Post-Op Instructions for Spay or Neuter Surgery

Brown Tabby kitten perched on doctors shoulder

For 10 days, your pet must be kept primarily indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm.  It is important that they be kept quiet; no running, jumping, or other strenuous activity. Dogs must be walked on a leash when outside.  Do not bathe your pet during this period.  For the first day following surgery, please keep your pet separate from other animals and small children and do not allow the pet on a bed or other high places.

Please check the incision site twice daily.  There should not be any drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal. Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision site. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar or a taste deterrent product such as “Bitter Apple” must be used.  As the wound heals, there may be a firm lump under the incision as the absorbable sutures break down.  The internal sutures are absorbable, and the outer layer of skin is held together with surgical glue. This glue will dissolve on its own.  Male cats do not have any sutures or glue; their incision will heal on its own.  Your pet received a small green tattoo next to the incision which indicates he/she has been spayed or neutered.

Your pet’s appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Please do not change your pet’s diet; do not give junk food, table scraps, milk, or any other people food during the recovery period since doing so could mask post-surgical complications.  All cats received pain medication at the time of surgery which last up to 72 hours.  All dogs will go home with oral pain relief medication for 3 days following surgery. Oral pain relief medication for dogs is encouraged to start the evening of surgery if the patient is eating.  Do not give medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol, or other pain relievers.  Anesthesia may wear off slowly, so your pet may appear drowsy but he or she will become more active and alert with time.

Please contact the veterinary center, your regular veterinarian, or an emergency clinic if any of the following occur:

  • Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours
  • Loss of appetite for more than 24 hours
  • Labored breathing
  • Discharge or bleeding
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Severe pain, depression or weakness

If the above post-op instructions are followed, Anicira will treat at our clinic any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery. Please be aware that we cannot reimburse any services provided by another veterinarian.

If there are any questions or concerns related to surgery, please do not hesitate to contact the veterinary center.   For emergencies after-hours, please contact one of the following 24-hour emergency clinics:

Valley Veterinary Emergency & Referral Center
210 Costello Drive
Winchester, Virginia 22602
Tel: 540.662.7811

Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service & Specialty
1540 Airport Road
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Tel: 434.973.3519