Surgery FAQ

How long should my pet go without a bowel movement after surgery?

It is not uncommon for a pet to go 3-5 days without a bowel movement after surgery. This is due to decreased activity, anesthesia, decreased food intake and some medications. If your pet is straining to defecate or goes more than 5 days without a bowel movement, please contact DCVR.

How will I know if my pet is in pain?

It can be very challenging to determine if your pet is in pain and every dog reacts differently. Signs to monitor for include restlessness, vocalizing, pacing, lack of interaction with people/pets, abnormal aggressiveness or unwillingness to lie down. Should any of these signs be noted consistently, please contact us.

Is it permitted for my pet to lick the incision?

No. Allowing your pet to lick or chew at the incision dramatically increases risk of infection and dehiscence (opening of the incision). This many times results in your pet requiring additional medications and potentially surgery. Your pet should wear an Elizabethan collar at all times when not directly supervised to prevent this from occurring. If the firm plastic collars are not tolerable, many pet stores carry inflatable or softer collars. Please monitor your pet closely after applying one of these collars, as some pets may reach their incision with these alternate types of collars.

How will I care for my pet’s incision at home?

Most incisions do not require any specific care at home. You may elect to apply cold or warm compresses to the incision as will be instructed for you during your discharge consultation. The easiest way to accomplish this is to place a wet wash cloth in a plastic bag and either freeze it, or place it in the microwave for a short period of time (always test on yourself prior to application to prevent discomfort/burns on your pet). Otherwise, we ask that you look at the incision twice daily to evaluate for swelling, drainage, color changes (small amount of bruising is expected) or discomfort on palpation. Should any of these signs be noted, please contact DCVR.

How long should it take for biopsy or culture and sensitivity results to return?

It generally takes 5-7 days for most biopsy results to return. The exception to this is bone biopsies, which take 10-14 days. We will contact you with the results as soon as they become available to us.