Dog Infections after Surgery

Dog infections after surgery may occur, especially if the dog chews on the incision wounds. The infections should be detected as early as possible and treated, to prevent further complications.

Causes of Infections after Surgery

Post surgery infections occur due to an accumulation of bacteria at the incision sites. The accumulation of bacteria may be caused by:

  • The use of surgery tools and supplies that haven't been properly sterilized
  • The dog licking and chewing the wounds after the infection, as the tongue has multiple bacteria
  • Exposure to different bacteria in the environment

Symptoms of Infections after Surgery

After a surgery, the wounds are typically bandaged and the dog will experience swelling and pain. However, these should subside within three to five days. If the surgery wound gets infected, you will notice a few symptoms:

  • Elevated fever; it can help to take your pet's temperature regularly after the surgery and tell the vet whenever the dog has a higher temperature
  • Severe swelling of the surgery wound
  • Presence of pus in the area, which can be noticed as a white liquid under the skin
  • Foul odor in the area, which may be due to the pus accumulation
  • Pain when touching the wound
  • Lethargy

You should be able to differentiate between the swelling post surgery, which is normal, and the swelling due to an infection. The post surgery swelling should be gone in a few days, while the infection swelling will persist and typically, pus will also form.

Treatment for Post Surgery Infections

Post surgery infections can be treated with a cure of antibiotics. However, the treatment should be applied as soon as possible, so that the infection won't spread and affect the internal organs of the dog. An infection after surgery may be dangerous, as it may cause severe problems that can be greater than the initial problem the dog required surgery for.

Prevent Dog Infections after Surgery

An infection post surgery may be prevented in a number of ways:

  • Getting antibiotics prior to the surgery, which will minimize the chances of infection after the procedure. You will have to administer the antibiotics for 6 to 10 days, as indicated by the vet, but make sure not to stop the treatment before indicated. The dog can develop immunity to antibiotics and will not respond, in which case he will need to get a new antibiotic treatment.
  • Stop your dog from chewing and licking the wound by applying a lamp shade collar, which will block the dog's access to the wound.
  • Even though the wound heals faster if exposed to air, you may opt for bandages, which will keep the area sterile and the dog won't be able to lick or chew the wound. However, you will have to change the bandages regularly and you will have to ensure the bandages are always sterile.