Postoperative Care

For Your Dog

Normal Female Dogs

The following photos are visual examples of what you should encounter after surgery and days after having your female dog spayed. If you see anything that looks unusual or you are concerned about, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

A video still with a play button indicating this is a video for dog postoperative care
View example photos of normal female dogs

Abnormal Female Dogs

The following photos are visual examples of improperly healing surgical sites after having a female dog spayed. If your pet was spayed at Pets In Stitches, please contact us if your pet’s incision looks like any of these pictures.

View example photos of abnormal female dogs

Normal Male Dogs

The following photos are visual examples of what you should encounter after surgery and days after having your male dog neutered. If you see anything that looks unusual or you are concerned about, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

A video still with a play button indicating this is a video for dog postoperative care
View example photos of normal male dogs

Abnormal Male Dogs

The following photos are visual examples of improperly healing surgical sites after having a male dog neutered. If your pet was neutered at Pets In Stitches, please contact us if your pet’s incision looks like any of these pictures.

View example photos of abnormal male dogs

Postoperative Care FAQs

What should I do to keep my dog/cat from licking his/her incision?

You may purchase a post-surgery collar or body suit from us.

Should I be worried that my dog/cat is licking his/her incision?

Yes. Please bring them in so we can check their incision. We are available for rechecks Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with an appointment or follow the emergency contact instructions on your Postoperative Care Instruction sheet.

What is the green mark on my pet?

A small tattoo is the best way to identify your pet has been spayed or neutered. It is standard procedure for sterilization surgeries.

What is the recovery period like?

The recovery period is seven to ten days. You need to restrict their activity and keep them indoors. You also want to watch their incision closely. We will give you Postoperative Care Instructions when you pick up your pet.

Is the procedure painful?

Surgery is performed under general anesthesia with additional pain medication administered by a licensed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The animal is asleep during the procedure and may experience mild discomfort after surgery. Most animals return to normal activity within 24 to 72 hours. Pain medication is also sent home.

Is the surgery safe?

With any surgical procedure, there is always risk but we take every step possible to protect your pet. Your pet will be constantly monitored in person as well as with specialized monitoring equipment during surgery. Pets In Stitches uses an anesthetic protocol that is widely accepted in our field. A licensed veterinarian performs the surgery while the pet is under full anesthesia. Your pet will stay at our clinic for the day so we will be able to observe them during recovery.

How long does the surgery take?

It depends on the animal and the surgery; most surgeries are completed in 20 minutes or less.

Can they drink water all night before surgery?

Yes, always keep water available to your pets. However, unless your pet is under 4 months of age, no food after midnight.

Will my animal’s behavior be changed by spay or neuter surgery?

The behavior changes as a result of sterilization surgery are positive. Males reduce territorial spraying. Neutered animals fight less and do not wander in search of a mate.

How soon after they have a litter can they be fixed?

For dogs, the mother must stop lactating before we can do the spaying surgery. This is typically four weeks after the puppies stop nursing completely.

For mother cats, we can do the surgery when the kittens are at least four weeks old. Lactating cats may undergo a flank spay where the reproductive organs are removed though an incision on the side of the abdomen rather than the  underside.

Postoperative Care Blogs

Preventing Future Problems in Male Dogs

Warning: The following contains post-op pictures that are graphic. Though the purpose is for educational reference, viewer discretion is advised. Sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, we’re talking about the nether regions of your male dog. Pets In Stitches staff will sometimes suggest a procedure called a …Read More

Extra Measures of Love by Pets In Stitches

As Pleasant As Possible  When your furbaby gets handed over to us, we want to make the experience as pleasant as possible—for both you and your little loved one. We go above and beyond to ensure your pet is comfortable before, during, and after surgery.  Less Stress, More Healing Not only are these extra measures …Read More

A Spotlight On Post Surgical Pet Care

Surgeries are an unpleasant, but necessary, part of life for people and pets. The days and weeks following any surgery are an important time of rest and recovery, and having a devoted caretaker at home is absolutely essential for proper healing to occur. We take post surgical pet care seriously at Pets In Stitches, which …Read More

Tattooing My Pet When Spayed or Neutered? Why?!

If your pet is spayed or neutered at Pets In Stitches, you’ll find out that we tattoo after surgery. Why though? It’s pretty simple… to save lives and prevent future surgeries. Scars left from a spay can be fairly small and slight – difficult to differentiate a scar from a spay, a healed scratch, or …Read More

Come. Stay. Heal.

Request an Appointment »