If your dog is recovering after surgery, it can be a stressful time for both of you. But with your loving care and the expert advice of your vet, your dog should soon be back to their normal selves. This article explores some of the ways you can support your pet through the convalescence period.
Wounds and stitches
If your dog has stitches, keep a close eye on them. Some may be internal, but you should let your vet know if there’s any redness, swelling, discharge or bleeding. Stitches are usually removed after about ten days, although this will vary with the type of operation. Internal stitches are hidden under the skin and dissolve naturally on their own – but your vet may still ask you to bring your dog for a follow-up appointment to check that healing is going well.
Bandages may bother your dog. It is very important that you keep bandages dry or they can cause damage to the skin. Look out for discolouration, unpleasant odours or swelling above or below the bandage. Always contact your vet if you are concerned.
Food has an essential role to play in your dog’s recovery, so your vet may recommend switching to a specially formulated convalescence diet. Since many recovering dogs can lose their appetite, a high-calorie diet can help ensure they receive the maximum number of calories in a small quantity of food. A diet that is high in protein can also promote recovery and repair while supporting the immune system.
Collars are designed to help prevent dogs from licking but also biting or scratching their wounds, as well as from chewing a bandage. It’s important to keep a collar on at all times if possible, especially overnight when dogs are left alone. Your pet will soon get used to wearing it, but it may hinder eating and drinking, so remove it around meal times if that is the case.