One of the most important decisions for your pet is to get them sterilized. As necessary as this is, it can easily leave us, pet parents, a nervous wreck! Here is what you can do to make this daunting process an easy one for your beloved pet (… and yourself!)
THE DAY OF THE SURGERY
You will probably be asked to bring in your pet in the morning. Make sure that he/she gets a complete check-up before taken in for surgery. It is essential that your pet is physically ready to bear the stress of surgery. A dose of anaesthesia is given to them so they might be a little groggy when you pick them up in the afternoon or evening, the same day.
PICKING UP YOUR PET
- Some pets may recover faster than others from the anaesthesia. But if your pet is a little groggy, no need to worry! They will just need a little more of that pampering they love!
- Prepare yourself for the sight of a small incision on your pet (especially those of you who are faint-hearted). This is perfectly normal. A female pet’s incision will be more visible than that of a male’s because theirs will be better hidden between their legs.
- Be sure to bring along a blanket or a carrying crate to take your pet home in a comfortable and warm way.
- Don’t forget that your new best friend has gone through an ordeal, so bring their favourite toy to comfort them.
- Make sure to get clear instructions from your vet about how to care properly for your pet before you leave.
WHEN YOU GET HOME
- Since your pet has fasted for a few hours, give him a moderately sized meal to help him get onto the path of recovery.
- Curb all excessive activities for your pet. So, no flying of the sofa or taking leaps to get onto the bed, for example. Immoderate activities can affect the incision and slow down or stop the recovery process. If you have other pets, it would be a good idea to keep them away for a while.
- If your pet just wants to rest that day, that’s perfectly fine! They will bounce back the next day. Provide a warm and dry environment for him to rest comfortably through the night.
THE NEXT DAY
- Your pet is probably more like him/ herself today. That’s a good sign. Expect their appetite to be back to normal or closer to normal within 24 hours after the surgery.
- It is still essential to follow the instructions of your vet and keep him/her away from activities requiring excessive movement (this will continue for the next 10 – 14 days, or as prescribed by your vet).
- It is best not to bathe your pet for the next couple of weeks, as water can disrupt sutures.
THE FOLLOWING COUPLE OF WEEKS
- If you know your pet and his/her habits well, it will be easier for you to notice if something is out of the ordinary in the days following the surgery.
- One of the most common telltale signs is an abnormal appetite. Another is unusual lethargy. If you happen to notice these or other signs of abnormality such as a funny walk or an upset tummy, we suggest you have a chat with your vet.
- Be sure to examine the incision site every day for signs of a normal recovery. If you notice any redness, swelling, discharge or foul odor, please get it checked by the vet.
- Make sure that your pet is not licking the incision site (they probably will make an attempt or two). One of the common ways to prevent this is by using a recovery cone (aka a cone of shame!)
- At 10 – 14 days, the sutures should either be dissolving of be ready to be removed by the vet (depending on the kind the vet has used).
- The visibility of the incision site should be less prominent by now. It will take a couple of months for it to look completely normal.
- If your female pet puts on weight, it’s not because of the surgery but because of lack of exercise and overeating.
Note- We recommend you follow the instructions provided by your vet to the letter. Even if your pet seems to be healthier and happier earlier than expected, it is absolutely essential that he/she maintains the routine prescribed for a perfect recovery.