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Understanding Soft Tissue Surgery in Pets

Soft tissue surgery is an important area of veterinary medicine that deals with various injuries and conditions in pets, especially dogs and cats. Our vets in San Diego perform routine and complex surgeries, and they can guide pet owners on the nuances of these procedures to ensure that their furry friends receive the best possible care.

Why Soft Tissue Surgery?

Soft tissue surgery refers to a range of surgical procedures that treat conditions affecting pets' organs, muscles, skin, and other soft tissues.

Common reasons for soft tissue surgery include tumor removal, abdominal surgeries (such as spaying and neutering), wound repair, gastrointestinal surgeries, and reconstructive procedures.

Every surgery is designed based on the pet's specific needs, requiring careful consideration and planning by the veterinary team.

Soft tissue Surgery Involves Various Procedures

Soft tissue surgery for dogs and cats is a detailed process that requires a particular approach to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.

Before the surgery, a comprehensive pre-operative evaluation is conducted, which includes blood tests and imaging studies.

This evaluation helps assess the pet's overall health and identify any underlying conditions that may impact the procedure.

During the surgery, the veterinary surgeon uses advanced techniques to address the targeted issue while minimizing trauma to surrounding tissues.

Precision and expertise are of utmost importance, whether it's a delicate procedure like removing a tumor or a routine spay surgery.

What to Expect During Soft Tissue Surgery 

If you are a pet owner who needs to prepare your beloved pet for soft tissue surgery, knowing what to expect is important. Your veterinarian will explain the entire procedure to you in detail, including potential risks and benefits, and will answer any questions you may have to help ease your anxiety and uncertainty.

Rest assured that your pet will be in capable hands during the surgery. After the procedure, it's important to provide diligent post-operative care and schedule follow-up appointments to ensure your pet can resume normal activities as soon as possible, with minimal discomfort and a restored quality of life.

When Your Pet Gets Home

Follow Your Vet's Instructions

When you pick up your beloved animal at the veterinary clinic, things can feel overwhelming. If you realize after getting home that you have forgotten some of your vet's instructions, please call your vet to ask questions. Your veterinary team wants to ensure that your pet recovers as quickly as possible, and they will always be happy to answer your questions.

Administer Medications Only As Instructed

It is crucial always to follow your veterinarian's instructions when administering medications to your pet. You should never exceed the prescribed dosage unless explicitly instructed to do so by your veterinary team. Additionally, it's important to remember that you should not give your pet any human medications, as they can be toxic for dogs and cats. Even though these medications may work well for humans, they can have severe consequences for pets. Always consult your vet before giving your pet any medication not listed in their post-operative instructions.

Allow Your Pet to Rest

After surgery, your pet may experience side effects related to anesthesia, such as lack of appetite and drowsiness. It's best to provide your pet with a soft bed in a quiet corner of the house to rest comfortably during healing. If your pet refuses to eat, don't worry too much, as their appetite should return to normal within 24 hours. However, if your pet still refuses to eat the next day, it's recommended that you contact your vet for further advice.

Restrict Your Pet's Movements

After your pet has undergone surgery, it is crucial to allow them to rest sufficiently to aid them in their recovery. This means limiting their activities. Your veterinarian will advise you on how long your pet should be on reduced activity. Soft-tissue surgeries may require a week to ten days of rest.

If you have a cat, you must keep them indoors and prevent them from jumping or climbing stairs. You may have to restrict dogs to short outdoor bathroom breaks on a leash. It is essential to provide your pet with clean and comfortable bedding where they can relax and recover.

Ensure that there is fresh water nearby for them to drink. Sitting by their crate to play with them gently and showing them affection can be helpful. Talking to and stroking them softly can keep their spirits up while they recover.

Prevent Your Pet From Licking The Incision Site

To prevent infection, stopping your dog or cat from licking their incision after surgery is important. E-collars (plastic cones) are highly effective at preventing licking, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your pet will adapt to wearing one. However, other options are also available, such as donut-shaped collars and post-surgery onesies, which can also be effective.

Monitor Your Pet's Incision For Signs of Infection

It will be crucial to observe your pet's incision site closely. Look for signs of increased redness, swelling, openings, or discharge. If you notice anything unusual or out of the ordinary, it is important to contact your vet as soon as possible.

Additionally, watch your pet for other vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and fever symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, you must contact your vet promptly, as they might indicate an infection. 

Attend Your Pet's Follow-Up Appointment

After your pet has undergone surgery and is ready to be discharged, your veterinary team will schedule a follow-up appointment for your dog or cat. These appointments are essential to ensure that your pet is healing properly and has no complications. Depending on the type of surgery your pet has undergone, your vet may remove stitches or change dressings during the follow-up appointment.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Our experienced vets at San Diego are well-equipped to perform a range of surgeries for cats and dogs. Contact San Diego Bay Animal Hospital today if your pet needs surgery.

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San Diego Bay Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of San Diego companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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