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Post Op directions


The following is a highlighted list of important information for the 7days immediately after your pet’s surgery. Please read it carefully, preferably BEFORE leaving with your pet In case you have any questions for the staff. 

Your pet (especially the females) just received a major surgery. If a human had this procedure, they would be on bed rest for several days. Please note your pet is an amazing trooper!  A moderate amount of whining and disorientation is expected in the first 12hrs. Anesthesia isn't a walk in the park as any human who has been under can tell you. Rest assured, your pet has had all the pain meds they can have for the first 24hrs! We provided that at the time of the procedure. 

  • Please give them 24-72hrs to return to normal behavior. This includes normal eating, drinking, and going to the restroom as well as playing. The younger the pet, the quicker the recovery. 

  • Look at the incision at LEAST once daily and apply over the counter triple antibiotic as instructed. This gives you a much more immediate idea if something is abnormal. 


  • PRACTICE TOUGH LOVE: Males are prone to lick themselves even when they are not “wounded”. This pretty much guarantees licking (and the trauma it causes) after the fact.  Purchase a fitted ecollar or surgery suit BEFORE the procedure and make sure they cannot get their nose to their scrotum. After the procedure, the first time your boy licks himself, place the device on them. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE IT OFF FOR ANY REASON for at least 5 days. This is essential. Your pet is sneaky and will do trauma to themselves the moment you aren’t looking or have gone to sleep. They can and will get used to the ecollar and eat, sleep and drink successfully with it. Please let our staff know or come by the clinic ASAP if the dog keeps getting his collar off or can get around it. Yes they hate it, but it’s for their own good and it’s a very short time period. 

  • Should your pet get to his incision and open it, chances are good it is not an emergency. Unless there is a substantial amount of blood, please wait until 7:30am the next morning to send us a message. An ER trip should not be necessary for a male. There are exceptions but they are few and far between. 

  • If you are the owner of a Large adult male, it is necessary to restrict exercise to hand walking for no less than 14 full days after surgery! We realize this is easier said than done, but rest assured there are plenty of instances where the boys looked amazing and felt great at day 12 only to do zoomies in the back yard and swell up like a balloon! Dont take it for granted.


  • Please keep your female calm for at least 5days. This IS a major abdominal surgery. There are significant vessels that have been tied off in her belly. Care should be taken to keep her from doing damage to herself or getting too active (running, jumping, playing, roughhousing). Remember, a human would be on bedrest.  

  • DO NOT expose her to any intact male dogs for at least 2wks after surgery. ESPECIALLY if she was in heat. They can cause significant damage if they try to breed her. If she was in heat at the time of surgery, expect her to continue to have “bloody” discharge as she will still be in heat (blood is from the vaginal vault and not the uterus). Any large mass of blood or clotting being passed from the vulva should get a recheck as it is not normal and may be an indication of something serious.   

  •  Expect firm swelling around the incision if the female is an active one. Soft swelling that you can push back in and out could spell trouble, so please contact us for a recheck. 

  • Large adult females can sometimes have a "relapse" around day 10-14. They will have been feeling well and acting and eating fine and then suddenly start acting sad or go off food again. If this happens, please reach out for a recheck as occasionally the uterine stump can get inflamed and cause trouble around that time frame. Though usually not an emergency, if left unchecked it can progress into a serious or even life threatening condition.



Emergency information: Dr. Courtney Bridgeman is available for post-op concerns at 210-286-2784. Please text pictures and concerns first. If you feel it may be an emergency and its after 10pm, text first and if no answer within 5min, please call as the text alert may not be loud enough to wake me. 

We are always available after hours by text or by phone if a true emergency. Dr. Bridgeman herself mans the emergency phone for after hours calls. In most cases she can advise from the safety and comfort of the animal at home. If she does feel a visit is necessary, she can let the owner know which clinic to meet at the following day and what the hours may be. There is no exam fee, only fees to cover medications or treatments.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are worried about your pet. We want all our patients to have a successful recovery! 

Please reach out to us if the following are causing you concern:

*seems in distress (cannot get comfortable, paces, excessive panting

*large amounts of blood from incision

*or anything is protruding from an incision 

If a trip to the ER is necessary, we recommend the ER at Fredericksburg Rd. They are familiar with our protocols and our veterinarians and would be easiest to transfer back and forth with if that is necessary. PLEASE NOTE: ALL FEES INCURRED AT AN OUTSIDE Emergency Room ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY of the OWNER. Complications do happen infrequently, even in human medicine, but we are proud of our very low complication rates and strive to perform high quality medicine and customer service. 

If there is: 

*grey, white, or blue gums                               

*cold body temperatures (under 96.6F)                                   

*your pet is nonresponsive or has seizures    

Please call us and immediately head to the ER. 



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