Spaying and neutering are the most common surgical procedures performed by vets. Here’s what you can do after the surgery to help ease your pet’s recovery:
Immediately following surgery:
• Bring your pet home the same day after the operation. Your pet will be more
comfortable in familiar surroundings and you can check on their comfort during
• Post-surgery instructions: Make sure you understand the post-surgery
instructions provided by the animal clinic (ask questions if anything is unclear).
• Medications: Most likely, your pet will have been given pain medication at the
clinic; if pain medication is to be given at home, follow the
instructions carefully. Do not give human pain medications which can be
dangerous for pets.
• Food: Follow the vet’s instructions regarding feeding. Don’t feed too much
immediately following surgery.
• Bed: Make sure your pet is indoors, dry, warm and comfortable in his/her basket
with a warm blanket. Cats may hide after surgery – it is best to block off areas
where cats may hide so that you can monitor your pet.
• You: Your pet may not wish to be touched much after the surgery, but stay nearby to help your
pet feel secure and relaxed.
• Restrict exercise to short walks for about 2 weeks following surgery to prevent reopening
the incision, pain or infection.
• Monitor your pet to prevent running, jumping on furniture or rough play.
• Your pet should naturally avoid strenuous activities in the days following surgery, but if your pet is
too active too soon, it might be necessary to cut back on pain medication.
• Limit outdoor time, especially for very energetic pets.
• It is best to have your pet bathed before the surgery. Following surgery, avoid bathing your pet
for 2 weeks.
• Keep your pet away from swimming pools.
• Do not allow your pet to lie on wet grass.
• Monitor outdoor time to ensure that your pet stays dry.
• Keep the incision area dry.
• Check the incision area periodically to make sure it’s clean and that it is healing.
• Do not allow your pet to lick, scratch or disturb the incision – it may be necessary to fit a
cone-shaped collar on your pet to keep him/her from disturbing the incision area. Remove the
collar at feeding time, but carefully monitor your pet when the collar isn’t on!
• Some swelling and redness is common. The development of hard tissue in the area may also
• Discharge, bleeding or foul odour can be signs of infection. In such cases, your pet must be seen
by the vet as soon as possible.
• If dissolvable sutures or skin glue were used to seal the incision, these will be absorbed in about
2 weeks. If silk, nylon or metal sutures were used, these will require a return visit to the vet for
removal in about 2 weeks.
Other Signs of Trouble
If your pet shows any of the following signs, it is important to see the vet:
• Drowsiness, Sluggishness, Lethargy (after 48 hours)
• Lack of Appetite after the First Day
• Failure to “Go”
• Decreased Mobility
• Rapid Decline of Health