Once your dog’s surgery is over and the anesthesia has worn off completely, it is time to take him home. Post-surgical recovery is typically uneventful for most dogs. Even minor surgery can cause your dog enough pain and weakness for the first few days, forcing him to rest without allowing much movement.
Once you and your dog arrive at home, he should be allowed to rest as long and as quiet as possible. Never force your dog into doing any activity, regardless of what it is. Just going outside to use the bathroom is more than enough movement during the first couple of days for any dog going through post-surgical recovery, unless of course the surgery was very minor.
As far as exercise is concerned and judging when your dog is ready for some physical stimulation, simply look to your dog for the answers. His actions will give you plenty of clues as to what type of movement he is ready for. If your dog seems intent on moving around, allow them to do so, unless your veterinarian gave you specific instructions to do otherwise.
Complications With Healing
One of the most common complications that arise for many dogs during post-surgery healing is the licking and biting of the wound area, which is held together by stitches and bandages. Some dogs will bite at the stitches which can lead to serious infection. For this reason alone, your dog should have someone looking over him to avoid such behavior. Any type of barrier that can block your dog’s teeth and tongue from getting to the wound will help.
Depending upon the location of the injury in which the surgery was provided for, the main goal is to help your dog in prevention of hurting itself. For example, you can wrap a towel around the dog’s abdomen and fasten it with safety pins, slip a small sock onto the wound area (such as the dog’s feet) and tape it up to avoid injury, or you may even invest into an Elizabethan collar to prevent his face and head from bumping into objects.
Your veterinarian will let you know when you should return the dog back for a checkup and/or the removal of his stitches. Such a procedure is quite simple and should only take a few minutes. Once the stitches are removed, there may be some minor inflammation and irritation that goes away in just a few days.