Preparing for a poorly post-op pooch

Those of us who have undergone surgery know that it can be a pretty miserable experience. The pain of recovery, side effects of medication and general inconvenience can’t be soothed by any amount of laying in front of the TV, watching antiques programs and stuffing your pie-hole with bag after bag of Maltesers.

caring for an ill doggieLet’s face it – it sucks, and it is just as horrible for your dog as it is for you. The difference is that there is an element of trial and error with your pet. After all, your dog can’t tell you if he’s uncomfortable, if he’s thirsty, or where you can shove your bottle of Lucozade and bunch of grapes.

If your pet is due to go under the knife, there are some things you can do in preparation for it which can lessen the effect of any emergency.

Regardless of how complicated the surgery, your vet will know best. Speak to him afterwards, and be sure to understand everything that he recommends to you. Use the opportunity to clarify the following:

  • The clinic’s phone number, including any out-of-hours or emergency numbers
  • What medication to give your dog, including how they should be administered
  • The side effects of any medication, and how to spot an adverse reaction to them
  • What restrictions need to be enforced, including exercise and diet? Will any of these restrictions be permanent?
  • Do you need to keep your dog separated from any other pets in your home?
  • Finally, be sure to book your pet dog back in with your vet so he or she can check on his progress.

A lot of common sense can also be applied. If your pet has had a tooth out, you may need to switch his diet temporarily. For example, you might need to substitute his dry food with canned food.

Finally, the best thing you can do for your poorly pooch is to give him a lot of love and attention. He will be feeling out of sorts for a while, due to pain, stress and possible side effects of his medication. You may want to treat him to a comfy new dog bed or some new dogs toys to occupy him – if he could speak, he’d thank you for it.