Introduction to pet limb surgery aftercare

Surgery on one of your pet’s limbs can present extra challenges for aftercare if the injury restricts your pet’s movements.

It is important to always follow your vet’s guidance following a surgical procedure.

Even if it is difficult to keep your pet calm and quiet as their wounds heal, it can be very important to their healing process.

An image of a cat wearing a post operative Elizabethan collar

Managing pain after limb surgery

Your vet will likely prescribe your pet medication to manage their pain following their operation.

Medication should be administered according to your vet’s instructions and for as many days as prescribed, even if your pet seems like they’re feeling better.

Animals don’t always show pain the same way humans do, so it may not be obvious how they’re feeling. The medication may also have significant anti-inflammatory effects essential for the healing process, beyond the painkilling effects.

Also, human painkillers should not be used on pets so don’t give your pet anything that hasn’t been prescribed.

Wound care and monitoring

Follow all your vet’s instructions on caring for your pet’s surgical wound. If your pet has an Elizabethan collar (cone), suit, or dressing to keep them from licking the wound, it’s important that they continue to wear this for as long as the vet instructs, even while sleeping.

Signs of an infected surgical wound can include redness, swelling, discharge, or feeling hotter than the surrounding skin.

Check your pet’s surgical wound regularly to monitor its progress and contact your vet if you’re concerned it’s not healing well.

Creating a supportive environment for recovery

Make sure your pet has a safe, quiet corner of your home where they can recover with as few stresses as possible. Provide soft bedding and try to keep them from moving around too much as they are healing.

Keep in mind that stairs and other obstacles may not be easy for your pet to navigate. If they’re not able to use their affected limb normally, they may need help going outside or to the litterbox to toilet.

An image of a Cat wearing a leg cast

Physical therapy in limb surgery recovery

After your Vets Now appointment, the details of your pet’s procedure will be sent to your daytime vet.

If we have recommended physical therapy following your pet’s operation or if you’re wondering if it would be right for your pet, your daytime vet should be able to advise you on the potential benefits and point you to practitioners in your area.

Continuing care and support

A limb surgery can be an unsettling time for your pet, especially if it was the result of an emergency treatment.

If you have any questions about your pet’s progress or how best to administer aftercare, your daytime vet will be able to help during their opening hours.

If you have concerns out of hours, contact Vets Now or our Video Vets Now telemedicine service is here for you.-