Post Op Care For Your Spayed Or Neutered Pet

Posted on: 5 October 2015


Most pet owners know that spaying or neutering their pets helps prevent unwanted litters, and the majority of shelters will even perform the surgery before they make pets available for adoption. If you have a dog or cat that needs to have the operation performed, there are some things you should know about the care they will need afterward. While it is not major surgery, keep in mind that your pet has just undergone surgery that required full anesthesia, so they will need some extra assistance for a while.

Immediate Care

When you retrieve your cat or dog after surgery, be sure you've prepared a soft, comfortable place for them to rest. It can take almost a full 24 hours or longer for the medication to fully wear off, so they will be tired and groggy. Be sure to talk to them in a soothing voice and give them some privacy where it will be quiet and peaceful. Your pet will probably need your help to get in and out of the car when you pick them up, so be mindful of their stitches and lift them up and lay them down gently. Keep pets who've just had surgery away from children since they may be more prone to bite due to being irritable while recovering.

Surgery Site

The site of the incision should not show any signs of swelling or puss. There may be redness, but if you notice swelling or leaking, call your veterinarian immediately so they can check for a possible infection. Your pet will want to lick the area since it will be irritated, so you might want to keep a cone around their neck temporarily to prevent them from bothering the incision area. If the veterinarian used staples, you'll have to come back to the clinic within a week or so to have them removed. Do not give your pet a bath after the surgery until the incision has fully healed.

Food and Other Care

Immediately after surgery, your pet may not appear to have much of an appetite. Once their appetite returns, introduce food slowly by only offering a small amount at a time. Do provide plenty of water, since the medication will make them thirsty. After a full day, you can return to feeding them normally again. Keep an eye on your pet for a few days immediately following surgery to ensure they are comfortable and are not biting at the surgery site. Within the next three days, your dog or cat should return to feeling normal and will be their old, playful self again. For assistance, talk to a professional like Haverford Animal Hospital.