Home Care Instructions Following Ear Flushing & Diagnostics Under Sedation

What to Expect

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. 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 sedation.

There may be a shaved area on your pet's front or back legs; this is the IV injection 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.



With your permission, the ear flush fluid has been sent away to an external lab for cytology and/or culture and sensitivity. A veterinarian will contact you with the results as soon as they are back from the lab – this typically takes up to 10 working days. If ear cytology was done at our clinic, we usually strive to report these results at the time of discharge or the day after. Based on these preliminary results, your veterinarian may recommend further investigations (e.g. dermatology referral or referral for CT scan) if any are required. Your pet's medications may also be changed depending on the test results. Please ensure that your contact details are up to date so that we have a number to reach you at. 

If your pet also had skull x-rays as part of their ear workup, your veterinarian will discuss these with you in detail either at the time of discharge or in the few days following discharge from the clinic, depending on your personal schedule and available appointment times. You will also have the opportunity to view your pet's digital x-rays in person, and raise any concerns you may have.


Ear Care

Your veterinarian may prescribe a specific ear cleansing fluid and direct you on how to keep your pet's ears clean. It is important that you first check with your veterinarian about what solutions can be used to safely cleanse your pet's ears, because some liquids can severely irritate the ear canals and ear drums. In general, clean water or 0.9% sodium chloride (from a pharmacy) can be used to safely cleanse ears.

Your pet may also receive topical ear drops, oral medications and/or a prescription diet for their ear condition. Please use these diets and medications as directed by your veterinarian.


Exercise Restriction

Unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian or veterinary nurse at the time of discharge, no change to your pet's exercise regime is required. However, we do recommend that dogs are toileted on a lead and only receive light lead exercise in the 24 hours following sedation. Cats should ideally remain indoors for 24 hours following sedation. 



Unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian or veterinary nurse at the time of discharge, no change is usually required to your pet's diet following sedation. Do note that based on the preliminary test results, your veterinarian may later recommend a prescription skin diet for your pet.

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. 



Should you have any enquiries or further concerns about the post-sedation care of your pet, please do not hestitate to phone us at (06) 3588675 to discuss.



Published by Cahill Animal Hospital on 29 July 2016
The team at Cahill Animal Hospital is here to provide you and your pet with the best possible medical, surgical and supportive care. Our motto "We care as much as you do" is a very important part of our day to day work. We are committed to providing you and your pet with the best options for care.

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