Three Mistakes To Avoid After Your Pet’s Spay Or Neuter Procedure

Taking your cat or dog in to be spayed/neutered is the responsible thing to do as a pet owner. These procedures don't just prevent unwanted breeding that leads to pet over-population; having your pet spayed or neutered can also help them avoid some diseases that only affect sexually intact animals. You want your pet to heal quickly after their procedure, though, so make sure that you know what mistakes to avoid.

#1: Bathing or cleaning the surgery site

It may seem counter-intuitive to skip wound cleaning, but you should hold off on the water and soap unless your vet has given you specific cleaning instructions. This is because bathing the wound can, at best, slow down the natural healing process and, at worst, introduce bacteria to the site that can lead to an infection. Your pet should also not be allowed to clean the wound. This may mean putting a cone or e-collar on them so they cannot reach the incision site. If the wound gets dirty – perhaps your dog walks through mud – then contact your vet to get instructions on the best way to proceed with cleaning.

#2: Allowing them to roam

Although most animals are relatively sedate immediately following a spay or neuter procedure, some have a bit more energy. Moving around too much can lead to torn stitches or irritation of the incision site. Other pets or small children could also bother an otherwise sedate animal, which can lead to too much activity. Before bringing your pet home, prepare a separate room or a crate for them to spend the first 24 hours in after the surgery. They should preferably have a comfortable place to lay and sleep, food, and water. Cats will need a litter box nearby. If possible, make sure there are no furniture items nearby that would invite jumping or climbing. Your pet can generally begin easing back into normal activities within the household after a day.

#3: Ignoring problem signs

It's important to check the incision site at least once a day for the first week or two. If you notice redness, swelling, or pus, contact your vet immediately because there could be an infection. Also, pay attention to your pet's behavior. If they seem lethargic or aren't eating or drinking normally after the first 24 hours following the procedure, you should contact your vet. Refusal to urinate or have a bowel movement, or straining or apparent pain while doing so, is also a cause for concern that necessitate a vet visit.

For more help, contact a vet in your area such as Caring Hands Animal Hospital.