Post-Anesthesia Discharge Instructions

Please complete this form before your visit.

If you have any questions, please contact us!

Your pet has undergone general anesthesia. For the safety of you and your animal, we recommend the following post-operative instructions be carefully reviewed and followed. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet's condition after anesthesia/surgery, please call the clinic at (985)635-4500 Monday-Friday 8 am- 12 pm & 1 pm - 5 pm.


1. The patient must be kept indoors after surgery/anesthesia. This will enable you to closely monitor your pet's recovery and will prevent complications and possible death from exposure to outdoor temperature extremes.


2. If the patient has undergone anesthesia for a surgical procedure, it is important to restrict activity for the next 10-14 days – no running, jumping, playing. Keep pets on a leash when outside. Take stairs slowly and one step at a time. No jumping into and out of vehicles or onto and off of furniture. After the initial 10-14 days of rest, or sooner if requested by a veterinarian, he/she will need to be rechecked for incision healing progress and suture removal if applicable. Please schedule a follow up at your convenience.


3. Due to the lingering effects of anesthesia, your pet may be sedated or groggy this evening. Sedation may last 24 hours. Please be sure to monitor around any stairs or steps until the sedation has worn off completely.


4. Unless directed otherwise, you may give a small amount of your pet's normal food (about 1/4 of the normal portion) and a small amount of water upon arrival home. If they hold that down for the first hour, a small amount more may be offered. Normal eating/drinking may resume tomorrow. If your pet is totally uninterested in normal food, you may offer a small amount of canned pet food or meat-flavored baby food to stimulate the appetite. Within 24 hours, your pet's food and water consumption should return to normal.


5. A special head collar may have been sent home with your pet. This is highly recommended for all procedures that involve an incision. Keep this Elizabethan collar (E-collar) on at all times for 10-14 days after surgery. This barrier is necessary to prevent your pet from over-grooming, licking, or chewing at the incision site. Replace the E-collar immediately if your pet removes the collar. Ensure the collar is not too tight or too loose by allowing a two-finger space between the neck and the collar tie for a snug but comfortable fit.


6. If an incision is present, check the incision twice daily. A small amount of seeping blood or serous discharge is normal for a few days following surgery, especially in the first 24 hours. You may notice some bruising or minor swelling near the incision. If you notice any continued drainage, swelling, or foul odors, contact the veterinary clinic as soon as possible. If the problem is severe, contact one of the emergency numbers as soon as possible (see below).


7. If the incision becomes dirty, gently clean with diluted cool soapy water and a cotton ball or soft cloth. Pat dry. Do not scrub or attempt to remove adherent discharge from the incision. Do not apply ointments or creams to the incision unless specifically directed by the veterinarian. Dressings and ointments may be occlusive and delay healing.


8. If the patient has had a surgical procedure, do not bathe or allow your pet to swim for at least 10-14 days after surgery. Gently towel dry the incision site if your pet becomes wet.


9. If medication is being sent home, follow the prescription label instructions. Please call immediately with any questions or concerns regarding the administration of the prescribed medication. Monitor for any signs of GI upset (vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, or lethargy). Should any of these occur, please contact us or an emergency contact.


10. For cat surgical procedures (spay, neuter, declaw), it is recommended to use paper litter only for ten days post-surgery. Paper litter can be shredded newspaper or store-bought pellets (Yesterday's News, Pine Pellets). Absolutely no clay clumping litter as this can stick to incision and cause infections.


South Lafourche Veterinary Clinic: 985-632-4500
South Lafourche Veterinary Clinic (after hours Google voice): 985-205-3530
MedVet Emergency (Metairie, LA): 504-835-8508
Riverlands Animal Hospital (LaPlace): 985-652-6369

I have received a copy of my pet's discharge instructions. I have been informed of, and understand, the at-home care that is recommended for them.