Post-Operative Care

After your pet's anesthetic procedure:

  • When we call to update you on your pet's recovery, we'll also give you a pick-up time. This is generally in the late afternoon but will depend on the timing of your pet's surgery and recovery.
  • Your pet may be going home with a compression bandage on his front leg. This is where the IV was placed. You'll need to remove the bandage an hour after returning home or swelling and pain can occur.
  • We recommend a half portion of food and water the evening after surgery. If your pet had dental extractions please give her soft food, either canned food or moistened kibble, for at least a 14 days.
  • Chances are good you'll be going home with some medications for your pet. We want him to be pain-free, happy, and healthy post-op! You can begin any medication the next morning, unless directed otherwise.
  • It's normal to see decreased activity the first 24 hours after surgery. In fact, with some surgeries we'll recommend restricted activity for up to 2 weeks to aid healing.
  • If your pet had surgery, he'll likely have sutures or staples. It's normal to see some faint bleeding from new incisions over the first 24 hours. It's important to let us know if you see any heavy bleeding, discharge, redness, or swelling, particularly after the initial recovery period.
  • Please make an appointment for suture removal in 7-10 days for spays/neuters. Other surgeries may require sutures to remain in for a longer period of time. Please make sure you check your discharge instructions for the recommended time frame for suture removal.
  • A technician will discuss your pet's detailed care instructions with you and ensure you understand and feel comfortable before leaving to go home with your pet. You can also call with any questions!



Your pet must wear an E-collar to keep them from damaging a surgical site or a bandage. Please be advised if your pet licks or chews at their surgery site or bandage, this can result in serious complications. Complications include, but are not limited to: skin irritation, infection, and tissue damage. When pets open their incisions by licking and chewing, this can result in discomfort, possibly needing additional surgery for the pet and additional costs for you, the owner.

Hard plastic E-collars must extend past the tip of the pet’s nose. Soft collars are not recommended because they can easily collapse allowing pets to reach their incision. We also cannot recommend air-filled “donut” collars as they do not prevent pets from licking surgery sites on the legs, tail, and other areas of their body. If your pet is able to reach their surgery site with the E-collar that was dispensed, please contact us as soon as possible.

Only under close supervision may you remove your pet’s E-collar for short periods of time. The collar must be replaced immediately if you are leaving them unsupervised (even for a few minutes). With an appropriately fitted E-collar your pet will be able to eat, drink and sleep normally. The E-collar is an extremely important part of your pet’s recovery and must be used until the incision is completely healed and the sutures/staples have been removed. If your pet is wearing a splint or bandage, the collar must be used for the entire time they are bandaged and for several days after bandage removal.



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