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Road To Recovery: Post-Operative Spay And Neuter Care
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Before your dog heads into surgery, here’s what you should know about the spay and neuter procedure
If you’re going to have your dog spayed or neutered, you’ll also have to be prepared for the procedure itself. It’s a surgical operation that requires preparation, comes with risks and needs aftercare. Here are the basics about spaying and neutering procedure:
What Is Spaying and Neutering?
These surgical procedures performed by skilled veterinarians that ensure dogs can’t breed by removing their reproductive organs. Spaying (also known as an ovariohysterectomy) is performed on a female dog and consists of the complete removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and both ovaries. For male dogs, they undergo what’s called neutering (known as castration or orchidectomy), which includes the complete removal of the testicles.
The Recovery Process for Spayed or Neutered Dogs
If you’re a first-time owner and this is your first operation, it’s normal that you’re a bit nervous taking care of your patient. Your vet will go over all of the post-operative instructions that you’re going to need to follow to make your patient comfortable. Many vets will advise you to withhold food and water up to a certain time before the surgery. And depending on where you take your dog for the operation, many will require your dog to spend the night for observation.
It’s not unusual for there to be some discomfort after the surgery and your vet can give your dog medication for the pain. Pills can be sent home with you and tapered off as the wound begins to heal. To make sure your dog gets better quickly, here are a few tips to follow:
- Your dog may have to wear the notorious “cone of shame.” But these days, there are many options available that are flexible and aren’t even cone shaped. Your veterinarian can recommend a few to try and may even have them on site. This will prevent him from licking the incision site.
- Prepare a quiet zone for your dog, away from the family and other pets.
- Take it easy – no running, roughhousing, long walks or jumping first few days following surgery.
- No baths for at least 10 days after surgery.
- Meals should be about 1/4 of the size they usually are the first day after surgery. A large amount of food will only upset their stomach.
- Check the incision site daily to ensure proper healing.
- If the incision becomes dirty, clean the area with a clean cloth and warm water.
- A little extra TLC never hurts anyone after surgery.
You should head straight to your veterinarian if you notice any redness, swelling or discharge, or if the incision is open. A visit to the vet is in order if your dog is lethargic, has a decreased appetite, is vomiting or has diarrhea after surgery.
Be sure to give your dog enough time to heal, keep a close eye on him and keep your follow-up appointments with your vet for checkups.