After Surgery

Your dog or cat has undergone general anesthesia and surgical sterilization.  For the safety and well being of you and your animal, follow these post-operative instructions carefully:

  • Dogs and cats must be kept indoors after surgery. Cats must be kept in their carriers for the first evening.  This will enable you to carefully monitor recovery and will prevent complications and risk of death from exposure to outdoor temperature extremes.
  • If your pet was in heat or pregnant at the time of surgery keep her away from male dogs for two weeks.  You may still notice a blood tinged discharge from the vulva for a few days in females.
  • As when any anesthesia is used, stomach upset can occur. To help avoid stomach upset, restrict the amount of food and water your dog or cat consumes during the first 3 hours at home after surgery. You can provide one or two ice cubes to lick or chew during this time. Do not offer food to your animal immediately upon returning home (you may offer a very small amount of food 3 hours after you return home). You can gradually increase the amount of food and water over the next 24 hours.  If your pet appears very tired or exhausted for more than 24 hours after the surgery, has diarrhea, or is vomiting please have your animal checked as these symptoms are not normal.
  • Restrict your animal’s activity for the next 7 days. Do not allow running or jumping.
  • You should check the incision at least twice daily until healed. A small amount of blood seepage is normal immediately after surgery. Should you notice any continued drainage or swelling, contact a veterinarian.  Do not allow pet to lick and chew at the incision.  If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar MUST be applied to prevent it.  All dogs are sent home with one.  Do not remove the collar for a period of 10 days.
  • If the incision looks dirty you can gently clean the area with a cotton ball and warm water.  Do not use Hydrogen Peroxide.
  • You must not allow your dog or cat to get wet for at least 7 days after surgery. For this reason, bathing is also prohibited for at least one week after surgery.
  • If the surgery required the use of sutures, the sutures are dissolvable and should not require removal.  External sutures should be removed at 7 days to reduce inflammation.  Because male cat neuters do not require the use of sutures, we advise using shredded newspaper instead of litter in your cat’s litter box for 7 days after surgery to prevent dust particles from irritating the incisions.
  • DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN OR TYLENOL TO DOGS AND CATS FOR PAIN RELIEF UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PRESCRIBED BY YOUR VETERINARIAN. TYLENOL AND IBPROFEN ARE TOXIC TO ANIMALS AND ASPIRIN CAN BE DEADLY IF ADMINISTERED AFTER SURGERY.
  • Your pet should see your regular veterinarian for a post-operative exam 7-10 days after surgery.  Have the incision checked for complete healing, discuss additional needs, and for follow up care, and boosters.  THIS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE.
  • If you have any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call the office at (972) 472-3500.  If there is an emergency after hours or when our office is closed, contact an emergency vet office.
  • For other questions about your animal’s health, or for emergencies not related to surgery, contact your private veterinarian or the nearest Animal Emergency Clinic. Animal Emergency Clinics are listed in the Yellow Pages under “Veterinary & Animal Hospitals.”