Every procedure comes with its own set of possible complications. The most common are listed below:
- Wound infection or breakdown – this occurs where a wound becomes infected (usually through your pet licking in spite of the elizabethan collar), or excessive wound tension puts strain on the sutures and they become loose, broken or damaged. A surgical wound should be neat and clean, free from redness or discharge, and the wound edges should touch each other, with regular sutures. If your pet’s wound is red, swollen, oozing any discharge/blood/pus, sutures seem to be missing or the wound edges don’t touch, please contact the clinic straight away for advice.
- Bleeding – many surgeries involve the tying off of blood vessels, eg. internally, like a spey or spleen removal, or externally, as in a lump removal or tooth removal. If your pet is bleeding externally, you will usually be able to see evidence of blood on their body/mouth or in their saliva, or in places they have laid down like beds or carpets. You could also see lots of bruising around their wound, or seepage of blood from the wound. If your pet is bleeding internally, typical symptoms include severe lethargy, weakness, pale gums, rapid breathing, a swelling abdomen and difficulty standing and walking. If there’s ANY evidence of bleeding, please contact the clinic immediately (or an after hours clinic if after clinic hours).
- Swelling/seroma – a seroma is a collection of fluid that can develop underneath a surgical wound or in a surgical region. The fluid usually develops due to friction (ie. excessive movement), or in response to the natural reaction of your pet’s immune system to the surgical trauma and/or the sutures placed. Seromae can be a normal occurrence, but they should always be checked by a vet to ensure there’s no additional treatment required. Please call 9330 1665 if your pet develops a swelling in the wound region.