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How to Manage Dog’s Pain After Spay or Neuter Surgery

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    Is Spaying or Neutering Safe?

    vets performing a spay or neuter surgery on a dog

    Short answer: YES! Long answer: spay and neuter surgeries are surgical procedures with very minimal risk factors. Those risk factors mainly apply to dogs who are older or have an underlying condition in which any kind of surgery that involves going under general anesthesia would be a risk. The surgery itself is very quick and simple. In the end, there’s more health benefits than risk including reducing certain behavior issues such as mounting, roaming and animal aggression in males. Females have zero chance of developing pyometra and unwanted pregnancies. 

    What Are The Differences Between Spay and Neuter Surgeries?

    Both surgeries prevent dogs from being able to reproduce but are quite different for each sex in the end. For male dogs, it’s considered “castration” where the testicals are removed. During a spay procedure for females, the uterus and both ovaries are removed. A generic term you might hear for these procedures is “fixing” a dog. 

    How Can I Help My Dog Feel More Comfortable After Their Spay Or Neuter Procedure?

    dog wearing a recovery collar after a neuter surgery

    Your veterinarian will provide aftercare instructions for your dog but there are some generic tips you can follow to ensure maximum comfortability and reduce post-surgery complications.

    • Give your dog the prescribed pain medication from your veterinarian.
    • Put an Elizabethan collar (hard or soft), donut collar or recovery jumpsuit on your dog to prevent them from biting, scratching or licking their stitches. This can both cause an infection and tear open the stitches. 
    • Have a dedicated space for your dog to recover indoors away from other animals. A smaller space is preferred and without anything for them to jump on. This might be a bathroom, their crate/x-pen or kitchen.
    • Inspect the incision site to make sure it’s healing well and your dog hasn’t messed with them causing an infection.
    • Don’t let your dog jump or run for 2 weeks post surgery. Also prevent them from getting too excited when seeing them.
    • Your vet may have further physical activity restrictions for your dog so follow those as well.
    • Keep an eye out for complications such as there being discharge, redness, and swelling at the incision site or if it opens up. Contact your vet if this happens. Also, contact them if they seem lethargic, stop eating, vomiting, or has diarrhea.

    How Long Does Pain Last After a Spay or Neuter Surgery?

    Both spay and neuter surgeries take about the same amount of time to recover despite spaying being more involved and complicated than neutering. They shouldn’t feel much the first day as they recover from the anesthesia. Giving them their pain medication as prescribed will help alleviate the pain the first few days. All pain and discomfortness should be gone within a week but each dog is different.