Orthopaedic Surgery Post Operative Care Instructions

When your pet has undergone orthopaedic surgery the affected area will be clipped and sutures or staples have been placed.

Anaesthetic                                                                                                                                                                                                           Your pet will gradually recover from the anaesthetic over the next 24-48 hours, but must be kept quiet and warm this evening. Some hair has been clipped from one or more legs and /or neck for the administration of the anaesthetic, intravenous fluids and any blood sampling. Anaesthesia usually involves placing a breathing tube down the windpipe and occasionally this may cause some irritation. You might notice a slight cough which should not last longer than 3-4 days.

Water should be offered when you get home. It is better to drink a little but often; so as much water can be taken as wanted, but not all at once. Fill a water bowl one quarter full, and refill it if it has been empty for 10 minutes. It is important to feed only the recommended diet, amount and frequency as directed by the practice. If your pet seems depressed, not eating or suffers from any vomiting or diarrhoea, please phone for further advice. Normal feeding patterns should resume within 24-48 hours of surgery.

Please restrict activity for the next 10 days. Dogs should go outside on a lead and only for toileting purposes. Any specific directions will be given at the discharge appointment, but in general it is important to avoid running, jumping, stairs (wherever possible) and slippery surfaces e.g. laminate floors. The use of a cage, for dogs and cats is usually strongly recommended to enforce periods of rest. Cats must be kept indoors until the vet advises otherwise.

Wound care
Please check the incision daily for 10 days. The incision should look better each day and any bruising should gradually subside. If you notice any swelling or any discharge, please contact us. Your pet should not be allowed to lick at its incision. This will delay healing and may introduce infection. Buster collars can be supplied if necessary.


Post-Operative Pain Relief
Your pet will either have been given long acting pain relief or you will be given pain relief to administer at home.


Post-Operative Antibiotics
Your pet will either have been given long acting antibiotics or you will be given antibiotics to administer at home.


Post-Operative Checks
You will be told at the time of discharge whether or not your pet requires a free of charge post operative check.  If so an appointment will be made for you.


Suture Removal
If your pet has dissolvable stitches in place they will not need to be removed.  If your pet's stitches do need to be removed an appointment will be made for your for 10 days after the operation. 


Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any concerns or queries Links Vet Group.



01620 822262


0131 665 3343

North Berwick:    

01620 894471


01368 860461


Out of Hours Emergency Service: 01620 822262