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Proper care for cats after surgery
Many cats often look changed after an operation: They are drowsy and have an unsteady gait. With a plastic neck collar that blocks their view, as well as the shaved areas around the surgical scars, the cat looks more vulnerable than ever to its concerned owner.
The "shock" and the joy of reunion of worried mistresses often lead to the fact that they overhear or immediately forget the instructions of the veterinarian. Which brings us to the first and most important point of aftercare!
1. Make a note of the veterinarian's instructions
Take a notebook with you to the practice, use the note function on your smartphone or ask for a piece of paper and pen on site so that you can write down the answers to the following questions:
- When is the cat allowed to drink and eat again?
- Is there anything to consider when it comes to food?
- What medication and what dosage does she get?
- What do you have to pay special attention to in the next few days?
- On which days are there any follow-up treatments (wound control, pulling threads, etc.) at the vet?
The vet will also be happy to write this down for you if you are too excited to follow his explanations. Also, get a phone number where you can reach him or another veterinarian outside of office hours if your cat's condition worsens. Usually you will not need this number, but better safe than sorry.
2. Create a place for your cat to recover
Your protégé needs a warm, quiet and clean place at home.
You should separate other animals, including conspecifics, from your cat during the rehabilitation period - they usually show no understanding that their roommate is now weakened and do not behave particularly considerately. They could also lick the surgical scar and infect it or disrupt wound healing.
Make sure you prepare a bed for your cat on the floor, because after the anesthesia she may still move a little unsteadily and fall off a bed on the sofa or bed and injure herself. Cats can stay in the well-padded transport container for the first few hours after the operation, as long as it is spacious enough for the cat to lie, stand and sit comfortably.
Make sure you are warm and calm even after you wake up. © shutterstock.com
3. Provide comfortable warmth in the sick bed
Bed your cat on a thick layer of blankets or pillows. An infrared lamp or hot water bottle provides additional warmth. Make sure, however, that your patient does not get too hot and that he always has the opportunity to withdraw from the heat source.
It is best to spread a freshly washed linen sheet over the sick bed, because a lot of hair is stuck in cat blankets, which can irritate the wound.
4. Offer your cat water and food
Usually the purring patient is allowed to drink fresh water again soon after the operation. When it comes to eating, the following applies as a rule: As soon as the cat can move in a coordinated manner again and looks awake, it can also eat. As long as the anesthetic is still working, there is a risk that the cat will vomit after eating.
However, there are also operations after which the cat is not allowed to eat anything for a long time. Therefore, ask your vet when he recommends the first feeding. In some cases, he will also recommend a special food that will aid recovery.
Water can usually be offered again shortly after the procedure. © shutterstock.com
5. Watch your cat closely
In the first few days, you should pay particular attention to your cat's urine and faeces. If she has difficulty with this, tell the vet.
You should examine the surgical scar once or twice a day. If it smells bad, leaks, or looks infected, notify your veterinarian. As long as the scar has not healed, you should keep free-range cats indoors.
A plastic neck collar is usually used to protect the scar. The collar is very annoying to cats because it restricts their vision and freedom of movement. At the same time, it is essential because it protects the surgical wound from being gnawed and licked. So stay tough when it comes to the collar. Alternatively, bodies can also be used, which are put on the cat and protect the scars.
6. Don't get too close to your cat's skin
Do not regret your protégé all the time and, above all, leave him one thing: peace and quiet. Sleep and a stress-free environment are extremely important to recovery. An overly concerned mistress who sneaks around the sick bed nervously all day is perceived by some cats as stressful.
Pay attention to your cat's body language and give them the time, rest, and care to make a full recovery.
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