How Can You Help a Dog Heal Faster After Surgery?

Updated: Jun 6

Sending your best bud into surgery can be nerve wracking for you both. It’s difficult to send them into the procedure and to see them coping with their recovery. You may be asking questions about how long it takes for a dog to recover after surgery, what to watch for after surgery and how to help your dog heal faster after surgery.


In this blog, we have answers to those questions as well as tips and tricks to achieve the most smooth and speedy recovery time possible for your pup.

dog after surgery in a cone

Follow Your Vet’s Instructions


The veterinarian who performed the surgery will have instructions for care that are specific to what they performed. Be sure to follow these closely and ask your vet any questions you have. They will also likely have a loss of appetite but this too should reset with a good night’s rest.


What to Watch for after a Dog’s Surgery?


You will want to keep in mind that the medications and conditions of the surgery will mean your dog won’t quite be themselves for some hours after the procedure. They may be a bit shaky or uncoordinated when they are returned to you but this will pass after some rest.


What you do want to watch for includes infections at the site of the surgery site. You can catch an infection if you notice redness, swelling, odors or oozing at the site. However, a bit of blood and plasma not long after the procedure is normal if it is less than a few drops.


You should also be concerned after your dog’s surgery if they are not eating and drinking normally the day after the surgery. They should be feeling better by this point and the water especially should be cause for concern.


If you think any of these concerns may be happening or if your dog is acting far from their normal self, don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian.


How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Recover after Surgery?


Depending on the type of surgery the recovery time will vary. If your dog has undergone soft tissue surgery, they should be mostly healed in two or three weeks. They should be completely recovered in six weeks.


If your dog had a surgery that involved ligaments or bones the recovery time is often longer. Your dog should be mostly healed after 8-12 weeks. The maximum time for complete healing is 6 months. This can be true when a crucial element is damaged, like the ACL.

little boy helping dog to recover after surgery

Crate Rest

Many surgeries call for crate rest and a decrease in activity level. The rest will allow their body to heal as efficiently as possible and will ensure stitches or casts are not disturbed.


If you have a pet that will need rest in a cage to prohibit activity and may not be used to spending much time in one, there are several things you can do to help them.


You will want to make the space as comfortable as possible. Fill the crate with a bed, favorite toy, and even a shirt of yours. You will want to spend time nearby the first few times they are in the crate to make them feel comfortable, as well.


Another helpful tool can be CBD. CBD interacts with the body's serotonin receptors to help foster a feeling of safety and calm. In this way, it can help your pet feel safe and calm enough to spend more time in their bed or crate.


Pain Management

When your pet comes out of surgery, they will likely feel some pain in the areas affected at the time of surgery.


After surgery, your veterinarian will determine what medications and doses are appropriate given the procedure. Always let your vet know your pain management plan beforehand!


Depending on the surgery, additional tools can be used to reduce your pet’s pain. CBD is a great option for its extraordinary ability to deal with chronic as well as temporary pains of the body. Additionally, it’s a great option for the other effects it provides, like anti-inflammatory properties. You can also use icepacks, massage, and even acupuncture to alleviate pain!


Keep in mind your pain management strategy will be as unique as your pet and specific to their surgery!


Faster Healing

Inflammation can cause the body to have a more difficult time healing. In order to cut down your pup’s healing time, you will want to do what you can to reduce inflammation.


In this way, CBD’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties can help the body heal faster! A study conducted with dogs recently found a decrease in inflammation and related pain after the dogs took CBD for just 4 weeks.


For other natural ways to reduce inflammation, you can provide your pup with fish oil and turmeric. These supplements are safe for pets and can aid in getting your pup ship shape as quickly as possible.

pitbull dog using cbd for surgery recovery

Immune System Boost

During times of recovery, the immune system can struggle as it works overtime. You can make it easier for the immune system to do its job by providing plenty of fresh water, avoiding unnecessary stress, and introducing extra supplements.


CBD can aid the immune system as it regulates inflammation, immunity, and the protection of white blood cells to keep the immune system working smarter and keep your pet healing quickly.


Anti-Nausea

Some pharmaceuticals assigned after surgery can cause nausea and an associated loss of appetite. You can mitigate this by including some bland foods like rice and chicken broth into their diet.


You can also introduce CBD as it is a great option for fighting nausea which will encourage your pet to eat more normally.

Sleep

Casts, wounds, and bandages can cause discomfort that makes sleep challenging. CBD for pets can help them feel comfortable and calm enough to get the rest they need while healing.


Many dogs may not usually sleep or spend time in a crate at all. However, a crate may become necessary to restrict mobility with certain types of ailments. CBD can help here as they adjust to the crate and realize it is a safe place. Be sure to stock it full of their favorite things and to spend time nearby when they are first inside.

dog bandage

The good news? Dogs usually bounce back more quickly than humans! While it may be a difficult journey at the start, you can make things go more smoothly and quickly with tips like these and by following your vet’s instructions!

Suzie's blog is chock full of helpful information for pet owners wanting to try CBD no matter the case or instance. Read here for more insights on pets and CBD.

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