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What should you do after puppy surgery for a spay or castration?

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A puppy surgery can be quite hard on your dog, especially if it was something as serious as a spay or castration. In a spay the Vet will remove your female dog’s ovaries and uterus and in a castration the Vet will remove your male dog’s testicles.

We would like to offer some advice when it comes to looking after your pooch once they come home but always if you have any serious concerns about your dog’s recovery, contact your Veterinarian as soon as possible.

During your dog’s stay in hospital they would have undergone a General Anesthetic. The General Anesthetic is a drug that will make your pup unable to feel what is happening during puppy surgery. This is obviously a major surgery that your pet has had so they will require pain relief (usually at least a couple of days worth). In our experience not all Vets provide pain relief after an operation on a routine basis. If your Vet doesn’t offer the pain relief, you are best to ask for it or find a vet that does. No doubt you will want your pup to be as comfortable as possible and this is vital.

Your puppy will need rest

You can expect your puppy to be sleepy for the 24-48 hours following the procedure. You may even welcome this as it does provide a rare opportunity to see your puppy rest.

It is a good idea to have your dog indoors in a quiet place that is warm and dry, somewhere they feel safe. You will want their bed to be warm and try not to leave any toys that encourage them to move around too much. Sometimes you will find it best to keep them away from small children and other pets until they feel more like themselves.

The evening when you bring your dog home it is usually a good idea to give them a small meal (around half as much food as you would give them in a normal meal). Sometimes following a puppy surgery, your dog may not feel up to an entire meal. Don’t be too alarmed if they are not hungry when they come home but if your pup still shows little interest in food the following day, it is best to call the vet clinic.

If your dog has any external stitches from the puppy surgery you will want keep an eye on them. Your little fluffy friend may try to pull out or lick the area as they can get quite itchy. If you have figured out a great way to tell your puppy leaving them in is for the best, please let us know!

Keep those stitches in!

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One of your most important jobs is to make sure that your pooch’s recovery goes well and that you prevent them from removing their stitches. The best way to avoid this from happening is to purchase an Elizabethan Collar.

These collars are the typical bucket looking things you see some dogs wearing after they have been to the Vet. These will make it close to impossible for your dog to do any damage to their stitches. If they do pull them out it can result in needing further surgery to replace them.


Also, as hard as it is, try not to laugh at your pup wearing one of the Elizabethan Collars as it does hurt their self esteem!

Checking the incision (the cut that was made during surgery) site on a daily basis is recommended. Things you should be on the lookout for is excess swelling, discharge (fluid coming out of the cut) or bleeding from the cut. If everything goes to plan, your dog’s stitches will most likely be removed 7-10 days after the surgery by your Vet.

You probably already realized that 6 month old puppies can be quite a handful to keep still. This can be a real challenge when you try to keep them from doing damage to their surgical incision and stitches. You may want to try to keep them as quiet and calm as possible during their recovery days especially stopping them from running and jumping up (this causes stress on the incision area).

To prevent the infection of the spay or castration area on your puppy, you shouldn’t let the area get wet or dirty. NO baths or swimming whilst the stitches are in as this is a recipe for disaster!

It is important to follow the instructions of your Veterinarian when you do bring your friend home from a puppy surgery. If you find that your dog is really lethargic, not eating, not drinking or there’s excess swelling or discharge from the surgical wound it is best that you contact your Veterinarian straight away