Call 319-647-3535 for an appointment
Call 319-647-3535 for an appointment

Thank you for entrusting your pet to our care.  They have just had a surgical procedure that involved general anesthesia.  Please take a few minutes to review the following information to ensure that your pet is back to feeling their best as soon as possible.

Let your pet rest in a quiet place.

Once your pet gets over the excitement of being home, you may notice that they sleep a little more than normal during the next 24 – 48 hours.  Please keep them inside and confined to a small, safe area (e.g. crate, small room) if you are unable to be there to monitor their behavior.


Do not let your pet lick or chew.

If your pet is likely to do so, they will need to wear an Elizabethan collar (aka cone of shame) especially if you are not around to supervise them.  You need to do this until the sutures are removed or absorbed (usually 8 to 10 days).  Licking can cause bruising, redness and swelling.  It can also result in the failure of the sutures and re-opening of the incision site.


Observe your pet closely.

Monitor the incision site for signs of infection.  Look for increased redness, swelling or discharge.  Keep the incision site clean and dry.  Do not apply anything to the incision.  No bathing or swimming for 14 days.  Continue to monitor their behavior during the recovery period.  They should show steady, continual improvement.  Be on the lookout for symptoms of post-surgical complications:  poor or no appetite, lethargy, depression, vomiting, passing of black or tarry stools, unanticipated pain or discomfort.  Please contact us if you notice any of these symptoms.


Cat declaws.

Your cat’s paws will be sore for several days after this procedure.  Make sure you give them any pain medication that the veterinarian has prescribed.  We encourage you to use a non-clumping cat litter (like Yesterday’s News) or shredded newspaper in place of your regular litter until your cat’s paws are healed.

Restrict amount of food and water.

Immediately upon returning home, you may offer small amounts of food and water.  One of the side effects of general anesthesia is nausea, and consuming large amounts of food or water on an empty stomach can cause vomiting.  Unless you receive other instructions, your pet can return to its normal diet on the following day.  Your pet may have been sent home with oral pain medication or antibiotics.  Please make sure to give these as directed.


Restrict your pet's activity.

Unfortunately, pets do not understand the significance of a recovery period. They will generally become active in a short amount of time after their surgery.  Do not allow running, jumping or rough play with other pets or people.  For dogs, no un-restricted or off-leash activity should be allowed.  Restrict your pet’s activity for at least 7 days.



Most of our procedures use absorbable sutures.  The skin is sealed with tissue adhesive, and the actual sutures themselves are “buried” under the skin.  In the event that there are skin sutures or staples, they will need to be removed once healing is well under way.  This is usually somewhere between eight to ten days after the procedure.  Please call ahead and make an appointment with our office.  No bathing or swimming for 14 days.



Your pet may have had teeth extracted as part of a dental cleaning procedure.  Although most do fine returning to their normal diet, you might want to offer canned food or soften their dry food with water for a few days after the extractions.

As always, if you have any questions about your pet's recovery, do not hesitate to contact our office.



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