Today your dog had a cruciate ligament repaired via a lateral suture technique. There are going to be many aspects of his post-op care that you will be dealing with at home until you come back to see Dr. Kissell in 2 weeks. It is important that you follow these guidelines to make sure your pet has the best recovery possible. Your job during the recovery period at home is just as important as the surgical procedure that was performed. As part of your pet's post-operative care, Sylvan Veterinary Hospital recommends you closely adhere to the following instructions:
- Strict Cage Rest: Your pet is at a very high risk of tearing their other ACL while recovering the knee they just had surgery on. It is very important that you keep your pet rested which means outside to go to the bathroom on a short lead, no running, playing or jumping. You may need to use a towel and sling it under your pet's abdomen to help them get up to go outside. A Help Em Up Harness may also be very beneficial and helpful and can be purchased here: https://helpemup.com. You also want to keep your pet off of any slippery surfaces to minimize their risk of falling. If you are having a difficult time keeping your pet calm and quiet, please let us know so that the doctor may prescribe medications/mild sedatives for them.
- E-Collar: It is also imperative that they do not lick at their incision for the following 10-14 days. An elizabethan collar (cone, lamp shade, etc) should be applied to your pet if you find them licking at the incision. The collar should be worn at all times when they are unsupervised to ensure they are not licking at the incision. The incision should remain dry, so this also means that your pet should not be bathed during recovery.
- Daily Incision Monitoring: Monitor the incision for any severe redness, discharge, or swelling. Mild swelling and redness are normal and part of the healing process. If you notice that your pet is lethargic or inappetant, please call Sylvan Veterinary Hospital immediately.
- Feeding: Whenever you get home, you should offer your pet ½ of their normal amount of food and a small amount of water. If your pet does not vomit within 30 minutes, they may have the rest of their normal meal, and dinner again that night. If your pet does vomit, they may just be a little nauseous from the anesthesia so do not offer any more food or water for another 2-3 hours. By the morning after surgery we expect them to have eaten the equivalent of one meal. You may have to entice your pets appetite by offering high value foods/treats (i.e. toast, cheese, hot dog, chicken) to encourage their appetite. If 24 hours after bringing your pet home from surgery he is still not eating, please contact our office.
- Pain Control: Your pet will be sent home with any necessary medications to help with pain and inflammation post-op. Your pet is also going home on an antibiotic, and it is very important you give that until it is gone. They will likely start the day following the procedure, but refer to your pets pill vials for more detailed medication instructions.
- PROM Exercise: Perform the instructed passive range of motion exercises 3-4 times per day, for 10-15 reps each. Never move the joint or limb quickly, and stop immediately at the point of resistance. Be sure to give your pet extra special treats during this to help him relax and enjoy his recovery. Ice the incision after the passive range of motion exercises for 10-15 minutes.
- Bathing Restriction: Do not give your pet a bath for 8-12 weeks post-op, as we do not want him slipping and sliding around in the tub. Sponge baths are fine after sutures are removed. Keep animal on surfaces in which he has good grip to also help prevent him from slipping.
- Follow up: Your pet needs to be seen back in 10-14 days to recheck the incision and remove sutures.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if any questions or concerns arise. Thank you for entrusting Sylvan Veterinary Hospital with your pet's care.