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Assisting Your Pet in Bouncing Back from Spay/Neuter Surgery

March 01, 2024

With the arrival of spring, many animals enter their breeding season. In the veterinary world, the focus often turns to spaying and neutering during February and March to manage the surge of newborn kittens and puppies that typically accompanies spring. Apart from preventing unwanted litters, spaying or neutering your pet addresses various behavioral concerns. After the procedure, Fido and Fluffy tend to exhibit enhanced calmness and improved behavior. Despite its routine nature, it’s vital to offer your pet extra care during recovery. Learn from insights shared by a Galloway, OH veterinarian who addresses common concerns and provides tips for promoting your furry friend’s speedy and seamless recovery.


Can My Pet Run or Jump After Surgery?


Limiting your pet’s activity is vital during the recovery phase, particularly in the initial days post-surgery. It’s recommended to confine your pet to a restricted space for the critical 3-5 days. Consider using a dog crate or puppy pen to ensure both Fido and Fluffy are safely contained.


Initially, your pet will likely spend much of their time sleeping as their body undergoes the healing process. Gradually, after a few days, they may begin to show signs of increased energy. However, complete recovery will take a minimum of 10 to 14 days. It’s crucial to avoid letting your pet engage in activities like running, jumping, or vigorous play during this period. While Fido will still require short, leashed walks, refrain from longer outings to prevent strain. Remember, there will be plenty of time for play and adventure once they’re fully healed.


How Can I Make My Pet’s Spay/Neuter Healing Process Easier?


Following discharge, your vet will send you with tailored post-op instructions, covering medication administration and dietary guidelines for your pet’s return home. These instructions may differ slightly based on individual needs. Nonetheless, we’re here to supplement their advice with some extra pointers!


These are our recommendations:


Don’t Hesitate to Ask Any Questions Before You Head Out


The experience of bringing your cherished furry friend for a procedure, even a common one, can be stressful. To tackle any concerns or questions you may have beforehand, consider jotting them down or setting a voice reminder. This preparation will help you remember crucial details during your visit to the clinic.


Stick to the Directions Exactly


Post-visit, your clinic will provide you with after-care instructions, typically on a sheet. These will outline the essential do’s and don’ts for your pet’s recovery. Take the time to go through them and ask for clarification on any unclear points.


Give food instructions extra attention. Your Galloway, OH vet might advise providing only a small meal after surgery or waiting until the next day.


Safeguard the Stitches by Using the Proper Gear


It’s customary for Fluffy and Fido to be sent home with an Elizabethan collar post-surgery, despite their displeasure. Despite their reluctance, this collar is essential for their safety. As the surgical site heals, itching is inevitable, leading pets to scratch or bite, risking damage to the stitches. Therefore, the collar serves as a preventative measure against potential complications.


An inflatable collar for your pet may be something to consider. These are more comfortable and provide less interference with your pet’s vision than traditional e-collars. Seek advice from your vet to be sure there are no concerns with this option.


Be aware that some pets are determined to get out of these collars, even if it means risking injury. If your pet absolutely refuses the collar, contact the clinic for guidance.


Get Your Pet a Nice Bed


Thinking about getting your pet a new bed? Now’s the perfect opportunity! Providing Fido or Fluffy with a comfortable, cozy spot to rest during their recovery will be greatly appreciated. Consider adding soft blankets, but be cautious of fibers that could stick to your pet’s stitches.


Background music or dog and cat TV may help keep them relaxed and entertained. Consider this option while they’re in recovery to help with their mental stimulation.


Ensure Other Pets Stay Separated


It’s advisable to keep your furry patient in a separate area if you have multiple pets while they’re healing. Despite their close relationship and affectionate nature, prioritizing healing over potential risks is essential.


Control Exercise Levels


Despite their playful and energetic nature, Fido and Fluffy should avoid vigorous running or play until they’ve fully healed and received the vet’s approval. Keep Fluffy’s climbing structures stored until she’s fully cleared for activity.


Keep a Close Watch on the Incision


You will need to frequently monitor your pet’s stitches or incision. Be attentive for any concerning signs and promptly contact your Galloway, OH vet if you observe any abnormalities.


Keep an eye for these possible issues:


  • Pus
  • Redness
  • Discoloration
  • Swelling
  • Foul Odor
  • Bleeding

Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and lethargy are other warning signs that would warrant a call to your veterinarian.

Be Cautious with Medication Administration

Stick to the prescribed pain meds’ instructions precisely. Do not give your pet any other medications during their recovery unless expressly permitted by your veterinarian.


Give Comfort and Affection


In the first few days, most pets tend to sleep a lot. It’s best to let your furry friend focus on healing during this time. However, offering gentle pets and forehead kisses may provide comfort to your adorable patient, but respect their boundaries as some pets may prefer to recover in solitude.


Put Off Baths and Grooming


Grooming plays a significant role in maintaining your pet’s health. However, it’s essential to refrain from getting the incision wet or exposing it to soap or dirty water during baths or grooming. Wait for your Galloway, OH vet’s approval before resuming grooming activities. For spot cleaning, consider using pet wipes or a damp cloth, avoiding the incision area. If your pet somehow manages to get their surgical site wet, contact the clinic for guidance.


How Long Does It Take for My Pet to Heal After Surgery?


Typically, males tend to recover faster than females and it takes about 10 days to 2 weeks for full recovery. Even if you notice improvements in your pet’s condition after the first few days, remember they’re still healing. Excessive movement can cause torn stitches and further complications that may delay their healing time.


Is It Okay to Leave My Pet Alone Post Spay/Neuter Surgery?


Understanding that it’s unrealistic for most individuals to provide round-the-clock care for their pets for two weeks, it’s still advisable to keep a close eye on them for the first 12-48 hours post-surgery.


This is a great opportunity for a mini-staycation if you can swing it! Utilize the time to catch up on your favorite show, read your favorite book, or work on a home project.


Should I Take My Dog for a Walk After Spay/Neuter Surgery?


Fido will definitely require bathroom breaks; it’s unavoidable. Try to keep these outings brief and prevent him from engaging in any excessive running or interactions with other dogs.


Will Cats Use a Litter Box After Being Spayed?


Fluffy will still need to use the litter box, so ensure it’s clean. Even if you don’t scoop daily, it’s wise to do so during the recovery process.


It may be worth swapping out a high-sided litterbox for one with lower walls if needed, readily found at pet stores for an affordable price.


Considering spay/neuter surgery for your pet? Unsure about the recovery process? Contact us, Angel Animal Hospital in Galloway, OH, for assistance today!

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175 Galloway Rd.
Galloway, OH 43119
t: (614) 870-3900
f: (614) 870-6655

Also serving Westland and
surrounding areas.

Opening Hours:
Hours are by appointment only including those for medication, food, and product pick-up.