AAVC - Animal & Avian Veterinary Clinic

Singapore Veterinary Clinic

Discharge Care Information Sheet

At Home Care After Surgery

During a normal surgery, your vet will give your pet a shot of antibiotic (and some form of pain-relief) so there is no need for any medications to be sent home with the pet after surgery unless indicated/if the vet thinks it is necessary eg. prolonged surgery, increased risk of infection / presence of infection prior/during/anticipated-post surgery. 

Pain Relief (Analgesics) are optional and depends on your individual pet response and threshold to pain. Some pain-relief is usually given during surgery. Your vet may give additional take-home pain relief or withhold it depending on their discretion.  You may however, request for additional if you think your pet may need it. However, all drugs have its pro & cons. 

Your dog or cat has undergone general anesthesia and when any anesthesia is used, this can cause the stomach to become upset and could cause vomiting to occur. One sure way that pet owners can prevent their pet from getting an upset stomach, is to just not give your dog or cat any food or water food for at least the first 3 hours after returning back home after surgery. 

When picking up your dog from the vet bring along a fluffy soft blanket. This will make the ride home for comfortable for you pet. It will also require some assistance into the car at the vet as well as when you arrive back home so that there will not be any tension put on the sutures it received from its surgery.

On the car ride back home, take it slow and easy and watch out for bumps in the road.

Prepare a nice comfy place for your pet and have this ready for it to rest in when it gets home. Once you get her back home take it to its bed and try to get it to lie down and rest. Let it get all of he much needed rest it wants that first day at home after her surgery. It needs more rest and no play the first 3 days.

Do not be surprised if on the first day she wants to spend a majority of the time sleeping. This is normal behavior for an animal after surgery procedures have been done.

Provide a small amount of food to start with, about 1/4 of what you normally provide in one feeding. More than likely it will not even want to eat for much of the first day home but it should be out and waiting for her when she does decide it is hungry. You do not want to feed your pet the usual amount because it might become sick because of the fact that anaesthesia was used and it does take several hours for the anaesthesia to be released from the pet's system. You can offer a small amount of food and water after three hours and gradually increase the amounts over the next 24 hours. Its normal eating habits should return the next day after surgery but if they do not you need to call your vet immediately.

If you have children it is best to not let them be around the pet very much that first day after surgery. It is not going to feel like playing a lot on that first day from home after surgery anyway. 

Do not allow your pet to physically exert herself. It will be excited to be back home or something else might get her over excited, but you need to insist it take it easy for at least 3 days after the surgery. 

Do not allow you pet to jump up on to furniture during its recovery time from surgery. Allowing your pet to jump up may cause the sutures to come loose or come out and this will call for another trip back to the vet for more sutures to be done.

When you go to pick up your pet from the vet after surgery, take along a box and line it with a comfy soft blanket or you can take its pet carrier to place it in for the ride home. When you get home, open carrier or box and let your pet come out on its own time. It has had a bad day and will come out when it wants to. Your pet may even be unsociable and may even be ill-tempered for several hours after you bring it back home after surgery. This is normal. Just put it in another room of the house and leave it alone. If you have other pets at home, keep them in a different part of the house away from the pet who just had surgery, at least for that first day after the surgery.

Feed your pet only half of what you normally would the first day and then feed the normal amount the next day. Give your pet only small amounts of water for the first 3 hours after surgery and then you can increase the amount as the day goes on. Eating or drinking too much after surgery will only upset the pet's stomach. 

Let it sleep all it wants. It has been a rough day for him/her!

There is no need for sutures when a male cat is neutered because cat's testicles are small in size so the incision site is minimal. Cats usually bounce right back and are ready to pounce and play the next day. Some oozing at the incision site for 2 days is common.

Castrating a male dog does require the need for sutures to be placed at the incision site because dog's testicles are larger in size than in cats.

Extra Tips

Keep a watch on the suture site. If it looks reddened or has oozing or an odor, call your vet immediately. These are sure signs of infections.

Keep FLIES away from surgical sites.

Keep the surgical wound DRY and as CLEAN as possible. 

If your pet begins to vomit excessively be sure to alert your vet.

If your pet's appetite has not returned by at least the second day after returning home from surgery, call your vet/clinic.

If you have a feeling that your pet is hurting or if something is just not right call your vet because it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Do not allow your pet to lick/chew at the incision site. If licking or chewing becomes a problem, an e-collar can be used to prevent the animal from being able to reach the incision. Your  vet should be able to provide you with an E-collar for you to take home with you just in case your pet decides to start chewing and licking at the incision site. 

You should check the incision site at least twice daily until it has completely healed. A small amount of blood at the incision site is normal immediately after surgery. If you notice any continued drainage or swelling, contact your  vet immediately.

If the incision becomes dirty, you clean the area with a cotton ball/gauze and luke-warm water (with or without soap). Rinse if soap is used to reduce chemical irritation.

Dogs and cats must be kept indoors after surgery. This will enable you to monitor their recovery and will prevent complications and possible death from conditions outdoors.

RETURN to your vet for removal of sutures and/or review of surgical wound at the mentioned date. Usually 10-14 days post surgery.

If DISCHARGED from Hospitalization: FEED ALL medications in a timely manner as prescribed by the clinic. CALL the clinic if in doubt. Review with your vet if your pet's condition is NOT improving, OR condition is worsening.