The Road to Recovery: Supporting Your Dog After Surgery

Observing the recovery process of your furry companion who has undergone surgery can be quite stressful.

However, with proper attention and care, your dog can have a smooth recovery experience. With a little extra love and attention, you can help your dog get back to its happy and healthy self in no time.

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to support your pup’s recovery journey, from managing pain and nutrition to exercise and rehabilitation.

Understanding Your Dog’s Post-Op Needs

After your dog undergoes surgery, you need to understand its post-operative needs to ensure a smooth recovery. The following measures can help your four-legged companion during this period.

Firstly, make sure to follow any specific post-operative instructions provided by your veterinarian, including medication schedules and restrictions on exercise and activity. Adhering to these guidelines will help your dog heal properly and avoid complications.

Secondly, ensure that your dog has a comfortable and peaceful spot to relax and recuperate. Make certain that its sleeping space is sanitary and devoid of any possible dangers like sharp items or loose wires. This will allow your dog to rest undisturbed, which is crucial for its recovery.

Thirdly, keep a close eye on your dog’s eating and drinking patterns. Following surgery, some dogs may experience a decrease in appetite or challenges while swallowing. As a result, you should offer small, frequent meals and ensure they have access to fresh water at all times. If you observe any alterations in your dog’s eating or drinking behavior, get in touch with your veterinarian.

Lastly, shower your dog with ample affection and care. Offer kind words, gentle petting, and plenty of rest and relaxation to help them feel comfortable and supported during their recovery period. Your dog’s physical and emotional well-being is important, and your love and care can make all the difference in its recovery.

Understanding your dog’s post-op needs is especially critical for orthopedic surgeries such as cruciate ligament (ACL) surgeries. Recovery for these types of surgeries can take much longer, with 80% of the recovery occurring between 8 to 12 weeks after surgery, but complete recovery may take 6 months or more. As such, it’s crucial to support your dog through its recovery process to ensure the best possible outcome.

Medications and Home Care For Your Dog

As you navigate your dog’s recovery after surgery, there are several medications and home care strategies that you can use to support its healing.

You may be prescribed pain medications, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs to help manage your dog’s discomfort and prevent infections. Ensure that you adhere to your veterinarian’s instructions meticulously while administering these medications.

Osteoporosis is a common issue that dogs may encounter. Pet parents may attempt to combat this condition with medication, but in some cases, surgery may be prescribed by the veterinarian, followed by post-surgery medications to accelerate the healing process.

Your veterinarian might suggest giving Carprovet for dogs to help alleviate postoperative pain related to orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries. Carprofen, the active ingredient in Carprovet, is a commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) for pain control in dogs.

PetRx, a pet medication retailer, notes that Carprovet provides several benefits to dogs recovering from surgery. It can help reduce inflammation and swelling at the site of the surgery, leading to quicker healing. 

Another benefit is that Carprovet comes in the form of beef-flavored chewable tablets, which are both tasty and easy to administer. This can enhance the experience of administering medication to your dog, making it more enjoyable for both you and your four-legged companion. However, you need to follow your vet’s dosing instructions carefully and watch for any potential side effects, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Moreover, you should read medication labels thoroughly when administering drugs to your dog. Any medication error, such as providing the incorrect dosage or administering the medication at the wrong time, can have severe consequences for both you and your furry friend.

According to the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), misinterpreting drug label information or giving your dog the wrong medication could have serious consequences for its health. Medication errors can also affect human health, particularly if drugs used in food-producing animals result in unsafe residues in human food.

In addition, handling or using animal drugs improperly can pose a potential risk to people. This is especially true for individuals who come into contact with these drugs regularly, such as veterinary professionals and pet owners. Lastly, you must follow proper safety protocols when handling and administering medications to your dog to ensure both its health and your own.

To avoid medication errors and ensure your dog receives the appropriate care, be sure to communicate regularly with your veterinarian about any concerns or questions you have. 

Feeding Your Dog During Recovery

When your furry friend goes through surgery, it can be a difficult time for both of you. Plus, you should take care of its nutritional needs to support its recovery. You can talk to your vet to determine the appropriate dry dog Food for your dog, considering its medical history, breed, and age.

After surgery, your dog’s appetite may be low, but it’s crucial to encourage them to eat to help with its healing process. You can try feeding them small meals throughout the day and incorporating healthy treats that are easy to digest. Remember to provide an adequate amount of water to your dog to ensure they remain hydrated.

If your dog is on medication, remember to give it with food, as some medications can cause an upset stomach. You may also consult your veterinarian regarding any supplements or vitamins that may assist in your dog’s recuperation. It is imperative to adhere to its guidance and dosage instructions precisely.

Observing your dog’s progress is necessary while they recover, particularly with regard to its eating behavior. If you notice a significant decrease in appetite or if they are not eating at all, consult with your veterinarian. They can provide further guidance on how to ensure your dog is getting the nutrition they need to recover fully.

Many studies have shown a clear link between the importance of diet and post-surgery recovery. Veterinary Practice, an online knowledge and information hub for veterinary professionals, reports that a study showed 84% of hospitalized dogs did not consume the required energy, with only 3.4% meeting its requirements, indicating an association between inadequate energy intake and mortality. To support your dog’s recovery, you should focus on meeting its calorie needs.

Although research in the veterinary field is limited, consistent calorie intake within 24 hours of surgery has been associated with shorter hospital stays for dogs with septic peritonitis. Thus, feeding your dog appropriately during its recovery is vital for its overall well-being and survival.

Exercise and Rehabilitation for Your Dog’s Recovery

If you’re a dog owner, you’ll want to provide the best possible care for your four-legged companion, particularly during the recovery process following surgery. Exercise is one crucial aspect that helps a lot during rehabilitation. It helps to improve circulation, reduce stiffness, and increase strength.

However, you need to remember that your dog’s exercise routine needs to be tailored to its individual needs. Your vet will offer advice on the appropriate type and level of physical activity suitable for your dog’s current state. Follow their advice carefully to avoid causing further damage to your pet.

Taking your dog for walks is an excellent form of low-impact exercise that can assist them in regaining its strength. Begin with brief, leisurely walks, and gradually boost the duration and intensity as time progresses. Avoid stairs, slippery surfaces, and uneven terrain, which can increase the risk of injury.

Rehabilitation can also involve massage, hydrotherapy, and other therapeutic treatments. These activities reduce discomfort and swelling, enhance flexibility, and stimulate the healing process. Consult with your vet and a certified canine rehabilitation therapist to develop a customized recovery plan for your furry friend.

The College of Veterinary Medicine provides suggestions for rehabilitation therapies and exercises that can be done at home to help your dog recover after surgery. These exercises consist of various activities such as Back Steps, Side Steps, Cavalettis with Poles, Weight Shifting, Yoga Stretching, and Cookie Stretches.

Summing Up

Helping your furry friend recover from surgery involves providing a comfortable environment, monitoring its eating and drinking habits, administering medication, and showering them with love, etc.

However, regularly monitoring its progress, including its eating behavior, is crucial for its recovery. It’s also a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about any supplements or vitamins that may aid in its recuperation.