Tips on Caring for Your Pet’s Spay or Neuter Incision

Spaying and neutering are routine surgeries for dogs and cats, but that doesn’t mean they come without risks. In very rare cases, they result in complications requiring urgent veterinary care. As their human companion, you play a vital role in healing.

Read on to learn more about some tips on caring for your pet’s spay or neuter incision.

What Are Spaying or Neutering Surgeries?

Spaying is the surgical removal of a female dog or cat’s ovaries and uterus. While neutering is the removal of a male animal’s testicles. Both procedures are considered major surgery requiring general anesthesia. Your pet will also likely stay at the vet’s office for several hours after the operation.

There are a few benefits of these procedures to your pet, such as:

  • Reducing the risk of certain types of cancer
  • Helping control the pet population
  • Decreasing aggression in males
  • Curbing the urge to roam in both sexes

See more here about pet medical and emergency surgeries your pet might need.

Tips on caring for Your Pet Post-Surgery

Here are some tips on postoperative care:

  • Give them plenty of rest. Your pet may seem sleepy and tired for the first 24 hours. This is normal and to be expected due to the anesthesia. Provide them with a quiet and confined area, away from other pets and children in the household. This will help them feel safe and relaxed as they recover. However, if your pet seems unusually lethargic or unresponsive, call your vet right away.
  • Provide a healthy diet. A nutritious diet will help your pet heal properly and fight infection. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink and feed them a balanced diet. If you have any questions about what to feed your pet, talk to your vet. Also, try giving your pet half of their normal diet at least two hours after you arrive home. Give them half of their normal food amount if your cat or dog is less than 16 weeks old. If they vomit or have diarrhea, stop feeding them and call your vet.
  • Keep them calm. Too much activity can cause bleeding or other complications. For the first few days, avoid letting them run, jump or play too roughly. You can gradually let them have more freedom as they start feeling better. But avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks.
  • Monitor their incision site. Keep an eye on the incision site for any redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice anything unusual, call your veterinarian right away. Also, check that the stitches or staples are still in place and have not come loose. You can bathe your pet if their wound has fully healed. 
  • Give them pain medication as prescribed. Your vet will likely send your pet home with some pain medication. Make sure to give it to them as prescribed. If you notice your pet is in pain and the medication doesn’t seem to be working, call your veterinarian.
  • Change their e-collar as needed. An e-collar (or Elizabethan collar) is a cone-shaped device that prevents your pet from licking or scratching their incision. It may take some time for them to get used to it. But keep the e-collar on as directed by your veterinarian. Otherwise, your pet could open up their incision, possibly leading to infection or other complications.
  • Take your pet for follow-up checkups. After your pet comes home, you must take them back to the vet for follow-up checkups. This will allow the vet to check on their incision and ensure it’s healing correctly. They may also need to remove the stitches or staples at this time.

Final Thoughts

Caring for your pet after they’ve undergone a spay or neuter surgery is vital to their recovery process. Consider following these above to help your pet recover quickly and without complications. See this link for more information on vet surgeries and other services like vet dental procedures.


Learn More →