Post-Op Instructions

  1. Check the incision site at least twice daily. What you see when you pick your pet up from the clinic is what we consider normal. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal. Male cats may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal; the swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period.
  2. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO LICK OR CHEW AT THE INCISION. We recommend you purchase a chew deterrent spray such as Bitter Apple spray or Bitter Orange ointment to deter licking and chewing. If this does not deter your pet, an E-collar must be applied to prevent him/her from being able to reach the area. You may find these items at your local pet store or purchase them at the clinic for $8 each.
  3. Your pet has received a pain injection that will last for 24 hours after surgery. An additional 3 day supply of pain medication may be purchased for $5.
  4. If your female dog or cat was in heat at the time of surgery, you must keep them away from un-neutered males for at least two weeks. While they are unable to become pregnant, they will still attract intact males for a short period of time. If a male attempts to breed your female, it can cause serious and possibly life-threatening complications.
  5. Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures to be removed. All sutures are internal and absorbable. Surgical glue is applied on top of your pet’s incision to help provide a protective barrier. This glue can dissolve if it gets wet so keep your pet dry for one week. If you are told that your pet has external skin sutures or skin staples, they will need to return in 7-10 days to have those removed. Male cats do not have any sutures or glue.
  6. Do not clean or apply topical ointment to the incision site.
  7. Limit your pet’s activity for the next 7-10 days. No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity during the 7-10 day recovery period. Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm. Do not bathe your pet during the recovery period. Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats must be kept inside. Keep your pet quiet. The healing process takes at least 7 days.
  8. Your pet has had a small snack after surgery. Their appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. It is normal if your pet feels sleepy or vomits the day of surgery. However, if your pet displays vomiting or lethargy more than 24 hours after surgery this is not normal and you should contact us immediately. Do not change your pet’s diet at this time and do not give junk food, table scraps, milk or any other people food for a period of one week. This could mask post-surgical complications.
  9. Minimal redness and swelling should resolve within several days. If it persists longer or looks worse daily instead of better, please contact us.
  10. Please contact us immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms: pale gums, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, discharge or bleeding from the incision, difficulty urinating, and/or labored breathing. If you have any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call this office at (205) 956-0012. If you are calling after normal business hours, but before 10 pm or calling on the weekend, Press 5.
  11. If there is an emergency after hours (after 10 pm and before 7 am), we recommend that you contact Emergency and Specialty Animal Medical Center on Acton Rd in Hoover, AL at (205) 967-7389 or Alabama Vet Specialists on Morgan Rd. in Bessemer, AL at (481-1001)
  12. The clinic will treat, at minimal cost, any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-operative instructions are followed in full. The only possible cost will be for medications if deemed necessary by our veterinarian. Please call as soon as you see cause for concern. If our veterinarian determines your pet’s injury or illness is not directly related to surgery or anesthesia, we will refer you to your regular veterinarian for treatment. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, or for contagious disease for which the animal was not previously properly vaccinated.