Shermie’s Lumpectomy: Post Surgery Tips


Shermie had a growth removed this week. It was angry and ulcerating – it was time for it to go.

So! I wanted to share some tips now that Shermie is home and resting comfortable. At first, it looked like we could wait until his next dental but over time, the growth started to become swollen and was rubbing on his harness. It was in a terrible area – right in his armpit. I took him to the vet and sent multiple pictures to his Veterinarian. So on a Tuesday morning, Shermie went in and later that day I picked him up.

Then – panic sets in…

As a tech, I remember how overwhelming it can be when you bring your dog (or cat) home from surgery and there are sutures and pain medication. Not to mention it may take a day or two for them to bounce back – sometimes they have upset stomachs from the sedation. This can also occur from the medication they’re on.

Consider these before you bring them home so everything is organized and you’re not distracted having to run around and do errands with them in the car on the way home:

  • Do you have a good cone? If you need a cone — research all the options. There are so many to choose from.  (Whole Dog Journal has a great article about this and I’ve linked to it)
  • Potty pads and short walks — Will you need these? Shermie for example, was really out of it and while I tried to potty him outside the vet and in our front yard he was having trouble balancing. When I left him in the family room on the couch, I turned around and poor thing had an accident after he jumped down… I felt awful. I should have just put down a pee pad.
  • Also consider that statement, “your dog is on restricted exercise for the next 15 days” – WHAT? What about when the Tramadol is done? For example, Walter is a high energy dog even after surgery…! Do you want to make sure you have puzzle toys? Just consider this – Shermie is ok on short walks for the next two weeks but that does impact Walter as he’s used to playing and chasing after Shermie.
  • Shirt or coatOur wonderful vet at Frontier Vet Hospital in Hillsboro immediately recommended a shirt so we wouldn’t have to worry about him scratching out his sutures. I created a t-shirt for him and it was very “80s”. And a disaster. So I quickly remembered that Gold Paw has a GREAT option. See the below image. This product is designed for wound care.
  • Medication spreadsheet — Shermie is on herbs, a medication for allergies and Tramadol every 12 hours. I needed to ask my holistic vet about the herbs as those help with anxiety. We held those a few days before the surgery as a result as they could impact sedation. I also use an excel spreadsheet.
  • Pill pockets — whether you buy the ones at the vet’s office or just use food — have these ready before you get home. You almost always need to give medication a few hours after you get settled at home! I use turkey.


Sherm in his Gold Paw anti-microbial shirt to help him from scratching out his sutures…




There are 64 Comments

  1. Bryn Nowell says:

    Poor pup and poor you! It’s always nerve wracking when our dogs go through a medical procedure and are not themselves for awhile when they get home. I’m so glad you have such an awesome plan laid out to help ensure his healing goes as smoothly as possible. Thanks for sharing these great tips!

  2. FiveSibesMom says:

    It really is a worry…been through this with four of my Huskies. Wonderful tips. Pinning on my Bark About board. And so very glad Shermie is okay. Heal quickly, sweet boy.

  3. Rachel says:

    We may have to look into a shirt or coat if our Eddie has to have surgery again. He also had many lumps removed, but luckily we were able to pair it with his dental. Thanks for the great tips!

  4. Lindsay says:

    Wishing Sherm a swift recovery. 🙂

  5. Joely Smith says:

    Blessings to Shermie poor pup but I know he is in the best of hands! Great tips you provided too!

  6. Nichole says:

    Surgery is never easy, no matter how minor. ReSt easy and heal well!

  7. Poor Shermie! Wishing him a speedy recovery. I know what it’s to bring your pet home after surgery, and I do like your recommendation to get organised before they come home.

  8. OMD, this is such a wonderful post and something many people, including my humans wouldn’t think of! This info would be great in an infographic for pinterest!!! 😉

  9. Cathy Armato says:

    Aww, sweet little Shermie! I hope he recovers quickly so he can get chased by Walter again soon! Great suggestions. Sharing.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  10. Aw, poor Sherm – we know how he feels! We always use a soft donut style ‘cone, and use turmeric golden paste to help with pain management. I know it can be nerve racking when your loved ones (human or animal) just aren’t feeling perfect – so bless your heart for being such a good caretaker!

  11. You are so right ~ it’s nerve wracking when our pets are in the vet hospital regardless of what the procedure is. Amber had a dental a few months ago and I was apprehensive all day long.

  12. Jana says:

    Sorry about the lump and sorry about the location. JD’s was on a leg but also in an area where the leg bended a lot and healing was a mightmare. I hope all goes smoothly for you. Are you sending it to a lab?

    No amount of puzzles and games was enough for Cookie; we had to facilitate her injury recovery with Trazodone.

    • I’m with you – the location is such a nightmare. We did send it out and thankfully it’s benign and nothing to worry about. yea -Tramadol saved me for the first five days!

