Our staff will provide you with detailed post-surgery care instructions for your pet when you pick them up after their procedure. The information below is meant to provide general guidance only.
How can I tell if my pet is in pain following surgery?
Signs of pain include:
- Specific ocular signs
- keeping the eye(s) closed shut for longer period of time
- excessive tearing and squinting
- ocular redness (i.e. the whitish part around the eye looks “angry” when you pull the upper eyelid up)
- crying or growling
- pacing and restless
- defensive when you try to get near the surgical site
- unable to or disinterested in chewing
- tragic look on face
- hiding from owner (esp. cats)
Please be aware that all topical eye medications are associated with a slight burning or stinging sensation that should dissipate after a few seconds. Therefore, some temporary tearing and squinting may be seen when applying eye medications.
Also, some eye medications (i.e. atropine, tropicamide) may make the eye more light sensitive (resulting in tearing and squinting) esp. when in bright sunlight. When on these medications, try to minimize exposure to bright light (short leash walks, dimmed room lights).
What Can I Do To Alleviate Pain?
Pain medications are usually prescribed for at-home use to alleviate pain.
In dogs, they may include oral Tylenol with codeine, tramadol, butorphanol; non-steroidals (NSAIDs) such as Rimadyl or meloxicam; or transdermal fentanyl (skin patch).
In cats, pain medications include oral buprenorphine, butorphanol, a short course of oral meloxicam, or transdermal fentanyl. Please remember that oral Tylenol can be lethal for cats!
After an enucleation procedure, a cold pack may be placed on the surgical site 2-3 x daily for the first 3 days to help alleviate discomfort and for the soft tissue swelling to go down faster. You may use a gel-filled cold pack, a ziplock bag filled with crushed ice or a bag of frozen peas. Please make sure to provide a clean thin cushion (clean washcloth, a few layers of Kleenex, etc.) between the surgical site and cold pack.
Instead of a cold pack, some patients rather seem to prefer a warm pack. In this instance, you may moisten a clean wash cloth with warm tapewater. The cloth should feel warm but not hot to the palm of your hand. Please do NOT use a microwave for heating up a warm pack since it can substantially heat the core of the cloth which can cause painful facial burns.