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Post Surgery Care

The responsibility of monitoring a canine’s fracture recovery and rehabilitation shifts to the pet owner, when the patient is discharged from the veterinary clinic after the orthopedic procedure. Intensive ‘Canine Post-operative Home Care’ is of critical importance for the total recovery of your pet’s bone health.

The following guildeines need to be incorporated while designing a post-clinical home care regimen for your dog. Also make sure to check out our blog How to Take Care of Your Dog After Surgery for even more tips.

Periodic check ups

Pain, Discomfort and Analgesics:

Most animals do not require analgesics post-operatively. However, surgery is invasive and animals may experience post-surgery pain. Watch your pet for signs of pain, ability to settle down, rest, and sleep. Dogs in chronic pain are reluctant to sleep for normal periods, their appetite and changes in the use of the limb are also critical signs to monitor. Continued need for analgesia after one week usually reflects a problem associated with surgery and necessitates re-evaluation. Pain and stress could slow down the healing process.

Incision, Infection and Antibiotics:

Incision site should be monitored once daily, for any signs of increased redness, swelling, or drainage/seepage. Scratching or licking the incision by the canine, delays healing and leads to a serious infection or incision separation. Therefore, a buster collar needs to be worn at all times until the staples, stitches or casts are removed.

Bandages should be changed often and use medication as directed by your vet. Keeping the affected area clean and dry accelerates fracture healing, since it discourages bacterial proliferation. In case of any suspected infection, take your dog to the clinic. If the culture is positive, antibiotics can be used according to the sensitivity.

Make sure to give your dog all recommended medication timely. For tips on how to get your dog to take medicine, watch the video below.

Diet and Nutraceuticals:

Upon leaving the clinic to go home, your pet will become excited which may result in excess thirst and gulping of food. Therefore, for two days, give small amounts of food and water 3-4 times per day. The animal's diet should be of adequate quantity and well balanced during recovery.

Supplements should definitely be discussed with your veterinarian to add to the regimen during this time. Supplements can promote good health and ensure that your dog is getting enough nutrients to support their healing processes.  

Functional Fracture Healing:

Canine Functional Fracture HealingRestrict your pet’s activity during the first week of post-surgery. Surgical implants are strong but neither the implants nor the healing bone can withstand high energy or high impact movements. Small degrees of movement at the fracture line may hinder the cellular healing response. Most fractures, if left completely alone, would probably heal; however, due to any delayed union or malunion, the bone might lose its function.

Make sure to check out our section on fracture healing in dogs and read our blog post to learn more about the bone remodeling process and how it works. 

This content is written by our Clinical Advisory Board for informational purposes only. It should not be viewed as an endorsement for any product or as a substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.