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 things to keep a close eye on when caring for your newly spayed or neutered pet, and how you can best address any issues that might arise.
Excessive licking of the incision sight can cause infection or reopen the incision. If you aren't able to keep your pet from licking the area, you can use an Elizabethan collar also called an E-Collar which will prevent your animal from being able to reach the incision sight.
E-collars are typically made of hard plastic, but also available are Elizabethan style collars that are made of a more flexible material. A pet who is too active after surgery can reopen an incision sight and can also lead to infection. If your dog insists on being active while he or she is still healing, you can use a crate to restrict activity.
To prevent boredom, give him a toy or a treat ball like a KONG to keep them stimulated. For cats, you may consider isolating your pet in a bedroom or a bathroom for a few days to keep your cat from being too active while healing is taking place.
Make sure the cat has toys to keep him or her entertained and spend some one-on-one time with your cat to prevent loneliness. You should check the incision sight daily to ensure it is healing properly. If you notice there are missing sutures or if the incision appears to be opening up, you should have it looked at by your veterinarian.
Some redness is typical after surgery, but if it gets worse or you notice any swelling or discharge, you should contact your veterinarian. There may also be a little oozing or bleeding right after surgery, but if it doesn't stop within a few hours, contact your veterinarian right away.
Be sure to observe your pet for other side effects such as a decreased appetite, not drinking water, vomiting, diarrhea or extreme tiredness. It's not uncommon for a pet not to want to eat for a few hours after coming home or maybe until the next day, but your pet should be back to normal a day or two after surgery.
Notify your veterinarian if your pet still doesn't want to eat the next day, isn't drinking water, is vomiting or has diarrhea. So those are just a few of the things to keep a close eye on when caring for your newly spayed or neutered pet.