Your pet has had major surgery and will need to be well cared-for afterwards to help prevent complications. Following the instructions below will help ensure your pet has a successful recovery.
What to expect when you get your pet home
Your pet has had major surgery. The surgery requires general anesthesia. The patient is completely asleep and unable to feel or move. In female dogs and cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. Females are unable to get pregnant. In both male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. Removal of the testicles prevents production of sperm and the male dog or cat will no longer be able to father puppies or kittens.
Female dogs and cats have a mid-line incision in their abdomen. Male dogs have an incision just above the scrotum and male cats have two incisions, one in each side of the scrotum. Check the incision site at least twice daily. What you see today is what we consider normal. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal. Male cats may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal, the swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO LICK OR CHEW AT THE INCISION. If this occurs, we recommend you purchase an E-collar to prevent them from being able to reach the area. Your pet has received a pain injection.
If your female dog or cat was in heat at the time of surgery, you must keep them away from un-neutered males for at least two weeks. While they are unable to become pregnant, they will still attract intact males, for a short period of time.
Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures. All sutures are absorbable on the inside and the very outer layer of skin is held together with surgical glue. Do not clean or apply topical ointment to the incision site. If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, they will need to return in 7-10 days to have those removed. Male cats do not have any sutures.
Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet. It is very important that you limit your pet’s activity for the next 7-10 days. No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity during the 7-10 day recovery period. Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm. Do not bathe your pet during the recovery period. Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats must be kept inside. Keep your pet quiet. Dogs and female cats have internal and external sutures that provide strength to the tissue as they heal. Any strenuous activity could disrupt this healing process. The healing process takes at least 7 days.
Their appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Lethargy lasting for more than 24 hours after surgery, diarrhea, or vomiting are not normal and you should contact us immediately. Do not change your pet’s diet at this time and do not give junk food, table scraps, milk or any other people food for a period of one week. This could mask post-surgical complications.
Spaying and neutering are very safe surgeries; however, complications can occur. Minimal redness and swelling should resolve within several days. If it persists longer, please contact us. Please contact us immediately if you notice any of the following:
- pale gums
- discharge or bleeding from the incision
- difficulty urinating
- labored breathing
If you have any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call this office at (336) 299-3999. If there is an emergency after hours, contact your regular veterinarian or After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic at (336) 851-1990.
Planned Pethood will treat at our clinic, at minimal cost, any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-operative instructions are followed in full. Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, or for contagious disease for which the animal was not previously properly vaccinated.