How to Take Care of Your Dog So They Heal Quickly and Correctly

Taking care of your pet or companion animal can be challenging in many ways. You want to make sure that they remain in optimal health, they’re happy, and getting everything they need to remain a part of your life for as long as possible. But, much like their owners, pets may need a bit of professional help in order to stay at optimum health. Sometimes this help comes in the form of surgery.

Taking care of your pet after a surgery can be one of the most challenging things you will have to do as a pet owner. This can be especially true if your dog has just undergone eye surgery for cataracts or another condition. But, knowing what you need to do to effectively take care of your dog during this time of need is, as they say, half the battle. Here is a quick breakdown of everything you need to know about caring for your dog after eye surgery.

Canine Surgery Aftercare and Recovery

Dog eye surgery aftercare and recovery revolves around a few things—their recovery from the anesthesia used during the procedure, caring for the surgical site and making sure your dog doesn’t do anything to damage the area, and restricting their activity until they are back to optimum health.

  • Recovery from Anesthesia

It can take as much as one or two days for your dog to fully process all of the drugs used to anesthetize them for surgery. During this period, they may not have much of an appetite and may just want to sleep on a near-constant basis. These are perfectly normal reactions to being anesthetized. But, if their appetite and energy level does not improve after a day or two, you will want to contact your vet.

  • The Recovery Collar or Cone

Allowing your dog to heal requires that the site of their surgery be protected. To accomplish this, a recovery collar or cone will be needed, and you’ll want to keep it in place at all times during your dog’s recovery. If you let your dog out of the recovery device, they may rub or scratch the site of the surgery and damage their eye or the surrounding tissues.

  • The Stitches

The stitches used in the surgery, if there are any, will most likely be absorbable. They should dissolve over the weeks following the surgery and will not need further attention from the vet unless they are damaged by your pet.

  • Restricted Activity

You will want to keep your dog on restricted activity for several weeks following their surgery. You will need to do this in order to ensure that they do not injure the site of the surgery through running, jumping, head shaking, playing with their dog friends, or anything else that could damage their stitches. It is typically recommended that you restrict their activity as much as possible.

What to Watch Out For, Post-Surgery

In addition to following the aftercare instructions from your vet, you will also want to watch out for a few telltale signs that something is wrong and requires immediate medical attention. For example, following eye surgery, your pet should be able to hold their eye open normally. Squinting (except when exposed to bright light) could be a sign of an issue that warrants a trip to the vet.

You will also want to watch out for lethargy (after the anesthesia wears off), excessive whining, vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, wincing, or any discharge from the surgical site. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these issues during your dog’s aftercare period.

Ensuring a Speedy Recovery From Eye Surgery

Taking care of a dog that has had eye surgery can be challenging, but it doesn’t need to be impossible. Follow the steps above and watch out for anything out of the ordinary, and your dog should be on the road to eye recovery in little to no time.

Author: Giano Panzarella