It's a big decision to spay or neuter your dog and you might be worried about the possible complications. Rest assured the odds of a complication are very low, but here our Poway vets discuss what you can expect from spaying/neutering your dog and the signs of complications or infection you should keep an eye out for.
What to Expect After Your Dog's Procedure
Your dog will feel a little queasy or tired right after the procedure which is a normal effect of the anesthesia, your pup will also be given pain medications that will help alleviate the pain. Their appetite will also be reduced during the first 24 hours. Your dog will also have to wear a cone to keep them from licking at the incision site and you shouldn't bathe them or allow them to swim for at least 10-14 days. It's critical to keep the incision site dry until it heals.
It's also essential to limit your dog's activities and make sure they rest until they are recovered. Even if they try to run or jump, it doesn't mean they are healing quicker, dogs don't know that they need to rest so you will have to restrict their movements. Limiting your pup's movements (no running or jumping) could include keeping them in their crate or a small room away from any excitement.
The procedure for spaying female dogs is also more complex than neutering male dogs, but their recovery time should be about the same which is approximately 10 - 14 days. It's essential to keep their cone on, the incision site dry, and their activities limited until they make a full recovery.
Signs of Infection and Complications
Remember it's very rare for there to be any complications following a spay/neuter procedure but, with every surgical procedure, there is some level of risk involved. This makes it very important to follow your veterinarian's instructions for post-operative care carefully. If you do not follow them you are putting your dog at risk for a longer recovery period and possibly other complications and infections. Some of the possible complications following a spay and neuter procedure include:
- Anestetic complications
- Self-inflicted complications
- Poorly healed wound
- Scrotal bruising/swelling in males
- Incontinence problems
- Hernias in females
- Internal bleeding
- Ovarian remnants in females
Below are the signs of infection and complications you need to keep your eye out for:
- 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)
- Acute redness, swelling or bruising at the incision site
- Bleeding or pus from the incision site
- Vomiting or diarrhea longer than 24 hours after the procedure (some immediately after can be normal as a result of anesthesia)
- The incision site reopens
- A bad smell coming from the incision site
Your vet will provide you with more information on what you can expect after the procedure including some minor swelling, lethargy, and vomiting immediately afterward. However, If you see any of the above signs of a complication in your dog it's important to call your veterinarian as soon as possible.