5 Crucial Tips For Spaying/Neutering Your Cats and Dogs

a black cat and copper colored puppy

If you own a cat or a dog, you know there’s a moment in time when you have to decide whether to neuter your pet. It’s a tough decision, and there’s a lot to consider going into it, but if you decide to proceed then you should know that you’re doing a great deal of good by reducing the number of homeless animals that can result from unwanted births. In order to ease your animal through the journey of this medical procedure, here are 5 of Fauna Care’s best tips for what to do after the operation.

1. Monitor Your Pet

After anesthesia, make sure your pet stays in tip top shape.

hand touching dog's belly
Check your pet and their surgery site often!

No matter whether or not it’s a human, dog, or cat, surgery is surgery! Your pet was given general anesthesia and after having such an operation, there are some signs and symptoms to look out for. Signs like swelling or lumpiness, lethargy and vomiting, or bleeding from the wound can indicate that something isn’t right, prompting you to call your vet immediately in case it’s serious. Also, check out the surgery site daily if your pet allows you to, and if there’s anything like redness or swelling, a growing bump, or any discharge, contact your vet. Your furry friend is going to be acting a little differently anyway though, so don’t be alarmed by any increased sleeping and drowsiness, poor balance, or even a little agitation. That’s all normal after a surgery that uses anesthesia like this. You can expect to wait from 18 to 24 hours until the effects from the anesthesia wear off: if symptoms like that persist after a day, make sure to call your vet and report the unusual activity. If there’s anything that catches your eye as odd or out of place in your pet after the surgery, especially for the first day or so after they come home, call your vet. It’s better to make sure that your pet is fine than to risk any damage to their health in this delicate period of recovery. That being said, as you prepare to monitor your pet for any unusual activity, make sure to make them comfortable during the recovery.

2. Pamper Your Pet

After an overwhelming surgical operation, comfy is king for your furry friend.

dog laying on fancy pillow

Your pet is most likely going to be a bit out of sorts and tired when you take them home that first night. In order to decrease their disorientation, make sure that when they get home you prepare a quiet and comfortable place for your pet where they won’t be disturbed, but you can still keep an eye on them. If your dog/cat has a bed or favorite stuffed animal, move it to where you want them to sleep so they’re more comfortable in their rest. Climbing stairs and ledges can be especially difficult when your pet is poorly balanced, so make sure to assist them in and out of the car, and up and down stairs. Additionally, any sudden movements can damage their stitches, so it’s better to make sure they’re not doing any heavy lifting. Expect them to just sleep their troubles away the first night, and as time goes on make sure they don’t engage in any energetic activities.

3. Isolation and Relaxation

Unfortunately, your pet needs a week or so to let their stitches heal, so they need to be lazy and reclusive.

kitty sleeping & relaxing on floor

If you don’t let your dog on the couch with you, now’s the time: your pet is going to need to be a couch potato for a while. Your pet should be kept from jumping or playing for seven days after their surgery so the site doesn’t get irritated, and if possible they should be kept in an adequately-sized container when you’re not around. If your cat likes to jump onto furniture, stay particularly vigilant and make sure they don’t get any ideas: that’s a great way to tear open their wound. Also, male cats can still impregnate female cat after they’re neutered due to residual sperm, an even stronger reason to keep them isolated and away from any sexual encounters. 30 days is the rule of thumb for how long it takes for the sperm to finally empty out of the body, so try and keep them away from female cats until then. As your pet is recovering and getting back into the swing of things, if they were prescribed pain medication, pay special attention to the instructions that came with it.

4. Administer Medications Carefully

Vets are very specific about the kinds of medications they prescribe, and if you don’t follow the instructions exactly there could be complications.

pills spilling out of bottle

Post-operative drugs are a very serious part of the recovery process, and since they interact with a wide variety of your pet’s biological systems it’s crucial to make sure you deliver them carefully. There are a whole lot of different drugs your vet could prescribe for your furry friend, and they range from drugs taken orally, to creams and gels, or even injections. It’s not uncommon for your pet to be prescribed a couple different drugs to ward off pain, fight infection, and increase appetite. Dog and cat physiology are radically different from our own, so it’s important you don’t give them any kind of pain medication you would use yourself, including aspirin. Always ask your vet before giving your dog or cat any medication you weren’t specifically told to give them, just to make sure they recover as quickly and safely as possible in your care.

5. Treat Your Pet Normally

It’s easy to be nervous about interacting with your pet, but to make sure they feel comfortable make sure you still pay attention to them.

girl sitting on couch petting & loving tired dog
Give your pets lots of love and TLC.

After everything we’ve thrown at you, it’s completely normal to feel a little daunted about interacting with your pet. After the first day of irritation and sleepiness, petting your pet and giving them lots of love will help them feel less stressed after the operation, and as long as you don’t jump around with them they’re not at risk for ripping their stitches. There are lots of ways to keep your pet stimulated as they recover, and giving them attention will make sure that they don’t act out in ways that could potentially lead to injury or complications with their recovery. At the end of the day, they’re still your baby, and it’s ok to give them the love they want without hurting them.

We at Fauna Care know that you only want the best for your beloved pet, and we hope that these tips have made you feel a little more prepared for the future. You’re making the world a little bit better by doing this, and we thank you for that. Give your pets plenty of love from us, and we hope you and your furry friends have a great day!

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