Spaying or neutering your dog is a big decision, and you might be concerned about the potential complications. Although the chances of a complication are slim, our Fremont veterinarians discuss what to expect from spaying/neutering your dog and the signs of complications or infection to watch for.
What to Expect After Your Dog's Procedure
Your dog may feel a little queasy or tired after the procedure, which is a common side effect of anesthesia; however, your dog will be given pain medications to help alleviate the discomfort. During the first 24 hours, their appetite will be reduced as well. Your dog will need to wear a cone to avoid licking the incision site, and you should not bathe or allow them to swim for at least 10-14 days. Keeping the incision site dry until it heals is critical.
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 your female dog being spayed or make dog being neutered, 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 veterinarian will give you more information about what to expect after the procedure, which may include minor swelling, lethargy, and vomiting. However, if your dog exhibits any of the above symptoms of a complication, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.