After Surgery

Your Pet Has Been Spayed or Neutered. Now What?

Follow the post-operative instructions for best results

Step 1: Restrict Activity

No running, jumping, playing, swimming or other strenuous activity for 10 days. Keep your pet quiet. Animals (except feral cats) should be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry and warm. Walk dogs on a leash and do not allow to run free. No bath for two weeks.


Step 2: No licking

Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) MUST be worn to stop the licking. E-collars are available for purchase from our clinic or at most pet stores.


Step 3: Check the incision site twice daily

Redness, swelling, and drainage should be minimal.


Step 4: Food and water

Give your pet water as soon as possible. Feed them half of their normal amount on the day of surgery and resume normal feeding the next day. Appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Do not change your pet’s diet during the recovery period.


Step 5: Tattoo

Your pet received a small green tattoo on their underside to indicate that they have been spayed or neutered. This tattoo is a scoring process in the skin; it is not an extra incision.


Step 6: Pain medication

Your pet received medications that provide pain relief for 24 hours. Do NOT give any additional medications such as Aspirin or Tylenol. These can seriously harm your pet.


Step 7: Sutures

The sutures do not need to be removed. They are absorbable and located under the skin.Step 8: Monitor for vomiting or lethargy lasting more than 24 hours post-op.Call our clinic if you have concerns.


Step 9: Feral cats must not be released

Until the morning after surgery to ensure that they are fully alert.


Step 10: Vaccine boosters

If your pet received vaccines, please check with our staff regarding the timing of boosters. Our veterinarian recommends that you establish a wellness program for your pet.


Step 11: Questions or Concerns?

  • If it is during our phone hours (9am to 4pm Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday), call our office at (219)922-3811. Please call us before seeking care from another veterinarian. 
  • If there is an emergency outside of our hours, call your regular veterinarian or the North Central Veterinary Emergency Center at (219)881-1600. You will be responsible for paying the cost of this visit and contacting us as soon as possible to discuss possible reimbursement (if the problem was due to surgical error and the above post-op instructions were followed in full). 
  • We will attempt to treat at our clinic, at minimal cost, any complications resulting directly from the surgery if the above post-op instructions were followed. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern.