We know it can be emotional when you have to decide whether or not to spay/ neuter your dog. Today our Argyle vets discuss the details about this routine surgery, how your dog can recover from it fairly easily and how to manage any pain or discomfort your pup may be feeling as a result.
The Decision Is Worth It
It's worth going through the emotional process of having your dog spayed or neutered for both you and your dog.
Getting your dog fixed is proven to have various health benefits, and it could keep your dog from performing undesirable behaviors such as animal aggression, roaming and mounting.
Spaying and neutering also prevents the birth of unwanted puppies. In the US an estimated 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year! Getting your dog spayed or neutered is the best way to help to reduce the overall number of unwanted pets in your area.
Is it safe to spay or neuter my dog?
Yes. These surgeries are very common and most vets have lots of experience performing them. Whenever an animal is put under anesthesia for a procedure, there is some risk involved. Your vet will closely monitor your dog throughout the entire surgery process and look for signs of illness or any possible complications.
What are the differences between spaying and neutering?
Both spaying or neutering refers to a surgical procedure that renders your pet unable to produce litters of puppies. Most of the time both procedures 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.
The neutering or castration of male dogs involves the surgical removal of the testicles under general anesthesia.
How can I make my dog to feel more comfortable after being spayed or neutered?
Following your dog's surgery you will want to help them rest and feel as comfortable as possible. Here is a list of ways you can make your dog more comfortable after being neutered:
- After surgery, make sure your dog has a quiet place to recover indoors, away from other animals.
- For the first two weeks after the spay or neuter surgery it's important to keep your pet from running and jumping. Remember to follow your vet's advice regarding activity following the surgery, because your dog might require additional 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 could cause infection.
- For your dog's incision to heal properly and as quickly as possible, don't bathe them (or allow your dog to swim) for at least ten days after surgery.
- Remember to check the incision site daily to look for signs of infection and to see if the incision is healing well.
Call your vet right away if you notice any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision has opened. Also contact your veterinarian if your dog seems lethargic, stops eating, or begins vomiting or has diarrhea.
How long will my dog feel pain after being spayed or neutered?
Spaying your female dog is slightly more involved than neutering males, however it should take around the same amount of time to recover from both surgeries.
Right after the surgery your dog could feel tired, queasy, or just not seem like their usual self. These are fairly common side effects of general anesthesia. The next day your pet should start behaving more like themselves and be showing little sign of pain or discomfort.
The discomfort caused by spay or neuter surgeries usually only lasts 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 you should contact your vet to get further advice.
Will my dog get pain meds after the surgery?
Yes. Your dog will not feel any pain while they are unconscious during the surgery, they will require medications to help with pain following the procedure. At the end of the surgery your vet will administer pain medications to your dog via an injection. This long-term pain medication should last about 12-24 hours.
Your vet will prescribe take-home medications if they feel it is necessary to help relieve post-operative pain for your dog. Some common medications prescribed by vets to help manage pain after spay or neuter surgeries 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.