How to Help Your Pet Heal Faster after Surgery
As vets we always make sure our post surgery patients are sent home with instructions on how to make them as comfortable as possible during the recovery period.
Usually this includes providing the appropriate pain medications, wound aftercare instructions, exercise recommendations and of course, lots of TLC.
But what also should be on this list and is often overlooked is the important role nutrition plays in the post surgery recovery process.
It’s a fact that all surgery causes stress to the body and the more major the operation is, the bigger the trauma inflicted on the tissues involved.
Soon after the surgery, the body is looking for the building blocks needed to repair the damage and make new tissue. All this building activity is managed through complex biochemical processes which take up a lot of energy so it makes good sense that the body will need more than the ‘normal’ nutrition to make this happen.
Research shows that the body heals faster after surgery if provided with extra nutrition. The most important nutrients needed for tissue repair and rebuilding are Protein and Fat.Feeding Your Dog After Surgery
With this in mind, a maintenence diet is not the best choice at this time. Look for a food which has both a higher fat and protein content and if in doubt about a commercially prepared pet food – make your own.
An excellent source of easily digestible protein and fat of course is the humble egg. Depending on your dog’s weight you can easily supplement the diet by adding an egg or two on a daily basis for a couple of weeks post surgery.
Adding some Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids can also be beneficial to help support the immune system, fight infection, reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair.
What if my Pet won’t eat?
All this nutritional advice however, won’t help of course if your dog – or cat won’t eat. Most often, this is a natural reponse to pain or discomfort. That’s why it’s critical your pet is provided with appropriate pain medication throughout the recovery period and has a comfortable place to rest.
The fact remains, the nutrition is needed and you’ll need to do whatever it takes to make him or her – eat.
Try warming up the food to release the aromas, cooked chicken, Tuna (for cats) Cat food, home cooked meals – or add some gravy to the mix.
Anything is better than not eating.
However, is all your attempts at coaxing your pet aren’t working, please check back in again with your vet to make sure there’s nothing else going on which could be affecting your pet’s appetite.