Our Apple Valley vets know that making the decision to have your dog neutered or spayed can be an emotional one for pet owners. But, it's important to remember that these surgeries are relatively routine for your vet and quite easy for your pup to recovery from.
The Decision Is Worth It
While it may not feel this way in the moment, going through the emotional process of having your dog neutered or spayed is absolutely worth it, both for you and your pup.
Getting your dog fixed has been proven to have a wide variety of health benefits for your canine companion as well as help to curb undesirable behaviors like aggression, roaming, scooting, marking and more.
Needless to say, spaying and neutering also prevents unwanted puppies. In the US an estimated 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year! Spaying or neutering your dog is the best way for you to help to reduce the overall number of unwanted pets in your area.
Is spaying or neutering my dog safe?
Absolutely! These reproductive surgeries are exceedingly common. So, most vets are able to get lots of experience performing them. That being said, whenever an animal is placed under anesthesia for a procedure, there is some risk involved. Your vet will have to closely monitor your pup throughout the procedure and be aware of any signs of illness or complications.
What are the differences between the spay and neuter surgeries?
Both spaying or neutering refers to a surgical procedure that renders your pet unable to produce litters of puppies. Often both surgeries are referred to as neutering or being 'fixed'.
Spaying is the surgical sterilization of a female animal through the removal of both ovaries and the uterus, while under general anesthesia.
Neutering, or surgically castrating male dogs, involves the removal of both of your dog's testicles while under general anesthesia.
How can I help my dog to feel more comfortable after spaying or neutering?
After your pup's surgery, you will want to help them to rest,m recover and remain as comfortable as possible. Here are some of the ways you can help to comfort your dog after neutering:
- In order for your pup's incision ot proiperly heal, fdon't bathe your dog (or allow them to swim) for ten day, at minimum, after your surgery.
- After surgery, be sure your dog has a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals.
- For two weeks following the spay or neuter surgery it's important to prevent your pet from running and jumping. Be sure to listen to your vet's advice regarding activity following spay or neuter surgery, since your dog may require further restrictions.
- Have your dog wear a post-operative jumpsuit (recovery suit) or a cone (Elizabethan collar) to prevent your pet from licking the incision site. Licking the incision may cause infection.
- Be sure to check the incision site daily to check for signs of infection and to ensure that the incision is healing well.
Contact your vet if you notice any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision has opened. Also call your vet if your dog seems lethargic, stops eating, or begins vomiting or has diarrhea.
How long will my dog be in pain after neutering or spaying?
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 surgery.
After their surgery, your dog will likely be tired, queasy or not acting like their usual self. These are all common side effects of general anesthesia. By the next day, your pup should start behaving like themselves again, as well as showing some small signs of discomfort or pain.
Discomfort caused by spay or neuter surgeries lasts for just a few days and should be gone after 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.
Will my dog have pain meds after surgery?
Yes. While your dog is unconscious during the surgery and won't feel any pain then, they will likely require some medication to help manage their pain following the surgery. At the end of the surgical procedure, your vet will administer pain medication by injection, which will likely last between 12 and 24 hours.
Your vet will prescribe any take-home medications they feel will be required to help relieve post-operative pain for your dog. Some common medications prescribed by vets to help manage pain after spay or neuter surgery include Torbugesic or Rimadyl.
Follow your vet's instructions carefully when it comes to giving your dog pain medications. Never administer human pain medications to your dog! Many pain medications that work for humans are poisonous to dogs.
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.