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Post-surgery information for spaying/neutering

Thank you for having your cat or dog spayed/neutered! Although spay and neuter surgeries are a common procedure, please remember that your pet has just gone through surgery and he/she needs proper care to recover. Your pet also requires a clean, warm and dry indoor environment.

Note: If there is a medical concern regarding your pet's spay/neuter surgery, contact the Animal Services Centre Clinic during regular business hours. After regular business hours, please contact a veterinary clinic.

What should I do when my pet arrives home after surgery?

  • Your pet has been given a sedative and/or a general anaesthetic. These drugs take a few hours to wear off. As a result, your pet may appear drowsy. This drowsiness may continue for a day or so.
  • Keep your pet warm and comfortable; ideally in a quiet draft-free room that is 20-22 degrees Celsius.
  • Provide fresh water unless otherwise instructed.
  • Please keep your pet indoors overnight or longer as advised.
  • After a few hours at home, you can offer your pet a small amount of food: half the regular amount of his dinner. You can serve him the regular amount of food the following morning. If there is vomiting or diarrhea, please stop any medication that may have been sent home and call the Animal Services Centre Clinic at 403-268-6463 during regular business hours only. If this occurs outside of regular business hours contact a veterinary clinic.
  • So that healing is not delayed, discourage any jumping or activity that will cause excessive stretching of the wound.

How can I prevent my pet from licking or chewing the wound?

Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. If he does he can open the incision or cause infection which may incur additional veterinary costs. To avoid this, we strongly recommend that you purchase bitter apple or orange spray for cats and an Elizabethan collar for dogs (unless otherwise provided by the veterinarian). If a collar is needed keep it on continuously until the incision has completely healed.

Monitoring the surgical site

You may notice some bruising around the incision which may not appear until a few days after surgery. Bruising is due to seepage of blood under the skin. Keep the incision clean and dry at all times.

Do stitches need to be removed?

Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures. All sutures are absorbable on the inside. Do not apply any topical medication to the incision site but keep it dry and clean. If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, you will need to return with your pet in 10-14 days to have those removed.

When can normal activity be resumed?

Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet. It is very important to limit activity for 10 to 14 days after surgery. There should be no jumping, running, playing, swimming, climbing stairs or other strenuous activities conducted during the 10 to 14 day-recovery period. Dogs must be placed on a leash for toilet purposes during this time. If your pet has received a microchip, do not brush, groom, bathe, or pet the animal excessively in the area of the microchip for the first 24 hours.

My pet has developed a cough. Is this a concern?

An endotracheal tube was placed in your pet's windpipe (trachea) during the anaesthetic. This may cause a mild irritation and a slight cough. The cough should subside over the next few days. However, if it persists, please call your veterinarian.

If you notice the following:

  • Swelling, excessive redness of the skin or discharge at the incision site.
  • Blood continues to seep from the incision site for more than 24 hours after surgery. If the seepage is intermittent and it has not been 24 hours since the surgery was conducted, the animal has probably been too active so reduce their activity level.
  • Large quantities of blood or the skin edges along the incision are no longer together.

Contact the Animal Services Clinic during regular business hours or your veterinarian if the Animal Services Centre Clinic is closed. ​​​​​​​​​