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Post-Operative Care

On Returning Home:

It is natural for your pet to be sleepy the night they return home. 

Your pet will usually have a shaved patch on one or both front legs (or ears on a rabbit).  This is where the general anaesthetic has been administered. 

Offer your pet a light meal that night (some chicken is ideal), or we can supply you with a special recovery pack for the first 2-3 days. 

If your pet has a mild cough for the first couple of days post anaesthetic, don’t worry.  This is often a result of the tube that is placed into their windpipe whilst they’re asleep.  However, if your pet seems unwell, please contact us straight away.


Dogs should receive light exercise only for the first couple of days post anaesthetic. Depending on the procedure performed, exercise may be restricted for a longer period of time.

Cats should be kept inside the night after a general anaesthetic, again further restriction may be necessary.

Rabbits and other small furries should be kept inside and kept warm.


Please prevent your pet from interfering with their wound.  Licking and chewing at stitches and bandages will cause problems.

Wounds may swell or even become infected, leading to further treatment and expense for yourself.

We usually supply a ‘Buster collar’ or inflatable collar to prevent interference with wounds. If you are not supplied with a collar please contact the surgery if you pet interferes with their wound at all.


Stitches will not usually dissolve, and will need to be removed after 10 days.

Sometimes (such as in the eye or mouth), we will use dissolving stitches, we will inform you if this is the case.


If your pet has a bandage, please ensure that it is kept clean and dry.  Wet, dirty bandages cause rubs and infection.  The easiest way to do this is to restrict exercise to on the lead only, and to cover the bandage with a waterproof ‘sock’ when outside. (We can supply you with a bandage cover).

Please keep cats with bandages inside.


Most medications will need to be started the day after surgery.  Your pet will need to take its’ medications for the prescribed period.

If you have trouble medicating your pet please let us know straight away.  Often there are alternatives to tablets which we can use instead.


If your pet has had dental extractions we will provide you with specific instructions.

Try and offer small amounts of tasty foods, however very soft food should be avoided as it can block the extraction sites.

A little bloody saliva is normal for a few days post dental treatment.

Avoid chew toys and chews for at least 2 weeks following dental treatment.

Be especially careful if your pet has stitches in their gums.

Dental homecare can be discussed in detail at your dental check up

Rabbits/Guinea Pigs:

Small animals require attention paying to their eating and defecation post anaesthetic.

They can be prone to a condition called ‘gut stasis’, where the gut slows down and eventually stops working.  We give drugs to counteract this problem during anaesthesia.

It is vitally important that your pets eats and defecates the first night that they come home.

If not, we need to see them the next day.  Prompt treatment will treat gut stasis quickly and successfully.


You will usually be given a follow up appointment when your pet is discharged.

If you have any concerns in the interim period, do not hesitate to contact us straight away.

We are available for help and advice 24 hours a day - contact us

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