Postoperative Care Following Spay

Care of  your pet after spaying (ovariohysterectomy)
Spaying of your pet requires an incision being made in your pets abdomen then internal surgery to remove of the ovaries and uterus.  After the uterus and ovaries are removed the abdominal incision is closed in three layers – the muscle layer, the subcutaeneous layer (under the skin) and a final skin closure. Care needs to be taken after the event to ensure optimal healing of the surgical site occurs.

Pets unfortunately do not always understand that they must rest so we need you to assist us with their recovery-this is your most important task . When you come home with your pet put her into a small confined area that is warm and quiet, especially in the first 12-24hours. This is important as there will still be anaesthetic agents circulating through her system and this will make her drowsy and unsteady and also affect her ability to regulate her body temperature. This is quite normal following an anaesthetic and surgery. There will be some soreness, the same as humans, so she should not be expected to be completely normal for a few days.  For the first 24-48hours she may be quieter then usual or off colour, she has had major surgery after all. By 48 hours post surgery she should be happier and brighter with a normal appetite. If this is not the case please contact us as she may need to return for a check up.

On her first night at home she is likely to be a little nauseus so give only small drinks at first and if she manages these without any vomiting offer her a SMALL meal.  Do not be surprised if she is not interested in eating on the first night, if so remove the food (leave her with water) and let her rest.  If she is not interested in food the next day you must contact us.   If any persistent vomiting occurs please give us a call immediately.

Avoid off leash exercise until we remove her stitches 10 days after the surgery. This means no chasing balls or jumping on beds or couches! This will help the wounds to heal without undue tension or trauma. If your pet does not keep quiet you can risk the stitches coming apart and the wound breaking down – this can lead to major complications.

You must keep her stitches clean and dry so please do not allow her to go swimming or wash her until the stitches are removed by us in 10 days time. Bacteria can travel along the stitches in the skin especially if they are wet and this could lead to an infection of the wound.

Please ensure there is no excessive licking or chewing at the stitches. If you notice this occurring she will require an elizabethan collar (or a bucket) to ensure the wounds do not break down or become infected.

Generally there are few complication after the operation, however there are some signs to watch for that may indicate a problem:

  • dull and listless (especially if after the first 24-48 hours)
  • pale gums
  • excessive redness or irritation around the suture line
  • swelling or lumpiness around or along the suture line
  • discharge from the wound – pink-tinged, bloody or yellow.

If any of these please contact us immediately.

Please return in 10 days time for the sutures to be removed. Please arrange an appointment for this.

If you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to give us a call.

There is a vet on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.