What to Expect After Your Dog's Spay or Neuter Procedure
Once your dog's spay or neuter surgery is complete your pup is likely to feel a little queasy or tired right after the procedure. This is a normal effect of the anesthesia, your pup will also be given pain medications that will help alleviate the pain. Their appetite will also be reduced during the first 24 hours. Your dog will also have to wear a cone to keep them from licking at the incision site and you shouldn't bathe them or allow them to swim for at least 10-14 days. It's critical to keep the incision site dry until it heals.
It's also essential to limit your dog's activities and make sure they rest until they are recovered. Even if they try to run or jump, it doesn't mean they are healing quicker, dogs don't know that they need to rest so you will have to restrict their movements. Limiting your pup's movements (no running or jumping) could include keeping them in their crate or a small room away from any excitement.
Having your female dog spayed is somewhat more complex than neutering male dogs, but their recovery time should be about the same which is approximately 10 - 14 days. It's essential to keep their cone on, the incision site dry, and their activities limited until they make a full recovery.
Keep in mind that it's rare for there to be any complications following a spay/neuter procedure but, with every surgical procedure, there is some level of risk involved. This makes it very important to follow your veterinarian's instructions for post-operative care carefully. If you do not follow them you are putting your dog at risk for a longer recovery period and possibly other complications and infections. Some of the possible complications following a spay and neuter procedure include:
- Anestetic complications
- Self-inflicted complications
- Poorly healed wound
- Scrotal bruising/swelling in males
- Incontinence problems
- Hernias in females
- Internal bleeding
- Ovarian remnants in females
Signs of Infection in a Recently Spayed or Neutered Dog
Below are the signs of infection and complications you need to keep your eye out for after your dog is spayed or neutered:
- Lethargy for more than a couple of days
- Refusal to eat more than a couple of meals
- Signs of pain for longer than a week (shaking, hiding, drooling)
- Acute redness, swelling or bruising at the incision site
- Bleeding or pus from the incision site
- Vomiting or diarrhea longer than 24 hours after the procedure (some immediately after can be normal as a result of anesthesia)
- The incision site reopens
- A bad smell coming from the incision site
Your vet will provide you with more information on what you can expect after the procedure including some minor swelling, lethargy, and vomiting immediately afterward. However, If you see any of the above signs of a complication in your dog it's important to call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.