If your dog has recently undergone surgery, you may be concerned if they are not drinking water as usual.
It’s important to understand that this is not uncommon, and there can be several reasons why your dog is not drinking water after surgery.
In this article, we will explore the possible causes and provide some tips to encourage your dog to stay hydrated during their recovery.
Why Won’t My Dog Drink Water After Surgery?
Pain and Discomfort
One of the most common reasons why a dog may not drink water after surgery is due to pain and discomfort.
Surgery can be a traumatic experience for dogs, and they may be hesitant to eat or drink due to the pain they are experiencing.
Additionally, certain surgical procedures, such as dental surgery, can cause soreness in the mouth, making it difficult for your dog to drink water.
Side Effects of Medications
Another reason why your dog may not be drinking water after surgery is the side effects of medications.
Pain medications and anesthesia can cause nausea and a decrease in appetite, which can lead to a decreased desire to drink water.
It’s important to consult with your veterinarian about the potential side effects of the medications your dog is taking and how to manage them.
Change in Routine and Environment
Surgery often disrupts a dog’s routine and environment, which can contribute to their reluctance to drink water.
Dogs are creatures of habit, and any changes to their daily routine can cause stress and anxiety.
Additionally, being in a new environment, such as a veterinary clinic or a recovery area, can also make your dog feel uneasy and less inclined to drink water.
Post-Surgical Care Instructions
Your veterinarian may have provided you with specific post-surgical care instructions, which could include restrictions on food and water intake.
It’s essential to follow these instructions carefully, as they are designed to ensure your dog’s proper healing and recovery.
If your dog is not drinking water as instructed, contact your veterinarian for further guidance.
Tips to Encourage Your Dog to Drink Water
Offer Fresh and Clean Water
Ensure that your dog has access to fresh and clean water at all times. Dogs are more likely to drink water if it is clean and free from any contaminants or odors.
Consider using a clean water bowl and changing the water frequently to encourage your dog to drink.
Try Different Water Sources
If your dog is not interested in drinking water from their regular bowl, try offering water from different sources.
Some dogs prefer running water, so you can try using a pet water fountain or a dripping faucet.
You can also try offering water in different types of bowls, such as stainless steel or ceramic, to see if your dog shows a preference.
Add Flavor to the Water
If your dog is not drinking plain water, you can try adding a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth or bone broth to make it more enticing.
However, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian before adding any flavorings to ensure they are safe for your dog’s specific condition.
Monitor Water Intake
Keep track of your dog’s water intake to ensure they are staying hydrated.
If you notice a significant decrease in their water consumption or if they are not drinking at all, contact your veterinarian for further evaluation.
Offer Wet Food or Water-Rich Treats
If your dog is not drinking water, you can try offering wet food or water-rich treats to help increase their overall fluid intake.
Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that the food or treats you choose are appropriate for your dog’s post-surgical recovery.
It is not uncommon for dogs to refuse water after surgery due to pain, medication side effects, changes in routine, or post-surgical care instructions.
However, it is crucial to ensure that your dog stays hydrated during their recovery.
By offering fresh and clean water, trying different water sources, adding flavor to the water, monitoring water intake, and offering wet food or water-rich treats, you can encourage your dog to drink water.
If you have any concerns or if your dog continues to refuse water, it is best to consult with your veterinarian for further guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can bad teeth in dogs cause coughing?
A: Yes, bad teeth in dogs can cause coughing. Dental issues, such as periodontal disease or infected teeth, can lead to respiratory problems and coughing.
It is essential to maintain your dog’s dental health to prevent such issues.
Q: Why is my dog coughing after dental surgery?
A: Coughing after dental surgery can be a result of irritation in the throat or respiratory tract due to intubation during anesthesia.
It is usually temporary and should resolve within a few days. However, if the cough persists or worsens, consult your veterinarian.
Q: My dog is wheezing after dental surgery. Is this normal?
A: Wheezing after dental surgery can be a result of inflammation or swelling in the airways.
It is important to monitor your dog’s breathing and contact your veterinarian if the wheezing persists or if your dog shows signs of respiratory distress.
Q: Why is my dog coughing and gagging after anesthesia?
A: Coughing and gagging after anesthesia can be caused by irritation in the throat or respiratory tract due to the endotracheal tube used during anesthesia.
It is usually temporary and should improve as your dog recovers. However, if the symptoms persist or worsen, consult your veterinarian.