Your pet will need to be adequately rested at home whilst the surgical site heals. The exact nature and duration of exercise restriction will be dependent on the type of surgery performed, written details of this will be provided at the time of discharge. As a general rule, dogs are confined to a small room in the house where there is no furniture to jump on, or a pet crate, for a minimum of two weeks. Dogs can be taken outside for a few minutes on the lead three to four times daily for toilet purposes but they should not be allowed to exercise off lead, jump, climb or play until the instructions state that it is ok to do so.
After a strict period of rest, a gradual increase in activity levels is likely to be advised depending on the specific surgery performed, this will be detailed in the discharge instructions. It is usually recommended that cats are restricted to a large pet crate which has sufficient space for standing, turning and stretching and for the provision of a bed, litter tray and food and water bowls. If your pet is allowed to be over active in the post-operative period then there is an increased risk of problems with healing of the surgical site. In the worst case scenario, this could necessitate further surgery.
If your pet is discharged from the hospital within 24 hours of undergoing sedation or general anaesthesia, they may be quieter than normal when initially returning home. They should be taken for a brief lead walk for toilet purposes and offered a small meal. If they remain quiet after returning to the home environment for 24 hours then please contact us to discuss this further.
After many surgical procedures there is no indication to change the diet and therefore feeding your pet their usual food is appropriate unless you are specifically instructed otherwise. Occasionally patients will be discharged with a feeding tube for assisted feeding. This is a tube that allows feeding of a specific liquid diet directly into the oesophagus (food pipe). If your pet is discharged with a feeding tube, then additional instructions will be provided detailing feeding and tube care. Some dogs and cats may develop diarrhoea when they return home which can persist for a few days. This may be due to the effects of an anaesthetic or other medication administered, a change in diet or being anxious whilst hospitalised. If diarrhoea develops please feed a bland diet, such as a chicken and rice based food, until faecal consistency returns to normal. Some medication can cause diarrhoea, for example anti-inflammatory medications. If any of the medication being administered to your pet is known to be associated with gastrointestinal upset then this will be detailed in the discharge instructions. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns regarding the development of diarrhoea when your pet returns home.
The medication that your pet has been discharged with will be clearly listed in the discharge instructions. A Nurse will discuss the medication and dosing with you and answer any queries that you may have during the discharge appointment. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries on returning home.