Congratulations you are being a responsible parent and helping control the pet population. While very much worth it, the operation your pet is about to undergo is no picnic or walk in the park. It is serious. Here are some tips to get you and your pup through it:
Preparation for the neutering surgery will begin the night before. The dog should not receive food 10-12 hours before the operation. This will ensure that the dog’s stomach has emptied by the time he’s put under general anesthesia and decrease the chances he will vomit and aspirate it into his lungs.
Here are some ideas to prep your house for a less mobile pet:
1. Raise the dog bowls up off the ground so that the dog can easily access while wearing a cone. (a box turned upside down will do)
2. Line your dog’s bed with plastic, most likely he will vomit after the surgery. You can use a gallon trash back opened and duct tape.
3. Make sure your dog’s bed, food and water is in a quiet room, free of stairs or obstacles, away from other animals and children, and off of any carpeting.
4. Give your dog plenty of love and reinforcement.
Immediately following the operation your pet will typically require 18-24 hours to recover from the general anesthesia. When a dog owner picks up the dog from the veterinarian dog may exhibit symptoms like:
• Grogginess, Lethargy and Sleeping (more than usual)
• Clumsiness – Your dog will be unsteady and prone to falling after surgery, do to anesthesia, the cone they are wearing and soreness from the operation. Falling can be very dangerous following the operation, as it can easily reopen the wound. Make sure your dog as easy and free access to water, food and bed free from obstacles (no stairs)
• Little/No Appetite – Try replacing dog’s normal diet with boiled chicken and rice (this will also help with nausea and vomiting)
• Nausea & Vomiting –Provide him with ice chips and electrolytes (i.e. unflavored Pedialyte or Gatorade) to keep hydrated.
• Bathroom Accidents – Your dog will need more frequent walks then usual ideally every 2-3 hours especially the first 24 hours due to loss in sensation from the anesthesia.
• Aggression (usually toward other pets) – Many dogs get aggressive after spaying surgery due to the pain and unusual physical sensations that can result from the anesthesia. Therefore, we’ll need to isolate the dog from other pets and children.
Most of the symptoms following the dog’s surgery will generally disappear by the following morning.
Days Following the Surgery
• Limit activity. The dog’s incision will need time to heal and running and playing can disrupt or even delay healing. Therefore, the dog must be kept quiet with leash walks only for 10 to 14 days after the surgery.
• Monitor the incision. The incision will take 10 to 14 days to heal. Dog owners must check the dog’s surgical incision several times a day. Look for swelling, redness or discharge. Often, if a dog’s incision gets infected, the edges of the wound will pull apart, forming a gap – another warning sign. If there are any signs of an infection, return or call your local vet.
• Clean the incision. Daily, clean the incision by applying a bit of betadine (applied to a sterile gauze pad or cotton ball) and dab to disinfect the area. Allow the betadine to air dry.
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