Dog owners want nothing but the best for their beloved pets and the decision to spay or neuter them is one of the best they can make for their four-legged friends. It can be nerve-wracking for both man and pooch but the experience will be worth it in the end.
Neutering is more than just about controlling the dog population. The fact is, it allows your pup to have a healthier and longer life. Vets believe that it lowers its risk of specific cancers and also reduces behavioral problems. It will also stop its urge to escape to try and find a mate.
Dog owners have, understandably, concerns about putting their pups through the procedure. Spaying (used for removing a female canine’s reproductive organs) and neutering (the same process, but for male dogs) are kinds of surgery and thus, are no small thing. And like every other kind of surgery, there are risks related to the procedure as well as anesthesia. In reality, though, the actual percentage of complications is quite low, so humans can put their mind at ease.
Before signing up your pup for the procedure, it is critical to learn all about it to be able to prepare your pet and yourself for what is to come. You will also need to learn about how to properly care for your dog after the procedure so that it is able to recuperate well from the surgery.
Before The Surgery
Once your dog is spayed or neutered, it will need to get used to some post-surgery treatment. Because it will be new to them, you can expect a bit of resistance or issues getting your pup to cooperate.
For example, it will need to wear the “cone“ so that it cannot lick or touch their wounds. It might also be subjected to restricted movement, including being stuck at home for some time, during its recovery. Thus, for this amount of time, your pooch might need to wear pads or diapers so it will not make a huge mess at home. Lastly, it might need to be in a crate so that it will not able to move around too much while you are gone. This excessive movement can disrupt the healing process.
On The Day Of The Surgery
Your dog does not need to spend too much time away from home, which is great news for both human and pup. You can immediately bring your pooch to a place it feels safe and comfortable to be able to recover as soon as possible.
This means you drop off your pet in the morning for the procedure and come back in the afternoon or early evening to pick it up. The anesthesia itself only lasts about 15-20 minutes and they will be back to normal 6 hours later. Of course, they might be groggy or suffer some discomfort, but other than that, they should seem normal. When you come to pick up your pooch, the after-surgery care is then transferred to you, the human.
After arriving at the clinic, you may notice something different about your pup, but in general, it should continue to be itself. The anesthesia might take longer to take effect and thus, make your pooch a bit groggy. But these effects only last a few hours. You might notice, however, that your dog has now been shaved and has an incision either down the abdomen (for female canines) or between the legs (for male ones). Some dogs are also tattooed on the bellies to indicate that they have been spayed or neutered.
The gender also plays a huge role in how invasive the surgery was, with females getting a deeper cut compared to males. Still, the cut is similar and the healing should be the same for both genders. So long as there are no complications, you can expect that your pooch will recover within 10 to 14 days.
You might want to keep your pup comfortable for the ride home. You can bring a towel or a carrying case so it does not walk much. You might also want to bring along its favorite toy to cheer it up after the procedure.
Upon Getting Home
You want to give your pup something to eat once you get home. After all, it probably has not had a bite to eat for most of the day. Also, getting some food will help jumpstart the healing process and going back to normal life.
However, do not let your pet run around too much or engage in any activity that may affect the site of the surgery. Going out for a quick pee is, however, an exception within 1 day after the surgery. If your pup, however, is not interested in walking around, then just let it chill out. Like humans, the anesthesia can hit your canine companion hard and it will need some good rest before it starts to act normally again.
The Week After The Surgery
While you can resume your normal activities, you should definitely limit unnecessary movements. This means you might have to carry it up and down the stairs for now. You might also want to separate it from other dogs for the meantime so that it does not join in any rough play. Baths are also not allowed for the next couple of weeks so that the sutures are not disrupted.
It is important to check the site of the surgery for the first couple of days to check whether it is healing as planned. If there is some redness, discharge, or if one of the sutures open up, then you should have your vet look at it. While not always necessary, a cone might be needed if your pup keeps licking or biting the stitches.
Keep your eyes out for its behavior in the next few days after the surgery. You will need to make an appointment with your vet if it does not regain its appetite a day after neutering. You should also see your pup regaining its energy after getting a full night of sleep.
After Two Weeks
You will need another appointment at the vet’s office to get the sutures removed and to have the site checked out professionally. At this point, though, the incision site should be mostly healed.
Tips For Caring For Your Dog
1. Keep Your Pup’s Comfort In Mind
Unfortunately, your dog cannot talk and express its discomfort after surgery. So just try and do your best in keeping it rested and comfortable the first couple of days after being spayed or neutered. Let it lie on a dog bed that will support its weight properly. Let it stay in a quiet part of the house so that it can focus on recovery. Limit its activities and interactions with other pups for the first few days.
2. Feed It Slowly
You should wait until the anesthesia wears off before you give it food. While it will be very hungry after hours of no food, you should take it easy. The drugs used during surgery may affect its gastric motility and numb the gag reflex. Try first with half its usual serving and offer it softer dog food first. Give it tons of water. If your pooch does not return to its ordinary appetite after 48 hours, call the vet immediately.
3. Watch Out For Complications
You might want to keep an eye out just in case your pup displays any complications after the surgery. Some symptoms, like weakness and vomiting, can be expected because the gastrointestinal tract’s function changes temporarily at this time. However, if these symptoms are severe or last well after 2 days, you should ask your vet.
You should also check the site of the incision at least twice a day so that you can monitor its healing. Some swelling and redness are normal immediately after the surgery, but if it does not improve after a couple of days or if it worsens, you should talk to your vet.
4. Get Your Dog A Cone
A dog cone is a good idea after surgery so that your pet does not chew or lick the site of the surgery. Keep it for at least 8 days or until the wound has healed properly so that you can prevent any infection. Even if the wound looks like it is healing already, keep it on because the site will feel quite itchy and your dog will be inclined to lick or chew on it.
Your dog will not be very happy to wear a cone especially if it is its first time. A good tip is to put on the collar before the surgery so it gets used to it slowly and will not resist it as much afterward.
5. Absolutely No Baths
Your vet will definitely advise you to not bathe your pet at least 10 days after the surgery because doing so might let microorganisms into the wounds. These microorganisms and bacteria can lead to an infection, so just wait until the wound heals better before iving it a bath.
Your vet will give you the instructions you need to assist your dog’s recovery after being spayed or neutered. By following these tips, you can make this experience as positive as possible and keep your beloved pet in great health as well.