Fracture Repair – 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.
Our medical team is available to answer questions and/or address concerns:
Monday – Thursday: 7am – 5pm
Friday: schedule varies
1. Pain Management: This surgery is a painful procedure and pain management is a necessity. Continued pain control is a MUST during your pet’s recovery, the appropriate medications will be sent home after surgery. 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.
2. Antibiotics: Your pet will be sent home with a course of antibiotics to prevent infection. Follow the prescribed schedule on the label. Finish all doses of medications. Give antibiotics with food.
3. Stomach upset: Monitor for any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite or any blood in the stool. If your pet experiences any of these symptoms – follow the instructions on the Recovery guide for the first 2 weeks following surgery. This guide was provided at discharge.
4. Constipation: Some patients may experience a bout of constipation. It is possible for a pet to not have a bowel movement for up to 7 days after surgery. You may add 1-2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin to their food to aid with the consistency and frequency of bowel movements. DO NOT use canned pumpkin pie filling- ONLY canned pumpkin. HEB typically carries Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin in cans on the baking aisle.
5. Confinement and Activity Restriction: STRICT CRATE CONFINEMENT IS CRITICAL during this recovery. Short, leashed potty breaks to the front or back yard are the only “activity” your dog should be participating in. It is best to use a 2ft-4ft leash. DO NOT use a retractable or long line leash. Be very mindful of slick surfaces* such as wood or tile floors as they can cause your pet to fall/slip resulting in injury. Your recovering pet will need to be taken out alone for potty breaks, keep housemates separated during recovery. DO NOT allow your pet to use stairs, be off leash, run, jump, play, roughhouse, or be loose in the house. These activities compromise the surgical site and can result in complications including delayed healing, extended recovery time, additional costs. The veterinary staff will let you know when your pet is cleared for house confinement.
*To aid walking on slick surfaces, a towel positioned under the belly in front of the back legs can be used for added support to help your pet when standing and walking. Unless otherwise specified, please use a towel/sling only when absolutely necessary.
6. Feeding: Your pet may have an upset stomach the night of surgery as a side effect of the sedation. 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 the next morning. If they eat and are able to hold down the food for an hour, then you may offer more in small increments throughout the evening. Unless advised by the veterinary staff to feed a specific diet, use their normal food to reduce the likelihood of an upset stomach.
7. E-collar: It is imperative to keep your pet’s E-collar on at ALL times, even when they are in the kennel. Licking, chewing, scratching or rubbing the incision slows the healing process and may result in opening and infection of the incision site. DO NOT allow housemates to lick or paw at the surgical site either. DO NOT cut the E-collar. The size sent home is appropriate for your pet. The edge of the E-collar should extend 1.5 to 2 inches past your pet’s nose in order to prevent licking or digging at the incision site. If you cut the E-collar shorter you put your pet at risk for infection, opening of the incision site, and prolonged recovery time. The veterinary staff will let you know when it is okay to take the E-collar off.
8. Splint Care (not every fracture is splinted): If your pet’s splint/bandage is not maintained properly it can result in serious post-operative complications including the need for additional surgery, prolonged recovery and the loss of a limb. Please be diligent about keeping your pet’s splint/bandage CLEAN & DRY. Keep the E-collar on at ALL times to prevent your pet from damaging the splint.
9. Medical Progress Appointments: Your pet’s first re-check will be 7-14 days following surgery. Through physical examination and x-rays Dr. Lewis will be able to evaluate and make activity recommendations according to the specific needs of your pet.
If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency and you are not able to reach us, please take your pet to the nearest emergency clinic.