Is your pet undergoing surgery? It's critical to know how to take care of your dog following their procedure. This can be a long and frustrating process, especially if your dog is undergoing orthopedic surgery. Today, our Lafayette vets share with you tips and advice for taking care of your dog after orthopedic surgery and how you can keep them comfortable after their procedure.
The term veterinary orthopedic surgery refers to any veterinary surgery that addresses problems in a pet's bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and any other tissue associated with their skeletal system.
The healing process can be stressful for both you and your dog, which is why we are providing some tips that can help you care for your dog after their orthopedic surgery, so they can recover as healthy and quickly as possible.
Following Your Vet's Instructions
Following your dog's orthopedic surgery, your veterinary surgeon or veterinarian will give you clear instructions for handling your pet's post-operative care once they can return home. Make sure you are paying close attention to your vet's instructions and taking notes if required.
However, don't be afraid to ask for clarification or, if you realize you have forgotten some aspect of your pet's post-operative care, call your vet to remind you. Just like you, your vet wants the best for your pet, and they will be happy to help.
Managing the Anesthesia After Effects
Orthopedic surgeries are conducted under general anesthesia, which could make your dog feel queasy or lose its appetite while they recover from its immediate effects. Remember to feed your dog a light meal (such as rice and chicken) to help ease their digestion.
They should recover from the effects of the general anesthesia within 24 hours.
Ways To Keep Your Dog Comfortable And Restrict Their Movement
After your dog's orthopedic surgery, the vet or orthopedic surgeon will advise you to restrict your pup's movement for a set time frame. Your dog probably won't be very energetic or want to move very much initially, but confining your dog and preventing them from running, jumping, or doing other strenuous activities is essential for them to make a full recovery.
The best way to accomplish this is by confining your pooch to either a playpen (if they are smaller) or to their room (if they are medium or larger) that doesn't have anything for them to jump on or injure themselves with. For some orthopedic surgeries, your vet might recommend strict confinement or "crate rest" for a portion or all of your dog's recovery period.
Remember to make whatever area your dog is confined in as comfortable for them as possible, with their favorite toys, blankets, cushions, and lots of space to spread out and relax.
How To Manage Your Dog's Pain Following Orthopedic Surgery
Your dog's orthopedic veterinarian or veterinary nurse will explain to you the medications they are prescribing for your pooch to help manage the post-operative pain. This includes the required dose, the way you should administer it, and how often you should do so.
Don't forget to carefully follow your vet's instructions as closely as possible to ensure efficacy and reduce the chance of side effects.
The pain management treatments vets tend to prescribe most often are antibiotics to reduce the chances of infection and pain medications. If your dog is anxious or high-strung, your vet might also prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or mild sedative to help your dog stay calm during the process.
Avery Recovery Time For Dogs After Orthopedic Surgery
The length of time your dog will need to recover from their orthopedic surgery will depend on various factors, including the type of surgery, your dog's age, general health, and rehabilitation requirement during their recovery.
As a general rule, most soft tissue surgeries like spaying, neutering, or abdominal surgeries will be held almost completely after 2 to 3 weeks with full recovery possibly happening one and a half months after the operation.
On the other hand, orthopedic surgeries can take a lot longer to heal. Your dog might be almost completely healed between 2 and 3 months after the procedure, however, the full recovery could take up to 6 months.