PATIENT CARE AFTER GENERAL ANESTHESIA
Your pet was given a general anesthetic today. Although animals often seem to recover quite quickly from anesthesia, it is important to allow your pet plenty of rest this evening. Most animals will be back to normal by the next day after anesthesia. Occasionally it may take an extra day, particularly in geriatric animals.
Particularly if your pet is still pretty "groggy" at the time of discharge from our hospital, you may notice occasional whining, whimpering, and/or restlessness. These signs can be associated with confusion during the period of complete anesthetic recovery. They do not necessarily reflect pain.
EATING AND DRINKING:
You may offer your pet small amounts of food and water this evening, if he or she seems alert and interested. We generally recommend that you only give your pet ½ of the normal amount of food the evening after surgery. Do not be alarmed if your pet is not thirsty. All of our patients receive intravenous fluids during anesthesia thus your pet may not be thirsty at the time of discharge from our hospital. Due to the IV fluids, you may notice that your pet needs to urinate more often than normal.
Most of our patients are sent home with a protective "Elizabethan collar" on their heads. Animals will usually quickly adapt to the presence of the collar and will eat, drink, and sleep while wearing the collar. You may need to make some adaptations for feeding such as changing the size or position of the food and water bowls so that your pet can access them readily. We know that most owners hate the collars and we hate it ourselves when our own pets must wear them. But it is VERY important during the healing period that your pet is not allowed to rub at the eyes. Eye surgery is very delicate. When sutures are required, they are very small and critical to the integrity of the eye structures. It is not worth the risk to remove the collar prematurely. We are sympathetic and are happy to give you suggestions if you are having problems with the collar.
You may notice a colorful wrap on one of your pet's legs. This is a bandage covering the site where an IV catheter was placed. This should be removed later this evening.
QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS:
Please call us if you have any questions or concerns!