After your Pet has had an Anaesthetic

This sheet is a guide only. Your pet may need special care. In this case the vet or nurse in charge of your pet will explain things to you separately.

What to expect

  • Your pet may be uncoordinated from an anaesthetic or sedation – don’t worry, this is normal.
  • The fur around the operation site is shaved to stop infection.
  • There may be a shaved patch on a front leg where blood samples have been taken from or anaesthetic agents introduced.
  • Cats & small dogs may have a small shaved patch on the neck if we had to take a blood sample.
  • If your pet had an intravenous drip he/she may have a bandage on the front leg which you can take off after 24 hours.

Taking care of your pet

  • Confine your pet in a quiet, warm place for the night following the operation.
  • Don’t let your pet overdo it for the first few days.
  • Dogs can have short walks on the lead.
  • Keep cats indoors at least overnight and give them a litter tray.
  • Try to stop your pet from jumping and tackling stairs.


  • Unless the vet or nurse has said anything different, give a small amount of your pet’s normal diet or small meal of white meat, fish or cooked eggs.
  • Don’t worry if your pet does not feel up to eating.
  • Leave a water bowl down with just a small amount of water in it.

Bandages & wound care

  • Bandages need to stay dry. Please put a plastic bag on your dog’s foot for going out if the ground is wet and remember to take the bag off when you get back inside.
  • Don’t let your pet lick or scratch at his/her stitches. We can give you a buster collar for your pet if this is a problem.


  • Make sure you give all tablets exactly as on the label.
  • If you have trouble giving pills try hiding them in a treat, cheese (especially Dairy lea), ham and chicken have all worked well for some pets.

If at any time you have concerns please contact us – we are only a phone call away. It is better to ask promptly rather than wait and worry.



24 Hour Emergency Telephone 01570 422 322

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