Our Zeeland vets recognize that making the choice to spay or neuter your dog can be emotional. These emotions are heightened by the thought that they may be in pain following their surgery so our knowledgeable team is here to help you understand how to manage your dog's pain following their spay or neuter.
Is neutering my dog worth the expense and hassle?
While you may not feel like it at the moment, going through the potentially emotional process of having your dog spayed or neutered is worth it, for you and your pet.
Having your dog spayed or neutered can help to discourage unwanted behaviors like aggression, roaming, and mounting, and can eliminate the risk of some cancers and prevent unwanted puppies from being born.
In the US alone an estimated 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year! Having your dog spayed or neutered is the best way for you to help reduce the overall number of unwanted pets.
Is spaying or neutering safe for dogs?
Spay and neuter surgeries are common veterinary medical procedures that most vets have extensive experience performing. These surgeries are considered to be very safe for most dogs and cats. That said, as with people, whenever an animal is put under anesthesia, there is some level of risk involved. During your pet's procedure, your veterinarian and surgical team will closely monitor your dog and keep an eye out for any signs of possible complications.
What's the difference between spaying and neutering?
'Spaying' and 'neutering' refer to surgical procedures that cause your pet to be unable to produce puppies. In many places, both surgeries may be referred to as 'neutering' or being 'fixed'.
- The neutering or castration of male dogs involves the surgical removal of the testicles while the dog is under general anesthesia.
- Spaying is the surgical sterilization of a female animal through the removal of both ovaries and the uterus, while under general anesthesia.
How can I comfort my dog after surgery?
Following your dog's spay or neuter surgery you will want to help your pet to rest and feel as comfortable as possible. Here are a few things that you can do to help comfort your dog after neutering:
- Ensure that your dog has a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals and small children.
- Even if you feel like your dog looks sad, it's important to have your pooch wear a post-operative jumpsuit (recovery suit) or a cone (Elizabethan collar) to prevent your pup from licking the incision site. Licking the incision could lead to infection.
- Prevent your dog from running, jumping, or climbing stairs for two weeks following the spay or neuter surgery. Follow your vet's instructions regarding activity after these procedures, since your dog may require further restrictions.
- In order for your dog's incision to heal as quickly as possible, do not bathe your dog (or allow your dog to swim) for at least ten days after spaying or neutering.
- Check the incision site daily for any possible signs of infection and to ensure that the incision is healing well.
Contact your vet immediately if you see signs of redness, discharge, or swelling at or around the incision site, or if the incision opens.
Symptoms such as lack of energy, vomiting, reluctance to eat, or diarrhea also signal the need to call your vet.
How long will my dog be in pain after neutering or spaying?
When you pick your dog up from the vet's office on the day of the surgery, your dog may be tired, queasy, or just not seem like their usual self - there's are common side effects after general anesthesia, By the next day your pet should start acting more like their typical selves and be showing little signs of pain.
Spaying your female dog is somewhat more involved than neutering males, however, it should take about the same amount of time to recover from either of these surgeries.
The discomfort caused by spay or neuter surgeries lasts for just a few days and should be completely gone after about a week. If your pet is experiencing pain or discomfort for more than a couple of days it's a good idea to contact your vet for further advice.
What can I give my dog for pain after surgery?
During the surgery, your dog will be unconscious and not feel any pain, once your pet wakes up further medication to manage pain is required. Your vet will administer pain medications to your dog via an injection. This long-term pain medication should last for about 12-24 hours.
Your veterinarian will also prescribe any take-home medications they feel that your dog will need to help relieve post-operative pain. Some of the most common medications prescribed by vets to help manage pain after spay or neuter surgery include Torbugesic or Rimadyl.
Be sure to follow your vet's instructions carefully when it comes to giving your dog pain meds after surgery. Never give your dog human pain medications! Some pain medications that work for humans are poisonous to dogs. Contact your vet if you have questions about what pain medication you can give your dog after neutering or spaying.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.