11 Tips to Help Minimize Post-Surgical Complications in Pets

7. Keep checking. Just because it looks good right now doesn’t mean it will tomorrow morning. Or the morning after. A smart pet owner uses common sense and keeps checking for signs of complications.

8. Don’t hesitate to go back to your vet’s place for a re-check. Many veterinarians don’t charge for routine post-surgical follow-ups for good reason: We want you to feel comfortable coming back as often as you need to. But do keep in mind that significant complications (such as the need for re-suturing or additional medication) aren’t typically your vet’s fault and won’t likely be financed by his or her hospital.

9. Is there anything additional you can do to help minimize complications? This’ll differ depending on the surgical site and the kind of procedure, so ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

10. Crate training is a godsend when it comes to minimizing complications. In fact, one of the best reasons to train your pet to a crate is for just this kind of possibility. Crating is the surefire answer for keeping many pets “quiet.” Maybe it’s time you invested in one and started some basic training.

11. When all else fails for a too-active pet or complication-fraught situation, sedation and/or a stay at the vet’s may be required. I have to hospitalize at least one pet every couple of months because he won’t let his incisions alone — no matter what his owner tries. I’ve even been forced to sedate some of these pets when confinement and round-the-clock supervision proved insufficient. Luckily, this scenario is definitely not the norm.


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