AFTER CARE FOR A FEMALE DOG OR CAT THAT HAS BEEN DESEXED
Your animal has undergone a major internal abdominal operation to remove her reproductive organs. Even though this surgery is performed commonly on female dogs and cats it should always be remembered that it is still classified as “major surgery” and owners have to be aware of this fact.
Your animal’s uneventful recovery will depend on good aftercare.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE OPERATION
When you take your animal home she may be a little drowsy.
This is quite normal following an anaesthetic and surgery. The drowsiness will decrease over the next 12 – 24 hours. During this drowsy time please keep your animal in a quite, warm place and only give small amounts of bland food and water to drink.
Bland food is made by boiling chicken breast (250 gms) with 1 cup of white rice. Cook until the rice is “fluffy”.
Please be aware that some animals may vomit over the next 24 hours post anaesthetic.
She will be back to normal within a few days.
Unfortunately this ability to recover from major surgery can have some disadvantages – your animal will want to run, jump and generally do everything she can to upset the healing of the wound within days of the surgery.
So be aware that your animal needs to kept confined for the whole of the healing time – 10 days
SWELLING AROUND THE OPERATION SITE
The abdominal walls have been opened so that the surgeon could remove the necessary organs. The area has then been sutured closed with a material that will dissolve over the next few weeks as the muscles and underlying structures heal. This material will react to the body to cause a fluid build up as the material dissolves. This fluid can cause the wound to swell. Most animals do not swell greatly but there are some who do.
The swelling usually maximizes at the 5th day post surgery and as long as your animal is not in pain, the area is not hot and your animal appears to be normal then this reaction is nothing for you to worry about. Usually the swelling is gone by the 10th day and this will be checked when we remove the sutures on the 10th day.
CONFINEMENT IS NECESSARY
The same muscles that are used in moving are the same muscles that are sutured closed. These muscles are especially used in jumping. Unfortunately your animal will not understand that she must rest so we need you to assist us with her recovery period.
No healing occurs for the first 5 days and then the wound and underlying sutures will heal over the next 5 days. So it is important that your animal is confined to a small area for the 10 days post surgery.
Your animal is allowed to go for small walks as long as her activity is restricted with the use of a short lead. Do not allow any jumping or running in the 10 days after the operation.
It is not recommended that your animal is washed over the next 10 days and certainly no water or shampoo should come into contact with the wound or its sutures.
- Excessively licking or biting the wound and the sutures. In this case your animal will need to have a special collar fitted at our hospital to prevent her getting to the wound area.
- Dull and listless especially after the first 24 hours of recovery.
- Sudden swelling with pain over the wound.
- Pus or any discharge from the wound.
- Pain exhibited when you touch the wound after the 3rd day.
- Your animal starting to hunch over or show abdominal discomfort after the 3rd day post surgery.
- Not eating more than the 3rd day post surgery.