dog at veterinary visitPost-Operative Care & Emergencies

Post-Operative Care

If your dog or cat had surgery at Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, we recommend that the following post-operative instructions be carefully followed:

  1. Dogs and cats must be kept indoors after surgery. This will enable you to carefully monitor recovery and will prevent complications and possible death from exposure to outdoor temperature extremes.
  2. As when any anesthesia is used, stomach upset can occur. To avoid stomach upset, restrict the amount of food and water your dog or cat has access to during the first 3 hours at home after surgery. You can provide one or two ice cubes to lick or chew during this time. Do not offer food to pets immediately upon returning home (you may offer a very small amount of food 3 hours after you return home). You can gradually increase the amount of food and water over the next 24 hours.
  3. Restrict your animal’s activity for the next 7 days. Do not allow running or jumping.
  4. You should check the incision at least twice daily until healed. A small amount of blood seepage immediately after surgery is normal. Should you notice any continued drainage or swelling, contact a veterinarian.
  5. If the incision should become dirty, gently clean the area with a cotton ball and hydrogen peroxide.
  6. You must not allow your dog or cat to become wet for at least 7 days after surgery. For this reason, bathing is also prohibited for at least one week after surgery.
  7. If the surgery required the use of sutures, the sutures are dissolvable and should not require removal. Because male cat neuters do not require the use of sutures, we advise using shredded newspaper instead of litter in your cat’s litter box for 7 days after surgery to prevent dust particles from irritating the incisions.
  8. DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN OR TYLENOL TO DOGS AND CATS FOR PAIN RELIEF UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PRESCRIBED BY YOUR VETERINARIAN. TYLENOL IS TOXIC TO ANIMALS AND ASPIRIN CAN BE DEADLY IF ADMINISTERED AFTER SURGERY.
  9. If you have any questions about your animal’s condition after surgery, please call the clinic at 805-349-3435, Extension 2. For emergencies requiring immediate attention, call PETS Hospital at 805-250-5600, 24 hours a day.

A situation where an animal is bleeding, weak or cannot stand up, or abnormal swelling or bruising is present is considered an emergency situation which can require immediate attention. Call the PETS Hospital.  Situations where incisions appear irritated and the animal is eating and acting relatively normal, are usually non-emergencies and require a recheck by the attending veterinarian at the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society during business hours.

Emergency and Critical Care

PETS Hospital is our partner to provide Emergency and Critical Care. Their hospital is located at 4854 S Bradley Rd, Suite 109, Orcutt, CA 93455 and their phone number is 805-250-5600, 24 hours a day.

Walk-in emergencies and urgent care appointments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. PETS Hospital is equipped with advanced diagnostics, oxygen and heat support cages, and other equipment needed for support of critically ill or injured patients. Additionally, all of staff at PETS Hospital has received advanced training in critical care and emergency medicine.