Post-Surgery Care Instructions for Pets Following Eye or Eyelid Surgery

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. 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 fluids 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. 


Eye Care

Your veterinarian or veterinary nurse will show you where your pet's surgical site is. There are usually several sutures present on the surgical site. 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 wound is fully healed.

The surgical site should be checked daily for swelling, discharge or loss of sutures. It is important that you keep your pet in a clean and dry environment so that the surgical wound remains clean. Pets should not get bathed or allowed to get their wound wet in any way, until all the stitches have been removed and the wound is fully healed.

If your pet's eyes have a lot of discharge, your veterinarian may prescribe you a special eye cleansing solution and best direct you how to keep your pet's eyes clean. It is important that you check with your veterinarian about what solutions can be used to safely cleanse your pet's eye/eyelid, because some liquids can severely irritate the eyes.

A small buildup of tears and/or mucus in the operated eye/eyelid may be expected in the first 3-5 days following surgery. However, if you notice excessive tears, squinting of the eye and/or your pet not being to hold its eye fully open, please arrange a revisit appointment so that our veterinarians can assess the surgical site.

It is also imperative that your pet is not allowed to paw at the operated eye, because this may lead to the wound splitting open before it is fully healed and/or wound infections and/or other more serious complications. For that matter, most pets will need to wear an Elizabethan collar following eye/eyelid surgery. 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.


Histopathology Results

If your pet underwent eye or eyelid surgery in order to remove a mass, the excised mass will be sent away to an external lab for histopathology with your permission. 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. Please ensure that your contact details are up to date so that we have a number to reach you at.


Exercise Restriction

It is important that all dogs are toileted on a lead and only receive light lead exercise, until the surgical site is fully healed. No off-leash or excessive physical activity such as running around or jumping onto/off items of furniture are recommended until the surgical site is fully healed. Cats should remain indoors until the surgical wound is fully healed.

For some pets, your veterinarian may also recommend that you keep them only in dim lighting for a few days to a week following the eye/eyelid surgery, in order to optimise comfort to the operated eye.



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. 


Suture Removal

Your veterinarian or veterinary nurse will advice you whether absorable or non-absorbable sutures have been used during your pet's eye/eyelid surgery. Absorbable sutures will dissolve and fall off on their own without removal in 4-8 weeks. Non-absorbable sutures are typically removed 10 to 14 days after the surgery - please phone for an appointment to book your pet in for suture removal. 



Your pet would have received additional pain relief medications after their surgery, and some pets may also have oral medications to go home with. Please administer all medications as directed on the label; ensure that 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.



Published by Cahill Animal Hospital on 28 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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