Helping Your Pet Recover from Surgery

Helping Your Pet Recover from Surgery

Is your furry pal scheduled for surgery soon? Whether your four-legged buddy is having a routine procedure, such as being spayed or neutered, or having an operation to treat a medical issue, he or she will need a little extra TLC as they recover. Here, a Fox Chapel, PA vet discusses helping your pet recuperate from surgery.


Your fuzzy pal will probably sleep quite a bit. Make sure your furry buddy has a clean, comfortable bed to recuperate in. This is a great time to get Fluffy or Fido a new bed!


If you have a quiet back room, set it up with food, bedding, and, in Fluffy’s case, a litterbox. This will give your furry friend a quiet, cozy spot where they can just rest and relax. If you have other pets, keep them out of this room, at least for the first few days. Don’t encourage your pet to run or play after having surgery. There will be plenty of time for that later!


Your vet will give you specific after-care instructions. These will vary a little, depending on what type of surgery your pet has. Be sure to follow these directions to the letter. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, either. That’s what we are here for!

Warning Signs

Keep a close eye out for signs of infection or complications. Some of the things you want to watch for include ripped stitches; redness, swelling, or pus at the incision site; fever; vomiting; diarrhea; trembling; and unusual vocalizations. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs.

Protective Collars

Your pet may have to wear a lampshade (also sometimes called the Cone of Shame) after surgery. These collars—which are officially known as Elizabethan collars—will keep your pet from worrying at their stitches. You can also get an inflatable collar. Your furry buddy will hate the collar, and may give you sad looks that will make you feel guilty, but don’t give in! Wearing the collar is in their own best interests! If your dog or cat is extremely agitated by the collar, and/or tries to escape it, ask your vet for specific advice.

Do you have any questions about your pet’s health or care? Call us here at River Valley Veterinary Hospital, serving the Fox Chapel, PA area, anytime. We provide excellent veterinary care!

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