Medical Records & Aftercare
- Your pet received general anesthesia and morphine-type pain medications today.
- Please let your pet recover tonight in a safe, warm, quiet place away from stairs, children and other pets.
- Anesthetics take approximately 24 hours to 3 days to be processed through the body. Unless you were told otherwise, your pet recovered at our hospital without any complications. You should continue that recovery by keeping your pet indoors and in a clean environment for two (2) weeks.
- You may observe drowsiness, shivering or trembling, whimpering or whining, and nausea for the next 12-24 hours.
- Some cats may have dilated pupils or “glassy” eyes.
- Your pet should be feeling and acting normal by tomorrow morning.
- Food and Water:
- Offer a small meal tonight (approx. 1⁄4 - 1⁄2 of their normal portion)
- Do not be alarmed if your pet is not interested in food this evening. Nausea is common after undergoing anesthesia. Your pet should be eating and drinking normally by tomorrow morning.
- In some cases, we will prescribe pain medication to give at home.
- If your pet is given medication, please give the first dose at home tomorrow morning and give it with food.
- Discontinue the medication(s) and contact us if your pet has vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.
- It is not abnormal for your pet to be nauseous or to vomit after anesthesia. It takes time for the anesthetic to be processed through the body, oftentimes leaving pets lethargic and “out of it”. Vomiting a few times is normal, however if your pet cannot keep anything down, please contact your local emergency clinic if it is after our regular business hours. They will answer your questions and let you know if your pet needs immediate medical attention.
- All patients requiring an anesthetic procedure are intubated. This means placing a tube down their trachea (throat) to ensure an open airway during anesthesia, thus making it a safer procedure. Sometimes these tubes can cause inflammation and irritation. If your pet coughs over the next 12-72 hours do not be alarmed, the cough should resolve in a few days.
E-Collar / Cone
- Your pet is going home with an E-Collar/Cone. This is so your pet will not lick, tear or remove the stitches/staples. DO NOT REMOVE THE E-COLLAR/CONE FOR TWO (2) WEEKS. It is instinctive for pets to want to lick an “injury” or wound. Licking can cause their incision to become open and infected and can lead to bleeding and/or death. Surgical repair and medications for this type of self-inflicted trauma are the financial responsibility of the owner.
- The E Collar/Cone should be worn at all times, especially while you are sleeping or not at home. Please make sure your pet wears it and do NOT replace it with a smaller one, a donut (soft) collar, and/or surgery suit. If you feel the E Collar/Cone is not a good fit, please contact our office.
- The incision must remain clean and dry for 7 days.
- Licking and chewing will lead to pain, infection, and failure of the stitches. Do not allow other pets in the household to chew or lick the incision.
- Your pet must always wear the e-collar for the next 14 days.
- Inspect the incision in the morning and in the evening daily. Look for redness, swelling, discharge, bad odor, or opening of the incision.
- No swimming or bathing for 14 days – do not soak the incision.
- Your pet’s stitches are under the skin and will dissolve; they do not need to be removed.
- Limited activity is critical to allow healing after surgery.
- Short walks on-leash ONLY for 7 days. No long walks, hikes, or climbing stairs.
- No running, jumping or rough housing. No playing with toys, no chasing the ball, no dog parks.
- If your pet is too active, we can prescribe a sedative medication for the healing period.
- Limit activity for 7 days. No playing with toys or rough housing.
- Females: If possible, keep your female cat indoors for the next 7 days.
- Males: Use shredded newspaper or paper towels instead of cat litter for 24 hours.
- If your pet has an incision - do not bathe him/her or take to a groomer for at least Two (2) weeks. All incisions need to be kept clean and dry. If your pet does get dirty you can purchase baby/puppy wipes from your local convenience/pet store. These wipes can be used to safely clean around the incision.
