Spay Neuter After Care

What to Expect:

Spay Procedure Fairgrounds Animal HospitalKnowing what to expect for your pet’s spay neuter procedure will make the process much less stressful. Here is what you can expect for your pets spay or neuter. Please call our office or stop by if you have questions about spaying or neutering your pet or would like to schedule an appointment.


  • All pets should be fasted the night before their spay neuter surgery. This will ensure that the your pets stomach has emptied by the time he’s put under general anesthesia. This lessens the chances that your pet will vomit and aspirate the vomit into his lungs. If your pet has eaten on the morning of surgery, we will refuse surgery. Do not withhold water prior to surgery.
  • We check-in all spay neuter patients between 7:30 and 8:00 am. We have a very strict surgical schedule that must be followed so it is very important that you arrive on time. If you are late we may need to re-schedule your appointment. Plan to be here 20-30 minutes in the morning.


  • Once the spay neuter surgical procedure is complete and after full recovery from anesthesia, your pet will be discharged from our hospital to go home, usually between 3-5 pm.
  • A doctor or technician will call you with an update and to schedule a discharge time once the surgical procedure is complete.
  • Please arrive to your pets scheduled discharge appointment on time. Plan to be here 20-30 minutes to discharge your pet and go over home care instructions. Please note that in the event of an emergency at our hospital there may be a longer wait at discharge.
  • We will review Home Care Instructions with you. You will be told what to expect over the next few days as your pet recovers from surgery.
  • All patients are sent home with pain medication and an e-collar.
  • Our hospital will recommend that your pet return for a progress exam in 7-10 days.


  • Your pet had major surgery with general anesthesia, which means he/she was unconscious during the operation.
  • In female dogs and cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall.
  • In male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. Male dogs have an incision just above the scrotum. Male cats have two incisions, one in each side of the scrotum. Male cats may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal – the swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period.


  • Anesthesia can cause your pet to be sensitive to noise, quick movements, and bright lights.  Keep them in a quiet place, separate from other pets and children.
  • You will need to introduce food slowly that evening of discharge as anesthesia can cause some nausea.  Usually, we recommend ½ size normal amount of food, then you can continue feeding as usual the next morning.
  • Look and see what the surgery site looks like, that way you will be able to see how it is improving over the coming days or notice any problems.  One of the most important things is to keep your pet from licking or chewing at the surgery site.
  • An e-collar is provided, and should be kept on when not supervised.
  • Limiting activity for jumping, playing and running for at least 10 days.
  • You should not plan on having your pet go swimming, bathing or grooming during that time as well.
  • You are your pet’s caretaker; so check the incision site daily!  If any concerns about post surgical care for spaying and neutering, do not hesitate to call our office!!


  • What you see on the day of surgery is what we consider normal. There should be no drainage. A very small amount of redness/swelling at incision may occur.
  • If animal allows, check incision site once daily for one week. Check for excessive redness, swelling, discharge, blood or if incision site is open.
  • Do not clean or apply any topical ointment to the incision site.


  • If you are told that your pet has sutures that need to be removed, he/she will need to return in 7-10 days to have those removed.


  • Anesthesia tends to make animals experience nausea, so your pet may not want to eat when he/she gets home after surgery.
  • You need to re-introduce food slowly. Offer a small amount of food and water as soon as animal is fully awake. If vomiting occurs, wait until the next day to give more food. Provide your normal amount of food and water to your pet on the day after surgery.
  • Do not change your pet’s diet at this time and do not give junk food, table scraps, milk or any other people food for a period of one week. This could mask post-surgical complications.
  • Your pet’s appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery.


  • Licking or biting the incision could cause the wound to re-open and become infected. To keep your pet from licking the incision during healing process we recommend an E-collar be worn during the recovery period. Your pet will be sent home with an e-collar.


If your female dog or cat was in heat at the time of surgery, you must keep her away from un-neutered males for at least two weeks. While she is unable to become pregnant, she will still attract intact males for a short period of time.


  •  The healing process takes 7-10 days.
  • Any strenuous activity could disrupt the healing process.
  • Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet. It is very important that you limit your pet’s activity during the healing process.
  •  Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm.
  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity during the 7-10 day recovery period.
  • Do not bathe your pet or have it groomed during the recovery period.
  • When outdoors dogs should be on a leash and taken for short walks only for next 10 days.
    Keep animal away from all hazards (including stairs).


Spaying and neutering are very safe surgeries; however, complications can occur. Minimal redness and swelling should resolve within several days. Please contact Fairgrounds Animal Hospital immediately if redness and swelling persists or if you notice any of the following:

  • Pale gums
  •  Depression
  •  Vomiting
  •  Diarrhea
  •  Discharge or bleeding from the incision
  •  Difficulty urinating
  •  Labored breathing
  •  Decreased appetite
  •  Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours


If there is an emergency when our hospital is not open, please call Animal Emergency Center (775-851-3600) for medical assistance.

posted in:  Pet Health  |  Pet Surgery