Friendship Springs Veterinary Care

7380 Spout Springs Road, Suite 160
Flowery Branch, GA 30542


Friendship Springs Veterinary Care serving Flowery Branch, Braselton, and Buford since 2006.

Your best friend's veterinarian and animal hospital.


Getting Home


Care For Your Pet After Anesthesia, Dental Treatment and/or Surgery


Your dog or cat has undergone general anesthesia and surgery.  For the safety and well being of you and your pet, we recommend very strongly that the following post-operative instructions be carefully followed:


Dogs and cats must be kept in a climate controlled environment after surgery. Indoor environments are preferred.  They should not be allowed to be in environments that are either too hot or too cold.  Temperatures should be in the mid-sixties to mid-seventies degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature extremes are to be avoided.


When any anesthesia is used, it is not unusual to have"hangover-like" effects including whining, nausea, lethargy, restlessness, and ataxia (walking unsteadily).  These effects may be present even if your pet is acting otherwise normally.  Some dogs and cats wear these effects off quickly, and some do not.  If it takes your pet longer to "recover," this is not necessarily a sign that there is something wrong.  Most likely it is a variant of normal.  However, these signs should be mild.  If the signs are more than just mild or if they seem to be getting worse, please call us or the emergency clinic immediately.  Click here for emergency room information.


Also, your pet will have had narcotics as part of his analgesic and anesthetic plan.  Narcotics will sometimes produce a "dysphoria;" symptoms of dysphoria can include anxiety, whining, a glassy-eyed appearance, pacing, and altered mentation (not thinking normally) including impaired recognition of familiar people.  Move cautiously around your pet until you have ascertained whether or not behavior is normal as he may startle more easily.  If these signs are present, keep handling to a minimum and especially avoid letting children or strangers be around your pet because, although its rare, some pets may exhibit uncharacteristic aggression.  These signs will wear off over several hours.


Other causes of whining and/or shivering can include separation anxiety (or in this case, having been separated), feeling peculiar because of shaved areas, fluctuations in body temperature that occurred because of anesthesia, general nervousness, and, of course, pain.  Differentiating these causes can sometimes be difficult.  However, if it is due to pain, your pet will usually also be showing other signs as well such as licking the incision area.  If you are not certain, please call.


You may begin offering food and water when the following conditions have been met.  Your pet must have been at home for at least one full hour.  Your pet must have been behaving reasonably normal for at least one hour.  Begin by offering water first in small quantity.  This means giving just enough to fill the bottom of your pet's water bowl and no more.  This may be repeated every 30 minutes for the first two hours.  If your pet is doing well after the two hours, then you may begin offering food.  Initially give only about 1/3 of what you would normally feed and no more.  An hour later if your pet is doing well, you may give another 1/3 and no more.  An hour later you may give the last portion if he is still doing well.  The day after surgery your pet can have food and water on his regular schedule.


Restrict your pet's activity for the next 7 days for patients that were neutered and 14 days for patients that were spayed, declawed, or had any other abdominal surgery including hernia repair or prophylactic gastropexy.  This means leash walks only when outdoors and walks should be brief (less than fifteen minutes).  Indoors activities should be confined to walking.  Do not allow running, jumping, or rough play.  Stair climbing is permitted if done at a walk. Do not do anything to your pet that might put pressure or stretch on his incision.


Check the incision at least every 12 hours until the follow up visit.  A small amount of blood seepage is no necessarily abnormal the first several hours after surgery.  However, this should not continue longer than about 8 to 12 hours and it should be no more than a very small amount.  Essentially, the surgery site should continue to look the way it looked when you picked up your pet or better.  If it in any way looks worse especially if you notice any continued drainage or if you see any swelling, other colored discharges, pain, odor or anything that bothers you even a little, please let us know immediately or call the emergency clinic.  Click here for emergency room information.


Unless you are specifically directed to do so by us, do not put anything directly on the wound.  If the incision should become dirty, gently clean around the area with a cotton ball and hydrogen peroxide.


Unless you are specifically instructed to do so by us, do not bathe your pet for at least 7 days after surgery, and then only if he is acting completely normal and the incision looks completely normal.  If you are not sure what "completely normal" is, please bring in your pet and we will help you with this. Swimming is out of the question for at least thirty days.  If you do bathe your pet before 14 days, while soap and water flowing across a normal incision will not be harmful, do not scrub, spray or vigorously wash the incision area or the area six inches all the around the incision.  Also, do not put pressure or stretch on your pet's incision area in the process of picking him up or getting him out of a bathtub.  


For most neuter and spay procedures we do not use external sutures or staples, so there is nothing for them to pull out.  As a result we seldom need to use Elizabethan collars for them.  Occasional licking at the incision is normal, however do not allow your pet to lick constantly at the incision. If this is a problem or if you notice that he is chewing, biting, or scratching at the incision, please let us know immediately; this may be a sign that something is wrong.




Declaw patients will be sent home with Yesterday's News pelleted litter.  Use this in place of your cat's regular litter.  Do not pour the whole bag in at one time or you will go through it too quickly.  One bag should last three to five days.  Use just enough to give your cat something to scratch in and then clean it out once it has been used and replace it with fresh pellets. After three to five days you may return to your cat's regular litter.


If your pet goes home with a bandage on his leg where his IV catheter was place, do not leave this on for longer than one hour before removing.  Do not let your pet eat this bandage.


If you have any other questions about your pet's after care, please call us.  If it is after hours and you are not sure if the problem can wait, call the emergency clinic.  Click here for emergency room information.