Recovery time varies for each procedure and pet. Specific instructions will be given to you for your pet’s recovery that will include the phases of when to reintroduce activity. A general rule of thumb after most orthopedic procedures is 8 to 12 weeks before returning to full activity, and for soft tissue surgery, you pet should take it easy for two weeks’ post-surgery.
Patients are kept on monitoring equipment until they are fully recovered from anesthesia. In addition, VSC was designed around keeping patients visible to our staff at all times. Larger patients are kept on comfortable bedding in front of the nurse stations until they are fully recovered from anesthesia. Smaller patients recover from anesthesia in a quiet ICU that is protected from all the noises of the treatment area.
At VSC we make multimodal analgesia (pain control) our priority. We use a variety of medications to prevent or reduce pain from developing prior to surgery as well as injectable and oral medications after the procedure. It is important to note that since your pet is more comfortable they may try to be more active; it is still critical that they follow the activity restrictions after surgery.
Much research has been done on the causes and sources of pain. There are a variety of medications that treat pain through different methods of action. Treatment of pain through different receptors and pathways is called multimodal analgesia (pain control).
You will be contacted after your pet has had their endotracheal (breathing tube) removed (extubated), and they are breathing on their own. This may be up to an hour after the procedure. The risks of anesthesia can extend through this time, so we pay extra attention to your pet until they are breathing on their own. Your nurse may call you with an initial update; the surgeon will call shortly after with more details about the surgery.
In most cases, we recommend that a patient remain in our care until the following morning. General anesthesia can often cause nausea or other effects for several hours after surgery. This may cause abnormal behaviors, inappetance, nausea, vomiting, etc. We use a variety of injectable medications in these cases to control pain and treat the symptoms.
Your pet will be offered food and water a few hours after surgery once they are fully recovered.
If you are picking up your canine pet, please bring your leash; if you are picking up your feline pet please bring a transport crate. If you are supplying your own e-collar, please bring it with you for the car ride home.