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How to Care for Your Pet After Spay or Neuter Surgery

Any pet surgery can be stressful for both the pet and the owner. One of the most common pet surgeries is a spay or neuter surgery. Spaying removes a female pet’s reproductive organs, and neutering is the equivalent of surgery for a male pet.

Although your veterinary surgeon will provide you with all the information you need to take the best care of your pet post-surgery, it can be hard to take in information when stressed or nervous. So, to ensure that you are in the best position to look after your pet, here are the most important things to know about looking after your pet after a spay or neuter surgery.


During the Recovery Period

Consider taking time away from your usual schedule or hiring a pet sitter for the 2-week recovery following the surgery. Your pet will need supervision during their recovery as it is not safe to leave them alone for extended periods alone (such as leaving to go to work).

You can leave your pet alone while sleeping and for short periods during the day, but it is vital to check on them often, particularly during the first 12 hours. Ensure that your pet shows no signs of discomfort, such as licking or chewing the incision area, whimpering, or pacing. You should check for any possible signs of infection like discharge or swelling – the incision wound should only be slightly red around the edges. Of course, if you have any concerns, ensure that you call your vet at Greenwood Village Veterinary Clinic for advice.  


When Arriving Home

Your pet will likely not behave like themselves after surgery due to anesthesia and the need to rest. The anesthesia should only take a few hours to wear off, but this may differ slightly depending on the size of your pet. If you are concerned about your pet, as they seem disorientated for longer than expected or are not responsive to you, contact your vet for guidance.


Keep your Pet Comfortable

Let your pet rest somewhere safe and familiar. Ensure that they can lie comfortably with easy access to fresh water. It is vital to regulate your pet’s temperature after surgery, especially in the hot summer months – if you have any concerns about this, contact your veterinary surgeon. Aim to keep young children away from your pet during recovery, as they may agitate or disturb your pet’s rest. Follow the vet’s advice about the administration of medication for pain relief.


When your Pet Needs Washing

You should avoid bathing your pet until they fully recover. If they need cleaning, it is advisable to use dry shampoo for the time being. An alternative suggestion is to wipe your pet’s coat with a damp cloth and make sure to avoid the incision area entirely. Bathing your pet during recovery can introduce harmful bacteria to the incision area and potentially dissolve the outer sutures of your pet’s wound. 


Help with the Recovery Process

You must ensure that your pet avoids strenuous activity during their 2- week recovery period. They should not be running, jumping, rolling, or participating in any activity that could aggravate the incision area. With other pets at home, keep them separated from your pet during recovery. They may spend short amounts of supervised time together; however, they must not be left alone under any circumstances in case the incision wound is reopened or irritated. 

For more tips on how to care for your pet after a spay or neuter surgery, contact Greenwood Village Veterinary Clinic at (303) 771-6304 to reach our animal hospital in Greenwood Village, CO.

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