After coming home from the clinic, your pet should be kept in a warm, dry, quiet and ideally indoor location in the 24 hours following discharge. If your pet is discharged on the same day that he/she had surgery, they may still be a little bit drowsy after they go home with you. There may also be some irritability or incoordination during this initial 24-hour period immediately after the surgery.
The shaved area on your pet's front or back legs is the IV injection and/or IV catheter site. Some bruising to this area may be seen when they go home with you; however, if this persists beyond 72 hours, please give us a call at the clinic. You may also find that the underside of their paw may have been shaved - this allowed the placement of blood pressure monitoring equipment, so that we could monitor their progress under anaesthesia closely.
The surgical site is located on the hairless aspect of the ear flap. There are many different surgical methods that may be used to manage aural haematomas, and these methods appear to be equally effective. Your veterinarian will pick the surgical method of choice (S-incision with sutures, penrose drain/cannula placement or aural haematoma pad) that best suits your pet's ear conformation. There are usually a number sutures present on the affected ear - it is helpful to count the number of stitches present when your pet first goes home with you, so that you will know if any goes missing before the sutures are ready to be removed.
The affected ear should be checked daily for persistent swelling, discharge or loss of sutures. Some bloody fluid is expected to drain from the aural haematoma site in the first 1 to 3 days following the surgery. The fluid may either drain freely from the penrose drain or cannula, or be absored into the aural haematoma pad. If your pet's ear has a penrose drain or cannula, your veterinarian may prescribe a special cleansing fluid and direct you how to best keep the drain/cannula clean.
It is important that you keep your pet in a clean and dry environment so that the affected ear remains clean. Pets should not get bathed or allowed to get their ears wet in any way, until all the stitches, penrose drain/cannula and ear pads have been removed.
It is also imperative that your pet is not allowed to paw at the affected ear, because this may lead to the wound splitting open before it is fully healed, wound infections and/or other more serious complications. If you notice your pet pawing at their ears, he/she will need to wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent this. E-collars may be purchased from our clinic reception. Ensure that pets are not allowed to roam outdoors without close supervision when they are wearing an E-collar, as this poses a choking hazard if it gets caught in a fence or branch.
It is important that all dogs are toileted on a lead and only receive lead exercise, until all sutures, drains/cannulas and aural haematoma pads are removed. No off-leash or excessive physical activity such as running around or jumping onto/off items of furniture are recommended until all sutures, drains/cannulas and aural haematoma pads are removed. Cats should remain indoors until the affected ear is fully healed.
Unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian or veterinary nurse at the time of discharge, no significant change is usually required to your pet's diet following surgery. A small portion of your pet's diet should be fed in the evening that they come home with you, and then resume feeding normal portions in the morning. It is not unusual for some loss of appetite to occur in the first 24 hours following discharge from our clinic; however, if this persists, please give us a call at the clinic on (06) 3588675.
These are typically removed 10 to 14 days after the surgery - please phone for an appointment. They are usually able to be done during the consultation; however, some pets may require a sedative in order to remove the drain/cannula or haematoma pads. Your veterinarian will advice you accordingly.
Most pets will have topical ear medications to go home with, and some pets may also need a course of oral medications. Please administer all medications as directed on the label; ensure that antibiotics and pain relief medications are given with a meal.
Should you have any enquiries or further concerns about the post-operative care of your pet, please do not hestitate to phone us at (06) 3588675 to discuss.