Neutering is a relatively safe procedure that your pet should recover from fully if given the right post-surgery care. Restricting their activity is recommended to enable wound healing, but short walks on a lead can be taken as early as 24 hours after surgery.
Keeping your pet on a lead during these first walks post-neutering will make sure they don’t run or engage in strenuous activity. When you first bring your pet home after surgery, you will need to make sure they don’t move too much, so that their stitches can heal quickly.
1. Limit activity post-surgery
Dogs are naturally playful and you may find that once the anesthesia wears off, your dog wants to run around and play. But this can cause the stitches to re-open, so confining your dog is recommended. Carry them up and down any stairs and keep them away from any other pets you may have.
You can use a kennel or crate or a room with a baby gate to keep the dog from moving around too much. Ensure that your dog is comfortable by providing a soft bed in a quiet and dimly lit environment.
2. Feeding your dog
When you bring your dog home, you can give them water right away. Make sure the dog only drinks a little water at a time to avoid vomiting. Keep food portions small too, and avoid feeding your dog any more if it starts to vomit.
Twenty-four hours after the neutering surgery, your dog should have their appetite back and you can feed them their usual portions.
3. Get a cone or e-collar
The incision site should be kept clean and the stitches kept safe. You’ll need a cone on your dog to prevent them from opening up the stitches. An e-collar may look a bit awkward but it serves an important role in preventing your dog from scratching and biting the healing wound.
You should keep the e-collar on for a week to ten days or until the vet removes the stitches at a follow-up visit.
4. Avoid bathing your dog for at least ten days post-surgery
Do not bathe your dog for the first ten days after surgery. Water may cause infection in the incision area. You should hold off on bathing your dog until the incision area is healed. You can use pet wipes to spot clean your dog but stay away from the incision area. Dry shampoo can also be used to clean the dog if necessary.
You can use a mixture of baking soda and cornstarch as a dry shampoo. Apply this mixture to spots you want to clean and brush it out gently, ensuring you don’t interfere with the healing stitches.
Signs that Something is Not Right After Neutering Your Dog
Your dog should recover from the neutering surgery in 10-14 days. To ensure that the healing process is on track, it’s important to pay attention to your dog and notice if any of the following signs appear.
- Check the site of the incision regularly, especially during the first 2-3 days after surgery. Any signs of discharge or redness may indicate an infection. If found, take the dog back to the vet for a checkup.
- Ordinarily, your dog should get their normal appetite back one day after the surgery. If you notice that their appetite is still diminished days after the surgery, ask your vet or go back for a checkup.
- Be on the lookout for a change in your dog’s normal posture, especially if they’re acting strangely for days. Normally the effects of anesthesia wear off in about 24 hours, and your dog should regain his normal personality and activity level by the second day. If they remain sluggish or start walking funny, see your vet to make sure everything is healing as it should.
Neutering your dog will make them healthier and may give you a better-behaved dog. The neutering surgery may seem daunting, especially for first-time pet owners, but with a bit of care, your furry buddy will be back to their normal, healthy self in a week or two.