An operation is a stressful and nerve-draining procedure for both dog and owner. Many pet owners hardly recognize their dog when they pick them 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 animal patient is shaved around the surgical scar and in places “naked” the animal looks as sick and vulnerable as before. The “shock” and the joy of seeing each other again often lead to the fact that they overhear or immediately forget the instructions of the veterinarian.
You should therefore take a notebook with you to the practice, in which you write down the following: from when your animal can drink and eat again, what it is allowed to consume, which medication it is given in which dosage and what you will particularly look forward to in the next few days should pay attention. 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.
Your protégé needs a warm, quiet and clean place at home. 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 protégé 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.
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 patient 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.
However, there are also 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 he protects loved ones from themselves because they cannot gnaw and lick the surgical wound. So stay tough when it comes to the collar. And don’t feel sorry for your protégé all the time. Then he actually feels more and more miserable. Better to cheer him up when you stroke him 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.