Care of recovering neurosurgery and recumbent patients.

The most important aspects of care include:

  • Ensuring they are urinating
  • Keeping their bed padded and clean
  • Providing physical therapy


Ideally, your pet should urinate at least 2-3 times per day. If they have made no attempt to urinate on their own, you will need to empty their bladder. If your pet is used to going outside to urinate, carry them or support them outside to an area with which they are familiar. If they still show no interest in urinating, gently squeeze the lower part of the abdomen where the bladder is located. This is best accomplished by placing one hand on either side and gently pressing the flat surfaces of your hands toward each other. Using a towel or sling under the lower abdomen to “walk” them and at the same time applying pressure on their rump may also encourage them to urinate.

Very important: Constant dribbling is NOT a sign of normal urination. It more often represents a bladder that is over-full. Please see a veterinarian to have your pet catheterized if you notice this. In addition, if you have tried one of the suggestions listed and you do not observe any urination within a 24-hour period, your pet should see a veterinarian.

Contact our hospital or your family veterinarian if you notice:

  • Your pet is not urinating or you are unable to gently express his/her bladder
  • You notice pain, swelling or discharge at or near the surgery site
  • Your pet begins to lick constantly at his/her toes or chews toenails
  • Your pet’s neurological status is worse than when your pet was discharged from our hospital (e.g. was trying to stand but now will not stand)
  • Your pet is vomiting, especially if it contains blood