Dr Nick Cleland, from the Veterinary Specialist Servicessurgery team, gives instructions on how to ice a region post surgery. Icing/cold-packing post-operatively can help to reduce swelling and pain. This video explains how to perform this procedure safely. 

Administering an icepack to a pet

Depending on your pet's surgery, your veterinary surgeon might recommend that you use a cold pack on the surgical site.

Choosing an icepack for your pet

You can use a regular icepack bought from the pharmacy or even something as simple as a frozen bag of peas.

You must cover the icepack when applying to don't hold the cold directly to the skin. You can use a tea towel or something similar to help reduce your pet's risk of pain and discomfort.

How long should you hold an ice pack to a pet's surgical wound?

You can hold an ice pack for five to ten minutes on the pet's wound to help reduce pain and ease recovery. 

You can repeat the process several times a day, depending on your pet's uncomfortableness, pain levels, and directions from your veterinarian. 


If your pet is uncomfortable with the application and is upset or trying to get away, it's best to leave them be.

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