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Orthopaedic Post-Operative Care

The aftercare of the patient is of utmost importance following any type of orthopaedic surgery, and is crucial to the patients recovery. Please ensure you follow the guidelines carefully. Below is some general guidance for post orthopaedic care, but this may need to be tailored to a pets specific needs.

Exercise and Care:

  • Weeks 1-8 – lead restricted walk for 5 minutes, 3 times daily to allow the opportunity to toilet. Use a towel or a sling to support the hindquarters, to prevent slipping.
  • Give any medications as directed, completing the course unless directed otherwise.
  • Using the ice pack provided, ice the joint three times daily for 5 minutes. Cover the ice pack with a tea towel before placing on the skin, and place this on the opposite side to the suture line. Do this for 3 days.
  • Use a lead indoors as well as outdoors. If you have slippery floors, ensure mats are placed to make a walkway.
  • Keep in a cage or confine to one small room with minimal furniture. They MUST NOT be allowed to run, jump or climb. To alleviate boredom we recommend splitting the daily food allowance into 4 meals, and using a Kong or food puzzle.
  • If needed we can loan a collapsible cage, and we can also offer hospitalisation of the patient if required.

Follow ups:

  • A 3 day post-operative wound assessment.
  • A 10-14 day appointment for removal of sutures.
  • A 4 week assessment to check progress – a therapeutic exercise plan may be started from here.
  • An 8 week assessment, to check progress and discuss exercise and hydrotherapy.

Please do not make any changes to the plan, or begin any exercise without consulting with the veterinary clinic first, as it may have long term detrimental effects.