According to Statista, around 69 million US households have dogs. These lovely creatures can improve your life, especially when you are suffering from mental health problems due to loneliness. However, their playful nature also makes them vulnerable to injuries, leading to surgeries.
Be it for injuries or other medical health problems, dog surgery is a stressful event for both you and your pet, but you must know what to expect after the operation. Your dog will need your help recovering from the procedure and returning to full health.
What to Expect After Your Dog’s Surgery
You may need to stay home with your dog for a few days. Your dog will be weak after surgery, so you must help him rest and recover. If he’s not feeling well, don’t let him overexert himself, he’ll need time to heal.
He’ll also likely be prescribed antibiotics or something else to fight infection if necessary. If your vet gives you any medication for your dog, ask how much he should take and how often he should take it. Different medications have different instructions for dosage and frequency of use.
Your dog will also feel tired because of the impact of anesthesia. Don’t worry, because feeling tired after surgery is normal. You should also expect some behavioral changes in your dog post-surgery. There will be two behavioral changes, some that you want to see and some that are just side effects.
For example, an article published on the NCBI website shows that male dogs who undergo gonadectomy are less likely to show mounting behavior and pull on the leash. These are some behaviors you want to see in your pet.
However, you can also see them exhibiting aggressive behavior. This can be due to aggression, anxiety, pain, and discomfort due to the surgery.
Feeding Your Dog After Surgery
Feed your dog a high-protein diet. This will help speed up the healing process, so starting this as soon as possible after surgery is important.
Also, feed your dog small meals several times a day. The less you feed at one time, the more likely she is to eat it all and not leave any behind for bacteria that can cause infection. It’s also important not to let her go too long without eating; this will help ensure that she doesn’t have an empty stomach when it comes time for her next meal.
Feed your dog a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Since many canine diets don’t include enough vitamins and minerals for optimal health, let alone recovery from surgery. It’s important that you regularly supplement with these nutrients until your vet gives them a clean bill of health again.
Managing Your Dog’s Pain After Surgery
After surgery, your dog will most likely require pain medication. The amount of pain medication he needs will vary depending on the type of surgery. Some surgeries require general anesthesia, which means that your dog is put to sleep during the procedure and won’t feel any pain once it’s over.
However, many surgeries are performed with a less invasive approach called “local anesthesia,” which only numbs specific areas so that the surgical procedure can be completed successfully. In these cases, giving your dog enough post-surgery pain medication is important so they don’t feel discomfort while they heal.
When giving anesthetic drugs like buprenorphine or tramadol, follow the instructions for administering them exactly as prescribed by your veterinarian:
- How much does my pet need?
- When should I give it?
- How often should I give it?
The veteran will have prescribed pain medication for post-surgery use if need be. But if he or she has not prescribed pain medicines for your dog, you can consult and give over-the-counter dog medicines like Rimadyl.
Rimadyl for dogs is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that can help with pain relief. Your furry friend will feel comfortable after taking this medication. You can easily order this medicine from an online store or visit your nearby pet store.
Helping Your Dog Exercise After the Surgery
What’s the best way to help your dog recover? Well, it has to be exercised. Not only does exercise speed up her recovery, but it also helps reduce swelling and the risk of infection, as well as preventing muscle atrophy.
If your dog is facing bone problems, exercise can help with that, too. Studies show that interval exercise can improve bone mineral density in dogs. Don’t overdo it, though. You don’t want to stress out your dog or put too much strain on her body before she’s ready for it. It’s important to let your vet know how far you’re going so that they can advise you on what activities are okay for her at this stage of recovery.
Caring at the Pet’s Incision Site
It is important to care for a dog’s incision site after surgery to help prevent infection and promote healing. A study published on the NCBI website shows that infection rates in dogs after surgery can range between 4.8% to 18.1% based on the cleanliness of the surroundings.
Taking care of the incision site includes cleaning the site with an antiseptic solution, monitoring for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, and discharge, and keeping the area dry and free of debris. Additionally, it is important to keep the area covered with a bandage or other protective covering to prevent the dog from licking or scratching the incision, which can cause further damage and delay healing.
We hope you have found this article to be helpful. Remember that post-surgery vet appointments are a must regardless of how good care you take of your pet. You might be tempted to skip the follow-up appointments. After all, you’ve done your part. You took your dog in for surgery, and now he’s recovering at home.
But this is not a time for slacking off, people. If you don’t go to the follow-up appointments, it could have severe consequences for your dog and potentially even cost him his life. We know that helping your dog recover from surgery can be complicated for you and your dog, but with patience and hard work, it will get easier.