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Post-op Care Home > Patient Support > Post-op Care

No one wants their pet to experience pain after an operation. There are many different medicines that can be given to control pain after an operation. The choice of medicine and length of treatment is something that you can discuss with the vet during the discharge appointment.

Choice of medicine

The actual choice of which medicines to use is affected by many different factors which your vet will consider. The medicine used should be effective and have as few side effects as possible. A longer course of stronger medicines will be used in cases where a higher level of pain is expected.

First day

We will treat your pet with some pain medication before the operation. This will starts to relieve and block pain before it occurs. This is very important because it is easier to stop pain from occurring then it is to relieve existing pain. This dose of medication will also help to relax and sedate your pet and is often combined with other sedative drugs. The effect of this treatment is usually for 8-12 hours.

When the procedure is completed and your pet is recovering from the anaesthetic we will repeat this treatment as needed or if your pet is showing any signs of discomfort.

Following days

When your pet is discharged we will discuss pain control with you and decide together what medicines to use and for how long. We will often dispense different medicines in tablet or drop form for up to 3 days after an operation.

A word about costs

The cost of the initial pain medication is included in the anaesthetic fees. When your pet is discharged we will choose the most suitable treatment and length of course to be used. The exact cost in each case will vary. It is necessary to charge for the costs of medicines taken home.

What to look out for

It is hard to know how much pain an animal is experiencing as their instincts will be to try to hide pain and appear normal. This means it is better to treat an animal for pain even if it is not showing any signs if we would expect the procedure to cause pain.

Signs of pain may include being less active and sitting still or licking the wound, or being restless. The animal may resent the wound being touched or felt. If an animal is crying or vocal it is likely that it is in pain. An animal that is acting normally and does not resent the area being felt is less likely to be in pain.

Side effects

Some pain killers may cause excessive sleepiness or drowsiness. This may not be a bad thing up to a point as it allows your pet to rest, but if this is excessive we need to check.

Some pain killers can irritate the stomach, just like some human pain killers can. These painkillers may be less suitable for older patients and those suffering from kidney disease.

Persistent vomiting, black stool or diarrhoea may be a sign of serious side effects. Any animal that shows signs like this after surgery or painkillers needs to be re-examined at the clinic.


Use of Human Medicines
This is extremely unsafe and may result in fatal side effects. Under no circumstances give your pet medicine intended for human use, it may kill them!

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