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Post-operative care is a very important part of the surgical process here at Galindo Veterinary Surgery and Orthopaedics. It is important to know that the recovery period is subjective to each patient, and although the same basic steps in ensuring a safe, smooth and comfortable recovery are followed, some patients may require more medical attention than others.

After your pet’s surgical procedure is finished, they are taken to a quiet area to wake up, at this point a Technician will remain with your pet for an extended period while the anesthetics begin to leave their system. Our goal is to make sure that the recovery period is smooth, not only for the patient’s mental status, but also to make sure the patient does not cause any harm to the surgical site. The nurse is responsible for noting the patient’s vital signs, including temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and capillary refill time. These parameters are integral in determining your pet’s internal status post-operatively. Once the patient can blink and swallow, they are then extubated, and will continue to be monitored for any difficulty breathing, vomiting or regurgitation, and dysphoria.

Once the patient has been extubated and the technician feels that it is safe to put the patient back in their cage, the tech will then continue to monitor the vital signs at the appropriate intervals for the next two to three hours, until all vitals are in a safe and healthy range. Should the patient’s vitals fall outside of the acceptable norms and do not stabilize fairly quickly post-operatively, medications can be administered to increase or decrease heart rate or blood pressure, manage pain or nausea, and assist in reversing the effects of anesthesia. Once we feel that your pet’s mentation and mobility are appropriate for having just come out of anesthesia, we will continue to monitor their vital signs every few hours until they are ready to go home. If your pet is staying in the hospital overnight, they will be given their first few doses of medication, including analgesics, anti-inflammatories, and anti-anxiety medication to keep them calm in their kennel.

Typically, the patient is ready the day of, or morning following their procedure to go home and begin the healing process. Prior to going home, a Technician will go over all of the discharge instructions and medications with the client and answer any questions you may have. After the patient leaves the hospital, it is up to you, the client and dedicated pet parent, to make sure all post-operative care instructions are followed exactly as they are given. It is our goal here at Galindo Veterinary Surgery and Orthopaedics to make sure that your four-legged friend recovers as quickly and comfortably as possible.