Immediate Post Operative Care
During the immediate post operative period animals must be observed until they are able to right themselves and maintain sternal recumbancy. The animal must be able to pull itself into sternal recumbancy when laid on it's side before it may be left unattended.
Rat unable to right itself after being placed on it's side.
Mouse in sternal recumbancy.
Extended Post operative Care
The animals and the surgical wound should be observed and evaluated at least once a day until the animal returns to normal behavior and physical condition. In the case of surgical wounds, the skin incision must be healed and wound clips or sutures removed before daily monitoring ends. If no skin incision exists or wounds are not sutured or contain wound clips, the animal must still be observed daily. In most cases daily observations would be expected to continue for a minimum of one week post surgery. Daily observations, including abnormal findings and medical treatments must be documented in the surgical record.
Unexpected complications occasionally occur in association with surgery or post-operative recovery. Veterinary advice is frequently helpful. A veterinarian may be reached 24 hours a day by calling the Animal Resource Program Office at: 865-1495 (This phone number is posted in all of the animal facilities). If calling after hours, the recorded message will provide veterinary contact information.
Animals that have been allowed to become cold during the surgical procedure will recover very slowly and will often die. It is extremely important to keep animals warm during and after the procedure.
Hypothermia, hypoglycemia, dehydration, and anesthetic overdose may all contribute to prolonged recovery.
Repeated injections of anesthetics during lengthy procedures may lead to prolonged recovery and occasionally organ failure resulting in death. The veterinarian may be able to suggest modifications to the anesthetic regime for prolonged procedures.
Swollen inflamed surgical wound
This complication may be caused by rough tissue handling, tightly placed sutures or infection.
The animals may be displaying signs of pain. You should be familiar with the signs a rodent may display if it is in pain.