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Fax: 01332 810659
Postoperative care for spinal patients (surgical)
Your dog has had a major surgical procedure and will require the following postoperative care. This information is a general guide; specific instruction will be given at the dismissal consultation.
Cage or small-room rest will be necessary all the time in the immediate postoperative period, and for part of the time for at least the first 6 weeks. A puppy cage is ideal for smaller dogs, alternatively make an enclosure out of a convenient corner. It is important that your dog does not attempt to race around, play with other dogs or jump up and down on furniture or stairs.
You may need to assist your dog to walk until he/she is strong enough to manage; use folded towels or a sling to support them. A harness is preferable to a collar, especially if the problem is in the neck.
Anti-inflammatory analgesics should be given at the dose prescribed for as long as we or your own vet advises. We will check that you have a supply of these, before you leave.
The surgical wound is covered by a primapore dressing. This is to protect it from dirt, and it will be removed by your own vet in 2-3 days. Do not worry if it falls off before then. Do not allow your dog to lick the wound as this will make it sore and may introduce infection. If necessary, apply an Elizabethan collar.
Postoperative care schedule:
First 3 days: strict cage rest, out into the garden ON THE LEASH to do his/her business then straight back to bed. You should be giving anti-inflammatory analgesics as instructed at the dismissal consult.
Day 3: visit your usual vet for post-op check of the wound. Your vet will advise on the continued dosage of anti-inflammatories.
Day 3 to 21: (follow-up appointment at Dovecote) gradually work up to 5 minutes walking ON THE LEASH three times daily. Your dog is to be on the leash at all times when not in bed.
Day 10-14: arrange to visit your own vet for staple removal.
Day 14-21: follow-up appointment at Dovecote. This is a visual check and there is no need to bring your dog starved, unless advised to do so by your own vet. Morning appointments are preferred as, if there is a problem requiring admission, it can be dealt with on the day. The surgeon will assess gait, range of movement and pain control and will advise you how to proceed with regard to anti-inflammatory drugs and exercise. Physiotherapy may be suggested, depending on progress.
2-3 week visual check
6 week post-op x-rays