Orthopaedic Surgery Aftercare

  • When you collect your pet from the surgery, the veterinary surgeon will discuss the operation with you and outline any special post operative instructions for him.
  • Your pet will have had an anaesthetic. Most of the effects of these will have worn off by the time you collect him although he will feel sleepy for the rest of that evening and possibly the following day.
  • Keep your pet warm and quiet when at home and allow him to rest.
  • Do not take your pet outside unless he is on a short lead. This is very important after most orthopaedic surgery and you will have been advised for how long this is necessary. In some cases cage rest will be advised. This has an enormous impact on the outcome of the surgery.
  • Offer your pet a small light meal when you take him home in the evening. Ideal convalescent food is chicken or fish and rice. Alternatively we can offer you ready-prepared food at the surgery. Do not worry if your pet does not eat on the evening of his operation. He should be eating within 24 hours, please telephone the surgery for advice if he does not.
  • Do not allow your pet to lick the wound or pull at the stitches. We can provide you with a collar to prevent this. If your pet has a support dressing please follow the instructions on the separate hand out that you will be given.
  • Your pet will have been given a pain-killing injection at the time of surgery and just before he is discharged to you. Please follow instructions given for any medication that you may have to administer to your pet. Usually tablets should begin on the morning following the operation. Please finish all courses of treatment.
  • Keeping joints moving and muscles stretched can have a very beneficial effect on the final outcome and you will be advised as to what is suitable in your pet’s individual case. We recommend physiotherapy with our qualified Chartered Animal Physiotherapist, Julia Martin, from the week following surgery if possible. There are also several hydrotherapy pools in the area, which enables dogs to exercise in a non weight-bearing environment. Please ask us if you might be interested in this.
  • Exercise plan: No walks for the first 10 days, then lead only walks for 4 months (including in the garden.) 5 minutes 3 X times per day for 2 weeks, then 10 minutes 3 X times per day for 2 weeks, then 15 minutes 3 X times per day for 3 months. You will probably have been asked to bring your pet in for a repeat Xray at around 6 weeks and we will have advised you about how much exercise is appropriate.

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