What To Expect When Your Pet Is Recovering From Surgery

We know that surgery is not a fun time for you or your pet, so we hope that knowing these things will help make for an easier recovery once they’re home. 

Your pet’s recovery from surgery doesn’t end at Brook Farm Veterinary Center. They’re going to need your continued support at home. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

Restrict Mobility

Depending on the procedure it’s important to restrict your pet’s mobility for up to one week after their procedure. It is important that your pet avoids doing any strenuous exercise that may damage their wound such as running, jumping, playing with other pes, or going on long walks.  They should also remain mostly inside during their recovery except for short walks for potty breaks. 

Rest Comfortably

Be sure that your pet is comfortable, keeping an eye on the internal temperature and noise levels  in your home where they are resting. It’s recommended to separate them from other pets and use an empty room or large crate where they can get lots of needed rest.

Anesthesia Can Linger

Anesthesia can linger in your pet’s body for 24-48 hours causing your pet to be lethargic and sleepy. Contact your veterinarian if you notice your pet is still acting drowsy after 48 hrs. 

Food and Water

Dividing up your pet’s first meal after surgery will help reduce nausea and vomiting. Unless otherwise noted by your veterinarian water consumption should not be restricted.. 

Shaved Leg with Bandage

An area on your pet’s front leg may have been shaved to administer an anesthetic or sedative IV. If this area has a bandage you’re able to remove this bandage one day after surgery unless stated otherwise. 

Mild Cough

Don’t be alarmed; Your pet may have a mild cough for a dew days after surgery. Your pet’s throat may have been mildly aggravated when we inserted the ET tube which provides oxygen and anesthesia during their surgery. This can lead to a mild cough, however if you notice your pet’s cough getting worse or lasts longer than a few days,  please contact your Veterinarian. 

E-Collar (Elizabethan Collar)

Your pet will try to clean their wound by licking it, so we recommend using an Elizabethan collar, or an e-collar so they can’t damage their wounds. As hard as it is to feel bad that your pet has a cone on their head while wearing this collar, refrain from giving them breaks from wearing it. It only takes your pet few seconds to rip open any stitches or staple, if this happens, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

Your Pet’s Incision

A normal incision should look clean with edges pinched together. The skin around the incision may look normal or slightly pink or red. Bruising may be present and is normal after surgery.  A little bit of blood may appear around the wound for up to 24 hrs especially if your pet is more active than they should be. 

Call Us Immediately: 

  • If there is constant blood draining from the wound
  • If blood is present for more than 24 hrs
  • If there is an unpleasant odor 
  • If you notice excessive swelling or redness around the wound

Staples - Wound Closure

We will let you know if removal is necessary and we’ll remove those at your pet’s follow up appointment. Follow ups are usually scheduled 7-14 days after their procedure. 


Be sure to read the instructions on the label carefully when giving your pet their medications.  If you run into any problems or questions please don’t hesitate to let us know - we are all happy to help you get your pet back to feeling themselves.

We know that surgery is not a fun time for you or your pet, so we hope that knowing these things will help make for an easier recovery once they’re home. 

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