Our Douglasville vets understand that deciding to have your dog spayed or neutered can be a tough decision for you as a pet owner, but these surgeries are fairly routine for your vet and relatively easy for your dog to recover from.
Why Should I Have My Dog Spayed Or Neutered?
It might seem like a tough choice, but the process of having your dog spayed or neutered is worth it, both for you and for your dog.
Getting your dog fixed has been shown to have a number of health benefits for your dog, and may help to curb undesirable behaviors such as animal aggression, roaming and mounting.
Needless to say, spaying and neutering also prevents unwanted puppies. In the US an estimated 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year! Spaying or neutering your dog is the best way for you to help to reduce the overall number of unwanted pets in your area.
Is It Safe To Have My Dog Spayed Or Neutered?
Yes, it is. These surgeries are commonly performed by vets around the world, and most vets get plenty of experience performing these procedures. That said, as with people, whenever an animal is put under anesthesia for a procedure, there is some risk involved. Your veterinarian will closely monitor your dog throughout the surgery and be on the lookout for signs of illness or any possible complications.
What's The Difference Between Spaying & Neutering?
Both spaying or neutering refers to a surgical procedure that renders your pet unable to produce litters of puppies. Often both surgeries are referred to as neutering or being 'fixed'.
Spaying is the surgical sterilization of a female animal through the removal of both ovaries and the uterus, while under general anesthesia.
The neutering or castration of male dogs involves the surgical removal of the testicles under general anesthesia.
How Can I Help My Dog Feel More Comfortable After Surgery?
After your dog's surgery, you are going to want to help them to rest and feel as comfortable as possible. Here are a few ways you can help comfort your dog after neutering:
- After the procedure, be sure your dog has a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals.
- For two weeks following the surgery it's important to prevent your pet from running and jumping. Be sure to listen to your vet's advice regarding activity following spay or neuter surgery, since your dog may require further restrictions.
- Have your dog wear a post-operative jumpsuit (recovery suit) or a cone (Elizabethan collar) to prevent them from licking the incision site. Licking the incision may cause infection.
- In order for your dog's incision to heal properly and as quickly as possible, do not bathe your dog (or allow your dog to swim) for at least ten days after surgery.
- Be sure to check the incision site daily to check for signs of infection and to ensure that the incision is healing well.
Contact your vet if you notice any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision has opened. Also call your vet if your dog seems lethargic, stops eating, or begins vomiting or has diarrhea.
How Long Will My Dog's Pain Last After Spaying Or Neutering?
Your female dog's spay surgery is somewhat more involved than neutering males, but it should take about the same amount of time to recover from either surgery.
Immediately following surgery your pooch might be feeling tired, queasy, or just 'off' – these are pretty typical side effects of general anesthesia. The next day your pet should begin behaving more like themselves and be showing little sign of pain or discomfort.
Discomfort caused by spay or neuter surgeries lasts for just a few days and should be gone after a week. If your pet is experiencing pain or discomfort for more than a couple of days it's a good idea to contact your vet for further advice.
Will My Dogs Have Access To Pain Medication?
Yes, they will! Although your dog will be unconscious during the surgery, they will need pain management following the procedure. At the end of the surgery, your vet will administer pain medications to your dog via an injection. This long-term pain medication should last for about 12-24 hours.
Your vet will prescribe any take-home medications they feel will be required to help relieve post-operative pain for your dog. Some common medications prescribed by vets to help manage pain after spay or neuter surgery include Torbugesic or Rimadyl.
Follow your vet's instructions carefully when it comes to giving your dog pain medications. Never administer human pain medications to your dog! Many pain medications that work for humans are poisonous to dogs.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.