Cystotomy – 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 to aid your pet in a speedy recovery.
  3. Exercise: Your pet should be confined to a small room with minimal to no furniture for 2 weeks after surgery. Keep housemates separated during the recovery period. 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. DO NOT allow your pet to use stairs, be outdoors, run, jump, play, roughhouse, or be loose in the house. These activities compromise the surgical site and can result in complications including extended recovery time, trauma of the surgical site and the need for additional surgery. Cats MUST BE STRICTLY indoors for a minimum of 30 days.
  4. Licking: Licking at the incision site is 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.
  5. 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 and dab DO NOT wipe. No bathing or swimming for 14 days, the incision needs to remain dry. DO NOT apply any topical ointments, sprays, salves or bandages as this traps bacteria at the surgical site and can result in infection.
  6. Urination: Following surgery it is common for your pet to strain and urinate frequently. Monitor urination closely during the first 2 weeks after surgery. Blood may be present for 7-10 days. Once stone analysis is received we recommend following up with your primary veterinarian for transition to urinary diet if necessary. For the first 2 weeks after surgery we do not recommend using clay litter as it may clump to the incision site and cause post-operative complications. Paper based litter such as “yesterday’s news”, pine pellets or shredded newspaper are appropriate alternatives.
  1. Rechecks: Your pets’ first re-check with Dr. Lewis will be 10-14 days following surgery. At this time sutures/staples may be removed and further instructions for activity restrictions will be given.
  • The stones retrieved will be sent to a lab for analysis.
  • Typically these results are returned to our clinic in 4-8 weeks.
  • We will contact you with further recommendations after the stone analysis has been returned.

Through physical examination Dr. Lewis will be able to evaluate and advise specific activity recommendations. If there is a discrepancy between the post op sheet and instructions you are given by the veterinary staff, please follow the instructions from the veterinary staff as they will have the most current recommendations for your pet.

  1. 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.