Even the smallest of surgeries are invasive, so it's important that pets have time to heal and rest once they get home. In most cases, that means restricting how much activity they engage in.
“Confinement after surgery allows the tissue that was cut to heal back together,” says Dr. Chelsea Sykes, DVM, a veterinary surgeon at the new SPCA Tampa Bay Veterinary Center.
If a dog moves too much following surgery, there's a risk of the tissues not bonding properly, which can lead to wounds that don't heal or heal too slowly, says Sykes. “The more motion of the tissues, the harder it is for them to create the bonds to heal the cut sections back together.”
And if this happens, there is also a higher risk for complications like infections, added Sykes.
The type of activity restriction a dog will need post-op is dependent
on the type of surgery and the patient, says Sykes. “Smaller
incisions—often seen with neuters, small mass removals, and some
spays—often only require three to seven days of restricted activity, and
these patients can often be confined to a small room or pen,” explained
Sykes. The exception is with very energetic pets, which may need to be
confined to a pen, even after small surgeries, to prevent