Post-op Care for Dogs
1. Keep your dog confined to a quiet area indoors and away from other animals with the e-collar on until the incision is fully healed (typically 8-10 days). Most surgical complications that we see occur because the dog was licking the incision. We cannot stress enough how important it is to leave the e-collar on. If, after 8-10 days, you remove the e-collar and find your dog to be licking the incision, please replace the e-collar for a couple more days, then try again.
2. If your dog went home the same day of surgery, he or she can have a small amount of water and food after 6 pm. The following day, you can resume your normal feeding schedule. Mild diarrhea, not eating, vomiting, constipation, anxiety, and slightly poor balance are all side effects we can see from anesthesia. Symptoms usually resolve within 24 hours. If symptoms are severe or persist, please contact us for further care instructions. If your dog is having trouble eliminating, try taking her for short walks without the e-collar as this can interfere with balance and peripheral vision. Some dogs will avoid urinating and defecating for this reason.
3. Start oral Carprofen (Rimadyl) as prescribed the morning after surgery. Discontinue if there is vomiting or bloody stools and contact us right away. Please give all additional medications as prescribed.
4. Leash walk your dog for the next 8-10 days. Over-activity will lead to complications such as infection, swelling, or opening of the incision. These complications will all significantly delay healing.
5. A small amount of redness and swelling for spays and small dog neuters is normal 3-5 days post-op. If the swelling is severe, is not resolving, or if there is any kind of discharge from the incision, please call us to schedule a recheck. A warm compress twice a day will promote healing and circulation to the area. The majority of large, mature dog neuters will have moderate swelling. If your dog is acting well otherwise, incision complications are rarely a true emergency.
6. Your dog has dissolving stitches which will take 8-12 weeks to dissolve completely.
7. No bathing or swimming for 2 weeks following surgery. If the incision gets soiled, you may gently wipe it clean with warm soapy water, then pat dry.
8. Your dog will have a small tattoo on his/her abdomen. This was done while he/she was under anesthesia and is not causing any additional pain. Tattooing is an important part of a national effort to identify animals that have already been spayed or neutered.
9. Your dog had an oil based lubricant applied to his/her eyes during anesthesia. You may notice some discharge from the eyes for the next 48 hours and it should resolve on its own.
10. Your dog may have a mild cough from tracheal intubation for 48 hours.
11. Recheck policy- A veterinarian or technician is available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 2 pm. If the time is inconvenient for you, you may drop off your pet earlier and pick her up later after the vet has evaluated her. This service is built into the cost of your pet’s surgery. It is your responsibility to call and schedule a recheck if you have concerns. If you seek outside veterinary services, we will not be responsible for your expenses.
12. The Spay & Neuter Center of New Jersey will not be held responsible if you do not follow these instructions or if complications occur that are not directly related to your pet’s surgery.
Comments, concerns, or to schedule a recheck- please call 732-796-0900 ** We are unavailable by phone during non-business hours- all evening and weekend concerns are addressed by email, which we check frequently: [email protected] (please be sure to use “Reply All” for any return correspondence).