- There may be a bandage on one of your pet’s front legs. This is where their anesthetic agents were administered. You can remove this wrap 1 (one) hour after picking up your pet. The wrap should not stick to your pet and should easily slide off. Be aware that if your pet has had multiple procedures, or an additional surgery today there may be more bandages. Do NOT remove these unless instructed to do so by a doctor or vet tech.
- Complications caused by failure to comply with discharge instructions will not be covered. This includes failure to use the e-collar provided and/or replacement with a “donut” style collar or a “surgery suit”.
- Please note that we are unable to reimburse costs incurred at other veterinary hospitals or clinics. If you choose to seek veterinary care at any facility other than The Fix Project, all financial responsibility will be solely yours.
What is normal and expected after surgery?
The following are expected in some patients after surgery. These conditions should be monitored closely but generally do not need to be evaluated by a veterinarian.
- Mild redness, bruising, or swelling around the incision. These should resolve in 5-7 days.
- Mild redness or irritation of the shaved skin. This can be caused by shaving and should resolve in 3-5 days.
- A small, firm bump under the incision that is not red, painful, or warm to the touch. This can be the result of a minor reaction to the stitches and should resolve in 7-14 days as the stitches dissolve.
- Scabbing around the incision is a normal part of the healing process.
- Your pet may not defecate for the next 24 hrs.
What is not normal?
The following are not expected after surgery and should be evaluated by a veterinarian. If you observe any of these complications, please email us photos to email@example.com
- Redness, warmth to the touch, and/or pain of the incision more than 24 hours after surgery.
- Swelling of the incision that comes and goes or flattens out when your pet moves into different positions. This could be a sign of a hernia and must be addressed as soon as possible.
- Discharge, odor, or opening of the incision.
- Any signs of illness including vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, pale gums, unsteady gait, difficulty urinating or defecating, or labored
What is a seroma?
- A seroma is a build-up of fluid between the muscles and the skin under an incision.
- This common complication occurs as a result of too much activity.
- A seroma will generally resolve on its own without treatment within 7 to 10 days.
- Swelling that is not painful, is not red, is not hot to the touch, and does not go away when you apply gentle pressure may be a seroma.
- If your pet has a seroma, restrict his or her activity and use sedative medications as prescribed. If tolerated, apply a warm compress to the area for 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times per day.
- May occur because a tiny vein next to the vas deferens was cut during the procedure. Because animal scrotal anatomy dictates that the testicles hang downward, blood from the cut vein runs downward into the scrotal sac, causing it to pool and, in severe cases, fill up this can present several days after a neuter.
- Symptoms include swelling, pain, and bruising of the scrotum.
- The size of the hematoma determines the severity of the symptoms.
- Small hematomas might not be noticeable or only cause mild discomfort.
How to contact us
Non-urgent questions and concerns:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Call (562) 337-8268 during normal business hours (10am to 4pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
Please contact us immediately if you notice: pale gums, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, discharge from incision, difficulty breathing, or labored breathing.
Understand that failure to follow these guidelines may place your pet at an increased risk for complications and possible death. The Fix Project will not be held responsible for any repairs to the surgical site that are a result from not adhering to these rules. These instructions have been reviewed with you verbally and you agreed to comply with these instructions. Should you have any concerns, email The Fix Project. If you choose to see another veterinarian without prior authorization from The Fix Project, you will be solely responsible for the charges incurred.
In case of emergency call your local Emergency Animal Hospital:
Long Beach Animal Emergency: 4720 Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach - (562) 735-5200
VCA Lakewood Animal Hospital: 10701 South St, Cerritos - (562) 926-3600
VCA Advanced Veterinary Care Center: 15926 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale - (424) 205-5184
BrightCare Animal ER: 26012 Marguerite Pkwy #O, Mission Viejo - (949) 716-9270
Animal-AM Emergency Clinic of Pasadena: 2121 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena - (626) 578-1725
Access South Bay: 2551 W. 190th St, Torrance - (310) 320-8300