How do I care for my pet after a general anaesthetic or sedation?


”Okay, Butch needs a general anaesthetic for X-Rays Mrs Smith but we will take great care of him and get him back home to you this evening”


“How an earth do I look after him when he comes home?!”


  • Your animal is likely to be well… a little ‘ruff!’ really (sorry couldn’t resist that pun!) …needing a good kip in a nice warm bed. So get them a nice cosy, quiet spot ready for when they get home.
  • They may still be a little drowsy or not quite themselves from the anaesthetic we have given , it can take some animals , especially our golden oldies, a few days to bounce back to normal after an anaesthetic.

  • Give them a small, bland meal when home as they may feel a little tom – dick ,sick, from the anaesthetic.  There are  veterinary gastrointestinal friendly diets out there such as hills I/D and royal canin gastrointestinal food which your vets may stock. Or you can give them something plain like boiled chicken (not rotisserie style or roasted as much as they will probably love it and hoover it up it is very greasy and  not easy on the tummy) plain white fish , plain white rice (boiled).

clients often ask me… “can I just give their normal food he/she only has biscuits” …

as boring as their biscuits may look to us they are actually quite rich in flavour so ideally go for something really bland like mentioned above but if they literally won’t eat anything other than their biscuits then give them as we don’t want to starve them !


  • Your animal may experience a little diarrhoea or looser stools following an anaesthetic too , don’t panic it is a common side effect of an anaesthetic as it upsets their systems. The bland diet will help with this . Call your vet to let them know what’s going on though just to keep them in the loop and seek further advice.
  • Keep your animal safe and sound indoors for atleast 24hours to make sure they are back to normal as they may still be under the influence of anaesthetic drugs we have given . They may not be as street wise and get hurt or lost .
  • Take dogs out on a lead to do their business just in the garden or just around the block keep cats inside.
  • Monitor their habits over the next 24-48 hours make sure they urinate, poop, eat and drink . If they aren’t doing any of the following call your vet straight away.
  • As previously mentioned it can take a few days for your fur baby to get back to their normal cheeky selves but do keep an eye on how alert they are . Despite being a little sleepy and worse for wear will they respond if you whistle or clap or call their name? If they are not able to do this contact your vet immediately otherwise just keep them warm and quiet and let them sleep it off.

Are they walking around the house unaided? wanting to go outside? wobbly and falling all over the place and walking into things? (very unlikely as we keep them with us for a few hours to ensure they aren’t ‘drunk’ when they come home to you  but just giving worst case scenarios for you to be prepared for anything !)  again call your vet if you have any concerns.

  • Follow any other specific instructions given to you by your vet and always call if you are worried at all

wishing your fur baby a speedy recovery and you fur baby parents go get your self a nice G+T down you !



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