What to Expect
Your pet’s veterinarian will go over post-surgery instructions so that you understand your role in your pet’s recovery. This includes informing you about whether your pet’s sutures are dissolvable or will need to be removed two weeks after surgery. Post-surgery home care for your pet will include:
- Keeping the incision site clean and dry, while not excessively disrupting the site.
- Changing bandages as necessary and directed.
- Preventing your pet from licking or chewing at the incision site.
- Administering any necessary medications.
- Regulating your pet’s activity throughout the recovery period.
- Notifying the veterinarian if there is sudden and unexpected swelling, discharge or discomfort.
- Bringing your pet back to the veterinarian for follow-up appointments.
Many pets can walk with very little or even no assistance just twelve to twenty-four hours following amputation surgery. However, it is their owner’s job to ensure that they don’t overdo it, and rest in order to heal as smoothly and quickly as possible. This is especially important since the incision site will swell and bruise a bit immediately after surgery, and will become even more swollen and bruised if the pet is too active. If your pet is particularly active, your veterinarian may recommend that you keep him in a soft, padded crate for the week immediately after amputation surgery so that you can limit and supervise his movement and activity. It is important to encourage some basic movement each and every day in order to keep their muscles active and strong. However, they should not be permitted to go up or down stairs on their own initially, and they may need help with smooth floors so that they don’t slip (you may even consider placing rugs or runners on the smooth floors in your home to assist your pet in negotiating them). Additionally, overweight pets will need to be placed on a veterinarian-recommended weight loss plan so as not to put undue stress or strain on their remaining limbs.
Obviously a pet that has undergone leg amputation surgery will need to learn how to balance their body weight differently as they perform physical activities, and this includes going to the bathroom. It is not unusual for pets to have no bowel movements for several days following amputation surgery, as they want to be sure of their ability to balance prior to attempting elimination. They should return to normal shortly, but of course you can check with your veterinarian if you are at all concerned.
Remember, your pet can recover quickly and fully from a leg amputation with your thorough attention, and is unlikely to care about their changed physical appearance as long as they continue to receive your unconditional love.
For more information about leg amputations, contact La Crosse today.