General Post-Operative Instructions
Your dog or cat has undergone general anesthesia and surgical sterilization. For the safety of you and your animal, we recommend the following post-operative instructions be carefully reviewed and followed. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s condition after surgery, please call the clinic at (813)870-3304 Monday-Friday 7am-6pm.
1. Dogs and cats must be kept indoors after surgery. This will enable you to closely monitor your pet’s recovery and will prevent complications and possible death from exposure to outdoor temperature extremes.
2. Restrict activity for the next seven (7) days – no running, jumping, playing. Keep pets on leash when outside. Take stairs slowly and one step at a time. No jumping into and out of vehicles or onto and off of furniture. After the initial seven days of rest, slowly increase the amount of activity allowed over the second week, closely monitoring the incision site for abnormalities.
3. Due to the lingering effects of anesthesia, your pet may be sedated or groggy this evening. Sedation may last 24 hours.
4. Do not offer food to patients immediately upon returning home. Anticipate possible gastrointestinal upset after anesthesia. Restrict your dog or cat from any food or water for at least four (4) hours this evening. You may provide one or two ice cubes to lick or chew during this time. You may give a small amount of your pet’s normal food and small amount of water after the the initial four hours has elapsed. Gradually increase the anount of food and water you offer your pet over the next day. If your pet is totally uninterested in the normal food, you may offer a small amount of canned pet food or meat flavored baby food to stimulate the appetite. Within 24 hours, your pet’s food and water consumption should return to normal.
5. A special head collar may have been sent home with your pet. Keep this Elizabethan collar (E-collar) on at all times for 10-14 days after surgery. This barrier is necessary to prevent your pet from over-grooming, licking or chewing at the incision site. Replace the E-collar immediately if your pet removes the collar. Ensure the collar is not too tight or too loose by allowing a two-finger space between the neck and the collar tie for a snug but comfortable fit.
6. Check the incision twice daily. A small amount of seeping blood or serous discharge is normal for a few days following surgery, especially in the first 24 hours. You may notice some bruising or minor swelling near the incision. If you notice any continued drainage or swelling, contact the spay/neuter clinic as soon as possible. If the problem is severe, contact one of the emergency numbers as soon as possible (see below).
7. If the incision becomes dirty, gently clean with diluted cool soapy water and a cotton ball or soft cloth. Pat dry. Do not scrub or attempt to remove adherent discharge from the incision. Do not apply ointments or creams to the incision unless specifically directed by the veterinarian. Dressings and ointments may be occlusive and delay healing.
8. Do not bathe or allow your pet to swim for at least 10-14 days after surgery. Gently towel dry the incision site if your pet becomes wet.
9. Do not administer medication to your pet after surgery, unless specifically prescribed by the veterinarian. Many over-the-counter human products are toxic to dogs and cats or have a very narrow safety range compared to humans. Tylenol (acetaminophen) and aspirin can be deadly. If your pet has been prescribed medication for use after surgery, please read the associated handout for more information.
10. Use paper litter or crystals (e.g. Yesterdays News, Feline Pine, or Tidy Cat Crystals) for 7-10 days after surgery.
11. If you require emergency assistance for your pet after business hours, please call:
To view the video of how to care for your pet after surgery please click here.
Tampa Bay Vet Emergency Services located at 238 E. Bearss Ave. in Tampa. (813)265-4043, Monday-Friday 6p-8a; Saturday noon to 8am Monday.
Animal Emergency Clinic of Brandon located at 693 W. Lumsden Rd. (813)684-3013 Monday-Friday 6p-8a; Saturday noon to 8am Monday.
Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Petersburg located at 3165 22nd Ave N. (727)323-1311 Monday-Friday 6p-8a; Saturday noon to 8am Monday.
The photo is of her shaking hands to get her birthday dinner.
Once again- thank you all for that you do in rescuing so many animals and giving them a second chance!