Enucleation – 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. Continued pain control is a MUST during your pets’ recovery, 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 surgical 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. The veterinary staff will advise at rechecks when it is okay discontinue its use.
- Incision Site Care: You should not need to clean the incision 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 incision site with a clean towel or gauze. If you must clean the incision site use a small amount of warm water applied to a gauze or a paper towel and dab, DO NOT wipe the affected area. DO NOT apply any topical ointments, sprays, salves or bandages as this traps bacteria at the surgical site and can result in infection.
- Ice/Cold Compress: Ice the incision site for 10 minutes 3-4 times daily for the first 3 days after surgery. Cold compresses will aid with swelling and pain. A bag of frozen peas/corn or orthopedic gel packs are appropriate for this. Be sure to put a clean towel or cloth between the cold source and the incision site/skin. If this action causes your pet stress or to struggle, don’t do it.
- Bruising/Swelling: Minor bruising/swelling around the surgical site may occur, then slowly resolve. Cold compresses, as mentioned above can help decrease these factors. If you have concerns about the surgical site contact the clinic for further instructions.
- 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 likely hood of an upset stomach due to a food change.
- Rechecks: Your pets’ first re-check will be 10-14 days following surgery. At this time sutures/staples may be removed. The veterinary staff will be able to advise if the use of an E-collar is still necessary and make recommendations for your pets’ level of activity at this time.
- 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.