Spay or Neuter Care – The First Week After Surgery

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,024
    Dr. Justine Johnson discusses what you need to know for the first week after surgery.

    Justine Johnson: Hello! I am Dr. Justine Johnson. I am a member of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association as well as the co-owner of Ocean State Veterinary Specialists, a referral and emergency clinic in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

    Today, I am discussing how to care for your pet during the first week after a spay or a neuter surgery. It's important to keep your pet comfortable and quiet. You should restrict your pet's activity to avoid reopening an incision. Your dog should go for short walks on a leash.

    However, you may consider using a crate or small room to restrict his activity between walks. Make sure you give him a toy or a treat ball like a KONG so that he doesn't get bored.

    For cats, you may consider isolating her in a bedroom or a bathroom for a few days to keep her from playing with other pets while healing is taking place. Make sure your cat has toys to keep her entertained and spend some one-on-one time with your cat to prevent loneliness. Your pet will feel back to normal in just a few days but will not be fully healed until seven to ten days after surgery.

    So excessive running, jumping and rough play are discouraged during this time. Your pet may have some discomfort much like you would feel after surgery but he or she shouldn't be in pain. Your veterinarian may or may not send your pet home with pain medication.

    If this is a concern for you, ask your veterinarian to prescribe something to help with pain after surgery and ask them to explain how to administer the medication to your pet. It is especially important to not give your pet human medication to relieve pain as these can be toxic to pets, particularly acetaminophen or Tylenol. Only give your pet medications prescribed by veterinarians. Your veterinarian may use dissolvable or removable suture for the surgery depending on his or her preference.

    If dissolvable suture is used, you will not need to take your pet back to the clinic to have them removed since they will be absorbed as the incision is healed. If the removable switcher is used, you will need to bring your pet back to veterinary clinic to have them removed after the incision is healed which is generally seven to ten days after the surgery. Your veterinarian will let you know whether or not you will need to bring your pet back to remove the sutures. So that's how to care for your pet the first week after surgery.