What to Expect Following a Spay or Neuter
With any surgery, post-operative care and recovery is just as important as the procedure itself. Today, we will review the most important things to keep in mind when you bring your pet home after a visit to your local TCAP clinic for your pet’s spay or neuter.
The Patient May Be Impatient
Since your pet does not know to limit his activity, to keep his incision dry, or to refrain from licking his incision, it will be up to you to make certain these important post-operative instructions are followed. If not, each of these situations can cause serious post-operative complications.
Most pets have a higher pain tolerance than we do. Oftentimes, their body tells them that they are 100% better before their incision has had time to heal. In some cases, as soon as the effects of the anesthesia wear off, your pet can be back to her old-playful self. An average incision typically takes 10-14 days to fully heal. This means remaining disciplined as a pet owner and keeping your pet’s e-collar on while limiting her activity levels for at least 2 weeks following the surgery is a must. The best way to do this is to keep her in her kennel or in a small room (such as a guest bathroom) away from children, other pets, and any other exciting stimuli. When you let your dog outside, make certain to keep her on a leash. Light walking is okay during this recovery time, but running is absolutely not allowed.
You will need to watch for signs that your pet’s recovery is coming along smoothly. While viewing the incision site, please note that your pet may have buried sutures that may not be visible on the skin. The incision should be closed and not open.
It is important that you monitor your pet’s surgery site daily to check for signs of bleeding or infection (i.e. weeping or oozing wounds, puffiness, or bubble-like masses under the skin). Male dog’s scrotums may swell after being neutered. A small amount of swelling can be typical. If a large amount of swelling does occur, you will need to bring him back to a TCAP for a follow up. Observe your pet for extended periods of lethargy, loss of appetite, or constipation. These symptoms may warrant a need to come in for a free recheck (please note that the anesthesia may cause your pet to feel nauseous up to 24 hours following the procedure and this may briefly affect their appetite).
If you notice any issues with your pet’s incision site or major changes in your pet’s behavior, we encourage you to bring him by a TCAP clinic during our walk-in vaccine hours for a free recheck.
At TCAP, we are here to support you during your pet’s recovery process. We recognize that having your pet spayed or neutered can be a scary process, but we work to make the experience as pleasant and easy as possible for both you and your pet. If you find that you have questions following your pet’s surgery, please feel free to bring them by for a free recheck during our walk-in vaccine hours or reach out to our Client Care Coordinator, her phone number is located on the bottom of your yellow Post-Operative Care and Pet Discharge Instructions.