Dogs can show certain unusual symptoms post-surgery. It is not uncommon if they stop drinking water after the surgery. Depending upon the degree of the procedure, sometimes dogs find it difficult to cope with the aftermath of a medical operation. However, you might wonder how being on medication should make someone thirsty. Still, sometimes, the body is so tired and consumed by the surgical procedures that it cannot accept water for a long time. Each dog reacts to surgery differently, but if you find it difficult to get your dog to drink water, don’t worry. We have some solutions that can help you encourage your pet to drink some water.
In general, even if your dog refuses to drink water after undergoing a medical procedure like an operation, there is nothing to be alarmed about. Just keep clean drinking water near them, and they will drink. But if you notice that your dog has not drunk any water in a long time, like for two days, then you should immediately consult your veterinarian and explain your pet’s condition. Apart from making your dog severely dehydrated, this can also signify some serious complications. This condition may indicate some unforeseen medical condition, which should be diagnosed soon.
Why is My Dog Not Drinking Water After Surgery?
Dogs, just like humans, are administered anesthesia during surgery. This is done to make them unconscious during the painful procedure of the operation and make them feel relaxed while the operation is being performed. Unfortunately, although there has been substantial improvement in the anesthesia that is being administered to dogs, there are still side effects of the same. Some of the most common side-effects of anesthesia include slower reflexes, sluggish movement, fluctuation in body temperature, nausea, vomiting, and loss of hunger or thirst. Besides, although most dogs can handle the effects of anesthesia well enough, some may react to anesthesia and have some of the problems mentioned above.
Let’s look at the major reasons your dog is probably not drinking water after surgery.
1. Lethargy and Nausea from the Anesthesia
With time and scientific development, the quality of anesthesia has improved a lot, which has benefited both humans and dogs. But the most common after-effect of administering anesthesia is the constant feeling of nausea and a sluggish feeling. This can make your dog lose its pangs of hunger and thirst, which is probably the most common reason your dog is not drinking water.
2. The Cone is Creating Obstructions
Most of the time, dogs are made to wear a cone that prevents them from scratching or licking their operated areas once they regain consciousness. But this also creates problems for them as it restricts their vision and movement to a great extent. This, in turn, also makes it difficult for them to intake any water or food contents. Therefore, always keep a clean bowl of fresh drinking water near your dog and adjust the height of the water bowl accordingly. Despite the cone or the collar, it should be able to drink the water easily.
3. Your Pet Dog is Bulky
Although dogs regain consciousness after a few hours of surgery, the fatigue and loss of appetite may linger for a substantial time period. This tendency is more visible in bigger or overweight dogs, as the fat in your digs body can hold on to the anesthesia for a longer period of time. So, if your dog is bulky or overweight, it may take more time to recover from the effect of anesthesia, and unless a dog has fully gained consciousness, it becomes difficult for it to eat or drink properly.
How to Get My Dog to Drink Water After Surgery?
Your dog may suffer from a range of issues following surgery, affecting its daily food and water consumption. Despite these issues, your dog needs water for its daily bodily functions. As a dog parent, you must ensure that it gets enough water to function properly. Let’s see what you can do to make your dog drink water after surgery.
1. Water Fountain
Monitor your dog’s activity by giving them easy access to water and note how often they are drinking the water you provide. For this purpose, you can use a drinking water fountain that ensures an easy and free-flowing water source for them. Of course, they are bound to find it exciting and fun, but no worries if they still don’t drink from it. We have some more useful tips to help you.
2. Ice Cubes
Often, a tube is inserted in the dog’s throat during an operation, which may lead to a raw and sore throat when taken out. This creates problems for your dogs, as they find it difficult to eat or drink anything. But even if they are not able to drink water, you can always try to give them ice cubes, which can do the trick. Certain dog breeds like golden retrievers are particularly fond of ice cubes. They love to lick ice cubes, even in general. Ice cubes help your dogs soothe their throat, save them from dehydration, and provide them with the much-needed water content they need to recuperate from the operation.
3. Other Forms of Liquid
Perhaps your dog doesn’t feel like drinking water and stays away from eating anything. In such a scenario, they find it difficult to recover from the medical situation they are caught in. Therefore, providing them with nutritious supplements for a speedy recovery is essential. For example, you can give them chicken broth or other healthy vegetarian alternatives to keep their energy levels high. When you provide food in liquid form, they automatically intake enough water contents to stay hydrated.
Adding their favorite chicken or beef meat to their water might encourage them to drink it. You can also offer them milk and soups instead of plain water for a change.
4. Add Flavor to Your Dog’s Water
If your dog has not been drinking water lately, you can try to induce their water with some kind of a flavor. This flavor does not necessarily have to be artificial. You can add some fruit flavor in the summertime, like lemon or orange zest to give them a refreshing drink. Of course, a few mint leaves would help too. You can add honey to the water to enhance the taste. Besides, you will know if your dog prefers some specific kind of drink. For instance, some dogs like cold or icy water more than regular water. You can also make them drink more by replacing their regular water with what they prefer.
5. Using a Syringe
Operations can be hard on anyone, and even your dog can reek from the process of recuperating. The process can be stressful, and they may become too weak to shrink water on their own. Since there is no other option available, you may have to take the help of a syringe. You can buy a big syringe from any pharmacist in the market and carefully dispose off the needle of the syringe before using it to feed water to your dog. Otherwise, if you own a turkey baster that you occasionally take out to fill out turkeys, you can use that as well. You need to clean and sterilize the baster, fill it with clean drinking water, and gently push the water down your dog’s throat.
Please try to keep your dog’s head in your lap, so that water doesn’t gush down its windpipe, which can make your dog gag and cough and add to their troubles. Little pups might get scared of it at first, but if you make them feel comfortable or allow them to take their own time, they will understand that it was for their good.
You might get scared or feel helpless after finding your doggo in a state where they do not respond to drinking water. But hey, we do that too sometimes. We all need our own time and space to get accustomed to the changes around us. Similarly, we cannot expect our pets to quickly find their way back to normalcy. They need time to recover physically and emotionally. Don’t panic; give them their own time, and they will thrive once again.