Help your dog recover from surgery.

Consider the following items to help your pet recovering from TPLO, TTA, total or partial hip replacement, or any other surgery.

Build a comfortable space for your dog’s recovery.

  1. Once home, your pet may still be feeling groggy from the anesthesia so make sure to guide them gently to the area you have created for them. They will appreciate you sitting close by. A blanket can help to keep them warm and secure as they settle.
  2. As the days pass you may be able to let them spend more time in the blocked off area that you have set up. Make sure their space is in an area that keeps them in a social setting but with little household traffic.
  3. Cuddle and spend some extra time with them. Just as humans like to feel comforted and taken care of during recovery, your pet will appreciate the extra TLC as well.

Restrict the amount of activity after surgery.

  1. Limit the amount of activity. At first, walks should be given only for bathroom use. 
  2. Use a short leash (no retractable leashes) when you and your pet go out, even if you are in your yard. Letting them roam freely can increase their chances of post-surgical complications.
  3. Avoid stairs as best as you can. Setting up your pet’s post-surgery space on the first floor is ideal. Any stairs that your pet may have access to should be blocked off. 
  4. Do not play with your pet as you would normally. Instead, you can offer your pet a Kong or new chew toy to help occupy their mind while healing.

Follow post-op directions from your surgeon.

  1. Make sure to provide the full-course medication prescribed and that your pet does not spit it out. Understand the side effects of the specific medication prescribed to your pet, as some medication may keep your pet in a sedated state.
  2. Keep your Elizabethan collar (e-collar) or dog cone substitute on your pet to keep them from licking or chewing at the bandage or incision site. Leaving your pet unattended without their collar is not recommended.
  3. If your pet is returning home the same day from being under anesthesia, it is best to offer a smaller meal- loss of appetite and nausea are common after anesthesia. 
  4. Monitor your pet’s bandage to make sure it stays dry, clean, and odorless. Monitor the position as well, so the surgical site is not exposed. 
  5. Depending on the surgery, breed, and age of your pet, they may need assistance with walking. There are lots of slings specifically made to assist pets with walking that you can purchase. However, in a pinch, you can wrap a towel, or cloth, under their waist to help hold up their weight.
  6. Be sure to go to all follow-up visits with your veterinarian. During these visits, they will check the bandage, incision, and potentially take radiographs to monitor any shift in the plates and screws from any excessive movement.
  7. You may be asked by your veterinarian to apply cold or hot packs on the surgery site while they heal.

Prolong the health of your dog after surgery.

Rehabilitation may be needed after and during the healing process. Once your veterinarian has given the green light, you can introduce approved activities such as light walks, simple command exercises (repetition sequence of sit, lay down, stay). Depending on the surgery, more advanced rehab, such as water or laser therapies, may be recommended.

 

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