Ear Hematoma – Post Operative Instructions
Following a successful surgery, owner compliance is the most important factor in recovery. Please be careful and patient with your pet during this time. Following these instructions closely will ensure a speedy recovery.
- Pain Management: This surgery is a painful procedure and pain management is a necessity. The appropriate medications will be sent home post operatively. Be sure to administer these medications as directed and until ALL doses are finished. This will keep your pet comfortable and promote a speedy recovery. If you feel at any time the pain is not adequately controlled please contact the clinic. Some side effects of these medications may include: nausea/upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea. It is best to give these medications with food.
- Antibiotics: Your pet will be sent home with a course of antibiotics to prevent post-operative infection. Follow the prescribed schedule on the label. Finish all doses of medications.
- Exercise: Your pet should be house confined following surgery. For dogs short, leashed potty breaks to the front/backyard on a 4 ft.-6 ft. leash are approved. DO NOT use retractable or long line leashes. Be very mindful of slick surfaces such as wood or tile floors as they can cause your pet to fall/slip resulting injury to the surgical site. It is ideal for your pet to be on activity restrictions for a minimum of 14 days after surgery. NO off leash activity, running, living outdoors, roughhousing, playing, jumping, or retractable leashes – these activities compromise your pets’ surgical site and can result in slowed recovery. For cats a room with minimal furniture is ideal for confinement. Cats will need to be kept strictly indoors for a minimum of 30 days after surgery.
- Scratching/Rubbing/Licking: Scratching, rubbing or licking at the incision site are NEVER OKAY. These actions prevent healing and can result in the opening and infection of the incision site. DO NOT allow housemates to lick or paw at the incision site as this can result in costly postoperative complications. It is imperative during recovery to keep your pets’ E-collar on at ALL times, even when they are in the kennel. If the E-collar becomes soiled from drainage a warm damp cloth may be used to clean the inside and prevent buildup that can lead to infection. At the time of your rechecks a veterinary staff member will advise when it is appropriate to discontinue using the E-collar.
- Feeding: Your pet may have an upset stomach the night of surgery as a side effect of the medications used. Offer ¼ of the normal amount they are fed. If they do not want to eat do not force it. If they eat and vomit pull the food until tomorrow morning. If they eat and are able to hold down the food for an hour you may offer more in small increments throughout the night. Unless advised by the veterinary staff to feed a specific diet, it is best to offer the food your pet normally eats as to reduce the likelihood of an upset stomach due to a food change.
- Incision Site Care: You should not need to clean the surgical site; it heals best if left alone. Some bleeding and seeping in the first few days is to be expected, gentle pressure may be applied to the surgical site with a clean towel or gauze. If this causes your pet stress DO NOT do it. If the surgical site requires cleaning dampen a piece of gauze or paper towel with warm water to dab the area, DO NOT wipe. If the E-collar becomes soiled from drainage a warm damp cloth may be used to clean the inside and prevent buildup that can lead to infection.
- Bandaging: In some cases a bandage is applied to the affected ear to prevent postoperative swelling. In the event that your pet has a bandage you will need to make sure it stays dry and completely intact. During this recovery it is imperative that your pet keep the E-collar on at ALL times even when bandaged. DO NOT bandage your pets’ ear at home, if there is a concern about seepage or swelling contact the clinic immediately.
- Rechecks: Your pets’ first re-check with Dr. Lewis will be 7-14 days following surgery. At this time bandages/sutures/staples may be removed and further care/activity recommendations will be made.
- After hours emergency line: During your pet’s discharge you were provided with our after-hours phone number should any questions/complications arise during recovery that need to be addressed immediately. If you call, you will be asked to leave a detailed message and member of our medical team will return your call. This line also accepts text messages. You can also reach the clinic after hours by phone or email.
When should I call after hours?
- Appetite has not returned within 24-36 hours after surgery.
- Report ALL vomiting. This could be a sign of medication interaction, sensitivity.
- Diarrhea – a loose and/or bloody stool can also indicate a medication interaction, sensitivity.
- If your pet gets the e-collar off and has licked and/or caused damage to the incision site.
- Incision site is open and/or showing signs of infection: redness, discharge or swelling.