A cat recovers after surgery.

Whether your pet has to undergo an emergency or planned surgical procedure, there are always concerns. Pet owners are right to question the risks, and our staff is always ready to discuss how we approach surgery and post-operative care. In order to meet a successful outcome, a complete recovery period is essential. Helping them heal after a pet’s surgery isn’t always easy, but that’s why we’re here!

Before They Go Home

Soft tissue, ophthalmic, and orthopedic surgeries are among the most commonly performed at New Haven Pet Hospital. Depending on the type of surgery, your pet’s age and lifestyle, and their rehabilitation needs, recovery time varies. Many activities can safely resume after 2-4 weeks. Before then, the healing process must be carefully guarded.

Anesthesia and Vitals

Pets are noticeably groggy when they wake up after surgery. Sometimes, extra monitoring and observation are necessary, and we ensure that their vitals are stable before sending them home. Our staff takes time to go over post-operative care with pet owners, and point out what behaviors are normal after anesthesia.

Pain and Medication

Your pet will likely feel pain at the incision site, and may require medication to mitigate that. Additional medicine, such as antibiotics, are often prescribed. Keeping your pet to a schedule for their medication and meals will aid the healing process.

Slow and Steady

Many surgeries require several weeks of rest and gradual physical rehabilitation. Without adherence to a post-operative care plan, a pet’s full recovery from surgery may be delayed. In addition to following our expert tips, owners should adhere to the following rules after a pet’s surgery:

  • Be sure that your pet cannot access the surgical site. The area must remain dry, clean, and fully protected from biting, licking, or scratching. E-collars or other post-operative clothing can aid in this endeavor. 
  • Their medicine must be administered on a strict schedule to reduce pain and decrease the risk of infection. 
  • Monitor their behavior closely; call us with any concerns. They should resume their normal eating/drinking habits within a couple of days. 
  • Feed your pet a neutral diet for the first couple of days to mitigate the effects of anesthesia. 
  • Restrict their movement. Keep them crated or penned so they don’t end up exerting themselves and disrupting the surgical site. 
  • Keep them warm and comfortable with extra padding and blankets. Self-heating cushions can support aching joints and muscles. Minimize cold drafts, and limit traffic where they’re resting.

After Your Pet’s Surgery

We recommend that you keep follow-up appointments after your pet’s surgery. We can keep an eye on the surgical site, remove stitches (if applicable), and address any issues. Because there are so many variables at play, our veterinarians and staff members are committed to helping you with your pet’s surgery and post-operative care. New Haven Pet Hospital is always here for you and your pet.