Bladder stone surgery can cause pain and confusion for a dog. Although removing the stones does provide a bit of relief for the dog, the surgery can still cause the dog to feel sore and painful for a few days. The dog may even be confused as to what just happened and why it has an incision on its stomach and could act differently as a result. Just as with most surgeries, bladder stone removal requires certain aftercare for the dog to ensure its comfort, safety and health.
Prevent your dog from licking its incision site until the sutures are removed, which usually occurs about 14 days after the surgery. Your dog can cause infection and irritation to the suture line if it constantly licks at it. In addition, the dog can potentially remove the sutures if it has access to them. Place an Elizabethan collar on the dog or provide constant supervision and prevent the licking and chewing.
Feed your dog the food your veterinarian recommends. Most dogs that have had bladder stones are placed on special diets that prevent future stones from forming. Follow the instructions on the label for information on how much to feed your dog. Your dog may not want to eat a lot the first few days following the surgery, which is usually normal. If you are concerned about your dog's appetite, however, consult your veterinarian.
Provide fresh drinking water for your dog at all times. Water can help to flush crystals and bacteria from your dog's bladder. It also can help prevent the stones from forming. Limit the amount of water your dog drinks the day of the surgery, because its stomach might be upset from the anesthesia, but let it drink as much as it wants after that.
Monitor your dog's ability to urinate. Even immediately after the surgery, your dog should still be able to urinate, although it may be a bit painful. If you notice the dog is straining to eliminate or that nothing is coming out, contact the veterinarian immediately.
Prevent the dog from participating in a lot of activity until the sutures are removed. Your dog will still be sore the first few days following the surgery and may not want to do too much. Once it starts to feel better, you should limit its activity levels because it can aggravate the suture line if it is excessively active.
Administer any veterinarian-prescribed medication to your dog as needed. The vet will likely give your dog antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as pain medication.