Caring for Your Pet after Spaying or Neutering

After you spay or neuter your pet at our clinic in Toronto, you may wonder how to best take care of your furry friend. It’s a vulnerable time in his or her life, and you want to make sure that post-op care goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some general guidelines to follow, but be sure to check with your vet for any additional recommendations.


Behavioural attitudes after surgery

No matter how sweet and loving your pet normally is, his or her post-op personality may be less than friendly. Often the best salve in the initial hours following a surgery is space and rest. You can expect your pet to be groggy, disoriented and possibly cranky. Approach your animal cautiously.

When to offer food and drink

Once your pet is fully awake, you may offer him or her food and drink. Some pets feel nauseas for up to 24 hours after anaesthesia and are therefore initially uninterested in eating. This is okay, as long as their usual appetite returns the following day. Ensure that no dietary changes are made for the ten days following their spay or neuter. Avoid giving any treats, table scraps, milk, or other human food.

Keep your animal indoors

Many pets that we spay and neuter are accustomed to freely roaming in their yards in Markham, Scarborough, or Toronto. However, for ten days following surgery, it’s important to keep your pet indoors. It’s fine to take dogs on short walks if they’re leashed, but otherwise pets are to be strictly kept at home.

Other restrictions

It’s important to keep the wound clean, dry and free from agitation. Therefore, the following restrictions are necessary to ensure proper healing. Your cat or dog needs to be kept from:

  • Licking their wound. Sometimes an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) is necessary for this reason. 
  • Jumping and other strenuous movement. 
  • Using stairs.
  • Bathing or swimming.
  • Professional grooming.


Monitor the healing process

A couple of times a day, you should examine the incision site for redness, discharge, swelling or bumps. Basically, the area should look the same as it did when you picked up your pet from the clinic. 


When to call the vet

The majority of pets we spay and neuter recover without a hitch. However, complications do occasionally occur. If your animal has any of the following symptoms, call us immediately.

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Discharge or bleeding from the wound
  • Decreased appetite
  • Pale gums
  • Depression or lethargy after initial 24 hours


If you have any concerns or questions about your pet, please contact us right away at Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic. We’re here to help before and after every animal spay, neuter or vaccination at our Toronto clinic.

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