After Surgery

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  • Calm and Quiet
  • No Running
  • No Jumping
  • Cats Should Remain Indoors
  • Dogs Should Be Walked on a Leash
  • Dogs Should Not Sleep Outside
  • Dogs Should Not Be Left Out on a Chain
  • Females Who Were in Heat Should Be Separated From Males
  • E-Collars and Cones Must Be Worn (except male cats and feral cats)

Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures. All sutures are absorbable on the inside and the very outer layer of skin is held together with surgical glue. Do not clean or apply topical ointment to the incision site. If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, they will need to return in 7-10 days to have those removed. Male cats do not have any sutures.
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  • No Bathing
  • No Swimming
  • No Professional Dog Grooming
  • E-Collars continued if pet is still trying to chew incision or very active

Surgical Rechecks

  • If you have any concerns over your Pets incision or health, please call the office right away (after-hours Emergency number is printed on the pink paperwork that will come out with your pet).
  • We see any Surgical Recheck Appointments at 3:00 pm Monday – Friday (Please call ahead if possible). There is no charge for the visit itself
  • We STRONGLY recommend e-collars which are $5.00
  • If your Pet begins licking their incision and requires antibiotics as a result, you will be responsible for the cost of any required medication which is generally around $15 and will be coupled with a MANDATORY e-collar at $5.00.

E-Collars and Cones
Your pet should be able to eat and sleep with their cones on. If they are unable to figure this out, you may take it off while they are eating, but you must watch them the entire time and replace the cone when they are done.
Offer your pet normal food and water when you get home. Though your pet may not be hungry tonight (this is normal), do NOT offer them anything extra. NO TREATS OR TABLE SCRAPS. Regular eating habits should return within 24-48 hours.
Pain Medication
Dogs will go home with a days worth of pain medication. You should begin give this medication at noon or later tomorrow. Instructions will be on the bottle. Cats do NOT go home with pain medication.

What to expect when you get your pet home

Most pets are fully awake and active when you pick them up. Some pets will seem tired and a little woozy. This will pass. Cats especially need some additional time to relax and get comfortable with their surroundings again. They may resume their normal feeding schedule, however they may not be hungry right away. It is best to offer them their next meal in smaller portions. It is important to monitor and control their levels of activity for the next 7-10 days to avoid complications from their surgeries. Pets should seem themselves after a day or two. If you notice any unusual behavior, vomiting, swelling, redness or bleeding, please contact us right away.

Surgical Procedure

Your pet has had major surgery. The surgery requires general anesthesia. The patient is completely asleep and unable to feel or move. In female dogs and cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. Females are unable to get pregnant. In both male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. Removal of the testicles prevents production of sperm and male dogs or cats will no longer be able to father puppies or kittens. Your pet will likely be tired and a little woozy. Please give them time and space to fully recover.

Female dogs and cats have a mid-line incision in their abdomen. Male dogs have an incision just above the scrotum and male cats have two incisions, one in each side of the scrotum. Check the incision site at least twice daily. What you see today is what we consider normal. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal. Male cats may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal. The swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO LICK OR CHEW AT THE INCISION. If this does not deter them an E-collar must be applied to prevent them from being able to reach the area. This does not apply to male cats. Male cats incisions are meant to drain and their licking is beneficial. All pets receive pain medication post surgically. Dogs are sent home with additional pain medications. Cats are injected with longer lasting pain medication prior to release.

In Heat

If your female dog or cat was in heat at the time of surgery, you must keep them away from un-neutered males for at least two weeks. While they are unable to become pregnant, they will still attract intact males for a short period of time. If a male dog attempts to breed the female it can cause serious, possibly life-threatening, damage to the female.

If you see redness, swelling, excessive drainage at the surgery site or if your pet exhibits signs of pain or unusual behavior within 3 days of surgery, please contact us immediately. Rechecks are always free, but do require prior authorization.

HOPE for Animals cannot be responsible for any charges incurred from outside veterinarians unless prior approval is arranged and relevance to surgery is established definitively.

Your pet will have:
  • An incision that should continue to improve in appearance (not get worse)
  • A tattoo (small green line indicating that she has been spayed)
  • Internal Sutures that will dissolve on their own
  • External Surgical Glue that must be kept dry (strongly recommend e-collar)
  • You should not see any bleeding or swelling