Pet Recovery After Surgery

Closeup of a cat getting checked by doctor
Surgeries are just as draining on a cat or a dog as they are on us, so an adequate period of recovery is necessary. Spaying, neutering, or other surgeries all require at least a few days of R&R for pets, but most likely they’ll be on the mend for a couple weeks at minimum. Be sure to give them the time they need and keep an eye on them even more than usual during the stressful recovery period. Here are some pointers to observe during your pet’s convalescence.

  • Keep them on a leash at all times when outdoors – Your pet will be tempted to resume its normal activities, and if this involves chasing a cat or a rabbit or other strenuous activity, they could injure themselves. So keep them close.
  • Keep your pet’s healing wounds dry – For proper healing, your pet’s sutures and wounds need to be dry. So no baths for a few weeks.
  • Prevent excessive licking of the affected area until it can start to heal – There’s no way around it, your pet will want to lick at their wound, it’s only natural. If the licking isn’t excessive and doesn’t affect the sutures or keep the area wet, then it’s probably ok. But if you need to, you’ll want to invest in what’s sometimes called an Elizabethan collar (or e-collar, or “cone” collar).
  • Watch their wound carefully and clean it when needed – Listen to what your vet has to tell you about how often the wound needs to be cleaned and how to do it. This usually means at least twice daily. Also watch for excessive bleeding or puss in the wound and call your vet if detected.

Caring for your pet after surgery will involve a lot of careful observation on your part. They’ll need you more than ever during this time, some just be sure that they take it easy and aren’t overly stimulated. Also, follow your vet’s instructions and keep their phone number handy in case problems arise.