Recovery From Canine Exposure

Most children return to school and some normal activities within the first day after surgery. Many parents schedule the procedure on a Thursday or Friday and their child is ready to go back to classroom by Monday. There is no problem with going out the following day, although it’s best to rest for a day or two. Of course there is always variations in overall response and recovery.

What is the expected recovery?

Pain: The level and duration of pain generally depends on the complexity of the surgery, technique, and child’s tolerance. Most patients complain very little of pain after exposure procedure and don not require significant pain medications. Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is certainly adequate for relief of most types of discomfort, and may be necessary for one to two days. Very rarely do they need a stronger medication such as Tylenol with codeine.

Swelling: No swelling is expected with most exposure procedures but certainly possible. Any swelling resolves in seven to 10 days.

Diet: Upon arrival home, you may have some water, juices, soups, puree, shakes, puree, and very soft food. A soft diet is recommended up to three to five days. No hard, crispy, or very spicy foods should be eaten during this period. The general rule is: if they have to chew it, it’s probably too hard. After five to seven days, patients may gradually return to normal foods.

Activity: Parents should make sure that their child gets plenty of rest on day of procedure. Some children feel quite well even on the day of extraction and can resume gentle activities. If IV sedation was given, it’s best to rest on day of surgery and resume some activities on the following day. No sports for two to three days.