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 coat — Our 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…