number where you can contact him or another veterinarian outside of office hours if your pet’s condition worsens. Usually you will not need this number, but better safe than sorry.

Warmth is especially important now

At home, the newly operated dog needs a warm, quiet and clean place. You should keep other animals away from him – they usually show no understanding that their comrade is now weakened and do not behave particularly considerately. They could also lick the surgical scar and infect you with it. Make sure you prepare a bed for your dog on the floor because after the anesthesia he may still move a little unsteadily and fall off a bed on the sofa or bed and injure himself.

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This is what the ideal sick bed looks like

Of course, the bed should also be warm. Bed the animal on a thick layer of blankets or pillows. An infrared lamp provides additional warmth. Make sure, however, that your dog does not get too hot. The best thing to do is to spread a freshly washed sheet over his bed, because a lot of hair sticks in dog blankets, which can irritate the wound.

Usually the animal patient is allowed to drink fresh water again soon after the operation. When it comes to eating, the following applies as a rule: As soon as the animal can move in a coordinated manner again and looks awake, it can also consume food. As long as the anesthetic is still effective, there is a risk that the animal will vomit after eating.

You have to pay attention to this in the days after the operation

There are operations after which the animal is not allowed to eat anything for a long time. Therefore, ask your vet when he recommends the first feeding. In some cases, he will also recommend a special food that will aid recovery.

In the first few days, you should pay particular attention to your pet’s urine and faeces. If it has problems with its “business”, inform the veterinarian. Until the scar has healed, vigorous dogs should only be walked on a leash.

You should examine the surgical scar once or twice a day. If it smells bad, leaks, or looks infected, notify your veterinarian. The plastic neck collar protects the scar. The collar is very annoying to the animals because it restricts their vision and freedom of movement. But it protects them from themselves because they cannot gnaw and lick the surgical wound. So stay tough when it comes to the collar.

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Don’t feel sorry for your protégé either. Then he actually feels more and more miserable. It is better to cheer the dog up when you stroke it and tell him what a “brave guy” he is and how proud you are of him. With so much encouragement, the animal patient has no choice but to get well soon.