Caring for your pet following a procedure differs depending on the type of treatment performed and your pet’s individual needs.

We will advise you of specifics for your pet. The following is for planning and reference purposes only and not to be taken as medical advice. If you have questions about your pet that has had a procedure, please contact the veterinarian or facility that performed the procedure.

For anesthetic procedures:

  • On the first day home from the procedure, pets should be offered small amounts of food (not more than 1/3 of a normal meal) at a time.  If this is eaten and your pet does not vomit for one hour, another 1/3 portion may be offered. This can be repeated to equal the normal volume of food your pet eats.
  • Patients receive intravenous fluids during the procedure (and sometimes before and/or after). Depending on many factors, your pet may urinate more than normal on the evening after the procedure.  Additionally, your pet may not be interested in drinking water on the first day home. By the next day, he or she should be drinking and urinating as normal.
  • Some patients are sleepier or more lethargic than usual for a day or two following the procedure.  Allow your pet to rest and do not plan extended exercise, play dates, or other physically-demanding activities.
  • Fasted patients may not have a bowel movement for a day or two following the procedure.
  • Pets coming home from the clinic may smell different to other animals in the household. Additionally, his or her behavior may be altered while on pain medication. Re-introductions may be necessary to prevent conflict between pets in the same household.
  • Occasional coughing may occur following a procedure for a day or two; sometimes the endotracheal tube can cause mild irritation. Coughing that lasts for extended periods of time, continues beyond the 2nd day following a procedure, or produces mucus should be reported right away.

For patients having dental extractions:

  • Softened food (canned or water-soaked dry food) should be fed for 10 – 14 days.  No hard food, kibble, chews, or bones should be offered during this time.
  • Do not allow your pet to chew on any toys, including stuffed animals.  Hard objects can damage the incision sites and stuffed toys can catch on sutures.
  • A small amount of bleeding or seepage from the extraction sites is normal for the first couple days following the procedure. This would present as pink-tinged saliva. Any active bleeding (drops or trickles of blood) should be reported immediately. Depending on your pet’s procedure it can be normal, but this is not always the case.
  • Give all medications prescribed as directed.

Call us if:

  • Your pet develops new symptoms.
  • You have concerns or questions about your pet’s procedure or recovery.
  • Your pet paws at his or her face excessively.
  • Your pet refuses to eat or drink or has a significantly decreased appetite for more than 24 hours.
  • You are having difficulty or are unable to give prescribed medications.