Your dog or cat has undergone general anesthesia and surgical sterilization. For the safety and well-being of you and your pet, follow these post-operative instructions carefully:
The first 24 hours post-surgery
Allow your pet to recover in a quiet, safe place indoors.
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.
Be aware that your pet’s behavior may be slightly altered in the first 24 hours after surgery due to the anesthesia. For example, they may be glassy-eyed, sleepy, nauseous, wobbly, vocal, shivering, or irritable
Encourage frequent movement indoors to help your pet recover from the anesthesia. Allowing them to rest uninterrupted will result in longer recovery and potential complications
Offer small amounts of the food they eat regularly and water later in the evening. Your pet may feel nauseous, and it can take up to 48 hours for their appetite to return to normal.
You may notice your pet received a small green tattoo, indicating they’ve been sterilized. This tattoo is not an extra incision and does not require cleaning
The 10-14 days following surgery
Your pet should be closely supervised and on an exercise restriction for the next 10-14 days. Keep your pet quiet as quiet as possible during the first two weeks. Avoid running, jumping, and excessive playing. Strenuous activity increases your pet’s risk of developing swelling around the incision site that could result in premature dissolving of sutures, opening of the incision,
Keep the incision dry. No bathing, swimming,
Use shredded newspaper for kitty litter to prevent dust particles from irritating the incision.
Check the incision twice daily until healed.
Do not allow your pet to lick, scratch, or chew the incision. An Elizabethan collar (E-collar) is provided and must be worn to help prevent potentially serious postoperative complications.
Male dogs and cats can still impregnate an unsterilized female up to one month after surgery. Please keep a close eye on your pet.
If sutures were used, you will be instructed to come back to the clinic in 14 days to get them removed.
DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN OR TYLENOL TO DOGS AND CATS FOR PAIN RELIEF UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PRESCRIBED BY YOUR VETERINARIAN. TYLENOL AND IBUPROFEN ARE TOXIC TO PETS AND ASPIRIN CAN BE DEADLY IF ADMINISTERED AFTER SURGERY.
Protecting your pet’s incision
Do not allow your pet to lick or chew their incision. Licking can lead to serious complications like the incision opening or becoming infected. This can be painful and may require follow-up visits which could result in unexpected costs.
Normal issues after surgery
What to watch out for
Redness around the incision site
Discharge from the incision, particularly if it’s not clear and thin
A foul smell emanating from the incision
Opening of the incision where the brightly-colored subcutaneous tissues are exposed
Swelling of the incision, particularly if it’s bulging
Acute redness, swelling or bruising at the incision site
Lethargy for more than a couple of days
Refusal to eat more than a couple of meals
Signs of pain for longer than a week (shaking, hiding, drooling)
Vomiting or diarrhea longer than 24 hours after the procedure (some immediately after can be normal as a result of anesthesia)
Bleeding or pus from the incision site
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 pet’s health, or for emergencies not related to surgery, contact your private veterinarian or the nearest Animal Emergency Clinic.