What To Expect After Neutering My Dog? Some Tips On Surgery Aftercare

Spaying and neutering your pet is a common procedure to prevent unwanted pregnancies in dogs. It can also help with some medical conditions and behavioral problems. If you are planning on spaying or neutering your dog, proper aftercare post surgery will help to ensure a smooth recovery for your dog. 

What to expect after your dog is spayed or neutered

If it’s your first time spaying or neutering your dog, here’s what you can expect when you return home after the surgery. 

Grogginess

It’s normal for your dog to be feeling a little tired or groggy after their surgery. However, if your pet is not responsive and seems very sleepy, it’s better to err on the safe side and call your vet. 

groggy dog
Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash

Medication

Although spaying and neutering dogs are common procedures, they are still surgeries. Your vet will most likely prescribe medication to help with the pain as well as to encourage your pet to heal faster. 

Do follow the medication schedule and administration instructions provided by your vet. Remember not to give human medication to your dog, even if it’s just an aspiring to help with the pain as this can have severe consequences. 

Eating and drinking

As your pet would have been under anesthesia during the surgery, it's best to limit food and water for the first hour upon arriving home. You can start offering some water and a little bit of their usual food after about one or two hours. 

You should be able to give your dog its usual amount of food and water the following morning. If your dog is vomiting or unable to eat normally following the surgery, call your vet immediately. 

Activity levels

Dogs who are healthy will bounce back quickly after the surgery. In fact, most dogs return to their normal self after a day or two. Nevertheless, you should restrict your dog from being too active for at least a week as too much activity can cause inflammation or the surgery site to open. 

Here are some things you can do to help keep your dog quiet

  • Keep your dog in a room so that it does not have access to the whole house. 
  • If you are unable to watch your dog, you can keep it in a crate. Do make sure that your dog can stand up as well as turn inside the crate. 
  • Walks should be short as not to aggravate the surgery site. Make sure that your dog is on a leash when you go for walks. 
  • Make sure that your dog does not play rough for the time being, whether it’s with other people or animals
  • Make sure that your dog does not jump up and down the sofa, or unto any other place that requires him to leap. 
  • If your dog is small enough, carry it up and down the stairs. 

Going to the bathroom

Your dog should be urinating and defecating as normal within 72 hours after the surgery. You should call your vet if your dog is not doing so. 

You should also check if there is blood in your dog’s urine. Female dogs may have a small amount of blood in their urine for the first 24 hours after spaying. However, it is not normal if this continues for more than a day or so. 

Things to look out for after surgery

There are also some things that you should look out for post surgery to ensure that your dog is recovering well:

  • If your dog seems to be in excessive pain, check the surgery incision to see if there is any discharge. 
  • Ensure that your dog does not keep licking the stitches as this can keep it from healing property. If you notice your dog doing so, you can have your dog wear an Elizabethan cone until the stitches are removed to prevent this. While some dogs have trouble walking when wearing these collars, it’s a minor inconvenience to ensure a quick recovery. It’s normal for dogs to take some time to recover and a couple of days to get back to its usual self. However, if you notice your dog still having very low energy or any other unusual symptoms, then it’s best that you call your vet.  

How long does it take for a dog to recover from being neutered?

Most dogs will take about 10 to 14 days before the incisions are fully healed. 

While it may seem like a full two weeks is quite a long time to keep your active dog quiet, the recovery time should be taken seriously. This is to ensure that the stitches do not rupture, causing you to have to restrict your pet even longer. 

Your vet will remove the stitches or staples once the incision is fully healed. 

How do I comfort my dog after neutering?

Similar to humans, surgery for dogs also causes pain and discomfort. Your dog may not be able to communicate this to you in words, but will need some extra care and attention. 

Make sure that your dog is able to lie down comfortably on a dog bed that is able to support its weight. As your dog may be immoblie for a while, a dog bed designed for orthopedic purposes works really well in reducing pressure points that can develop into pressure sores. Pressure sores are more common in areas where the bone is closer to the skin. 

Your dog’s bed should also be in a well ventilated area that is free from noise and restricted from other pets. Noise may agitate your dog and cause stress especially if your dog is still recovering from the effects of anesthesia. It’s best to minimize activities to allow your dog as much rest as possible. 

comforting dog after the surgery
Photo by Avi Naim on Unsplash

Conclusion

Having your dog spayed or neutered can improve its health as well as its behavior. However, these benefits can only be enjoyed if there is proper post surgery after care. Your dog will need you to provide the extra care and attention during this time. Adhere to the instructions given by your vet for a quick recovery. If you are wondering when is the best time to neuter your dog, your vet will be able to give you the best advice based on your dog and breed.
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