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Vet Talks: Post Surgical Care for Your Pet

Vet Talks 2 min read
Vet Talks: Post Surgical Care for Your Pet

Whether your pet has had a laceration repair, abdominal surgery, or a fracture repair, it is extremely important to follow post-surgical instructions given to you by your veterinarian. The most common post-surgical complications in our practice are licking and chewing incision causing infection and in the worst-case dehiscence of the surgical procedure. Additional complications that we see are excessive activity post-surgery such as running, jumping, roughhousing causing hematoma at the site of the sutures.

Activity level restrictions depend on the surgery that was performed. For instance, a cruciate repair patient will go home with specific physical therapy exercises as well as any other orthopedic procedure or intervertebral disc disease repair. For a routine surgery such as ovariohysterectomy, a leash walk only until sutures are removed is the general recommendation.

Know that your pet may be groggy from anesthesia, or discomfort medication once you take your pet home. They may not even want to eat or drink that evening but should be more normal the next morning. Your vet will give you instructions on what is normal and abnormal following the particular surgery, and when to start prescribed medications such as discomfort medication, and antibiotics if necessary. In most cases, a cone is recommended to prevent licking at the sutures. There are several types available.

Diet is important in healing and may be amended during the recovery time.

Diet is important in healing and may be amended during the recovery time. For instance, it may be recommended that your pet have soft foods post-dental extraction, or warmed food to entice the appetite. Good quality nutritious foods are needed for healing.

NHV supplements in conjunction with western medication prescribed by your vet can offer additional support to help boost the immune system and support overall wellbeing.

NHV supplements that may be beneficial for post-surgical care:

Yucca to help with discomfort, inflammation and appetite

Milk Thistle to help detoxify the liver

ES Clear – although formulated for cancer, the ES Clear blend helps strengthen the immune system, and help with appetite, which is useful in post-surgical care.

Stimmune to help boost the immune system

Turmeric to help with inflammation and healing

If any of you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our pet experts!

Dr. Hillary Cook DVM

Dr. Hillary Cook DVM

Dr. Hillary Cook is a graduate of Virginia Maryland Regional Veterinary Medical school. She has been practicing holistic and integrative veterinary medicine for over 20 years. She certified in Veterinary acupuncture and is fully qualified in Western and Chinese herbalism. She is the owner of Animal Wellness Center, an integrative veterinary clinic in Crozet, VA. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets including dogs, cats, and chickens. When time allows, you can find her in the garden or on the tennis court!

Published: February 16, 2018

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