  13. Poor Shermie, I hope he is feeling better quickly. Sounds like quite a long recovery and rest period. Hugs to your whole family. Thanks for the tips as good to know for Kilo.

  14. Ruth Epstein says:

    Awww poor Shermie, sending prayers and hope he feels better soon. Thank you for the great tips

  15. Poor Shermie! I know it can be so stressful. I like the idea of a shirt or coat to prevent scratching. So simple, but I have never thought of that. Ruby had a hot spot about a month ago and she had to wear a cone – wish I had thought of the shirt!

  16. Kandace says:

    Great post! I work at an animal hospital and these are excellent tips that we give to clients!

  17. Great tips. Chester had a lump removed once but only got two stitches and never seemed to scratch them. I definitely wouldn’t have thought things through as good as you did if he had needed more.

    • Thank you! Only because I’ve been through this a few times – did I start to remember all the things I’d need to try and stay on top of everything! Hopefully this helps folks…

  18. We hope Shermie is better very soon. These are good tips for people to think about.

  19. Loved this post it is so helpful for people that get in to panic mode. Having worked as an assistant to a vet i only know too well how handy this could be as a handout. The anti microbial shirt is something i wish we had in India too for dogs dont take too kindly to bandages and ecollars

  20. Beth says:

    I hope Shermie has a quick recovery. I wish I would have known these tips years ago when Nelly had part of her femur removed. It would be great if vets handed this information out when they scheduled surgery!

  21. Kim says:

    Going through all this is never easy.
    Please send my love to your baby

  22. Great tips, Christy! Thankfully, Shadow and Ducky haven’t needed surgery for anything since before Callie had her biopsy done for the lymphoma last year. I suspect that at some point Shadow may need to have a wart-like skin tag removed, but so far it’s not bothering her. I keep checking it to be sure it hasn’t grown, but she’s due for her annual exam next month so I’ll have the vet check it then.

    When Callie had her ACL surgeries, I just took Ducky to daycare five days a week and got hubby to help me manage her insane energy on the weekends. The trip down to daycare and back twice a day was a pain but oh so worth it!

    • Thank you! I’m glad that wart skin tag isn’t a bother. That’s exactly what this was and given the location it just got inflammed and crazy big! Daycare rocks too – I bet even though it was a schlep it was 100% worth it. Walter is CRAZY without a lot of long walks and nose adventures so we’re managing that over here but it has not been easy.

  23. I am glad he is wearing his tshirt – it will be more comfortable than a lot of bandages and stuff!

  24. Jan K says:

    We went through so many lump removals with our beagle Kobi, that by the time we got to Sheba’s two cancer surgeries we pretty much had the routine down!
    I wish I’d had that GoldPaw shirt for Kobi. Sheba never bothered her stitches, thank goodness, so no cone needed.
    Your tips are great! The only thing I would add is that if you have multiple dogs, have a quiet place for the dog coming home from surgery to hang out in. Our crew could get snarly with each other when one was “gooped up” on meds, as we’d call it. 🙂 Since Sheba had never been crate trained, we made sure to get her used to it a couple weeks before her surgery, and then she could just chill out in there while “sobering up”.
    Hope Shermie is doing well!

    • Hi Jan: I really appreciate this – UGH SUCH a great tip, that was my number one issue. I walked in the door carrying him to the couch and Walter and Bruisy are so excited to see him that I couldn’t really put him down without him being harassed. So I had to quickly baby gate the other two our of the room which took more time than I’d like to admit…. our crew is the same and Shermie was CRANKY. GREAT tips, crates are my favorite thing for management, quiet time and chill time. 🙂

  25. Robin says:

    I’m glad to hear that Shermie is doing well! It would be such an emotional rollercoaster to find a lump like that on a pet. You have a really organized approach to handling his post-surgery needs. I will be praying for him to heal completely! 🙂

  26. Oh, Shermie! I sure hope you heal quickly and feel better. You have a great Mom taking care of you. I love how organized she is.

  27. Poor Shermie. I hope the recovery is quick. I remember being stressed after the girls were spayed and the doctor saying to keep them from jumping. Yeah, right! a 6 month old kitten?!?

  28. So sorry you both have had to go through this, but I absolutely love your tips. It makes life so much less stressful when you have everything situated beforehand. Then you can spend more time snuggling your furbaby and less time worrying 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I really tried this time to get it together but still learned a lot about how I could have prevented some accidents and gotten that medicine in him faster!

  29. Poor Sherm. I hope his recovery goes well. I should probably think about getting a new cone, ours is huge.

  30. Give Sherm a big hug from me! These tips are great.

  31. Monika & Sam says:

    Awww, hope the recovery goes smoothly and without further incidents.

  32. […] of my favorites was a post I wrote about what to consider before your dog has surgery. I was overwhelmed when our dog Shermie came back after a lump removal so wanted to share what I […]

  33. […] also wrote about shirts that work post surgery and this is a GREAT option as it covers much of the body and would prevent Bruiser from licking and […]