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We will get through this together. Getting your female dog, or bitch, spayed is socially responsible. Removing her womb means she cannot get a uterine infection pyometraand if neutering takes place before her second season, it has a protective effect against the development of mammary cancer later in life.

However, putting any animal through surgery can be nerve wracking. The care you give your pet after her operation can reduce the risk of postoperative complications and make her recovery comfortable. Brian Bourquin, DVM. Our Expert Agrees: The aftercare for a sterile procedure like being spayed really depends on keeping your dog quiet during the initial recovery period.

For a female dog, this is major abdominal surgery—it's a fairly large incision going through skin and muscle layers. While that's healing, you don't want the dog jumping around or playing off-leash. Our Expert Agrees: It's very important to keep your dog in an E-collar or a no-lick shirt after being spayed. In almost every case, complications after a procedure like that occur because a dog has been allowed to lick the incision site. If the dog is left to its own devices, it can open up the wound or cause a suture reaction.

Talk to your vet about ways to keep your dog quiet. After major abdominal surgery, your biggest challenge will be keeping your dog calm, so it's best to consult your veterinarian about techniques you can use. Depending on the dog, you might just need to keep it on a leash when you walk them, but for a more active or younger dog, you might need to keep it crated or kept in a dark, quiet room. For very high-energy, strong dogs, your vet might even recommend a mild sedative to keep them quiet while the incision site heals.

To care for your dog after spaying, feed her a light meal on the first evening just in case she's feeling nauseous from the anesthetic.

Next, try to stay with your dog for the first 24 hours after the surgery so you can keep an eye on her. Then, get a cone collar to prevent her from licking her surgery wound, since this can interfere with healing.

Finally, check the wound every day to make sure there are no signs of infection. For tips on helping your dog rest and avoid exertion, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Facebook Loading Google LoadingBe the first to hear about pet-specific news, health tips, exclusive offers and more!

Unsubscribe at any time. First, I want to clear up a common misconception regarding surgical incisions. Your vet closed the incision in multiple layers — first abdominal wall, then possibly fat and muscle layers and then skin.

caring for your dog’s incision after surgery

The skin surrounding the incision may be pinkish in colorwhich is a normal part of the inflammation process. While the incision is healing, make sure that it stays clean and dry. This means that baths are off limits, as is swimming. Keep your pet from licking or chewing at the incision. If any of these things are affecting your post-operative pet, call your veterinarian for advice or an appointment.

If your pet has an infected incision, it can be dealt with quickly, and may be covered by your pet insurance. If your pet has staples or stitches, those will need to be removed days after surgery, or sooner if your vet advises.

Before you know it, her incision will be just a scar and you can go back to life as normal! Find a vet Condition checker Health tips fetch! Protect your pet today Get the most comprehensive pet insurance in one simple plan Get your quote.

Related articles.Yes, we know fourteen days is a VERY long time to… keep your puppy or kitten restricted, not give them a bath, check their incision site twice a day, and keep on that Elizabethan collar!

We just wanted to let you know that there is method to our madness and demands. Most average cats and dogs take fourteen days for their incisions to heal. Although two weeks seems like forever when you have a rambunctious puppy or kitten, it is very important to follow our directions for the full two weeks. If your pet is not completely healed and you allow for unrestricted activities, it could result in a complication that could cause you to have to restrict them for even longer!

One of the main reasons you need to keep your pet restricted is too much activity and movement at the surgery site results in the sutures popping open. If the sutures open completely in female pets, there will be nothing to keep the intestines and other organs from coming outside of the body. I think it goes without saying that this could result in the death of your beloved pet.

Spay/Neuter Surgery: Closure - Female Dogs

For male pets, excessive movement can result in bleeding that will fill up the empty scrotal sac. This can even result in rupture of the scrotum if enough pressure builds up — also extremely painful as you guys can imagine!

Why no bathing? This is kind of a tricky one especially if you just adopted your pet from the shelter and they really need a bath or if you forgot to put a towel in your carrier and your cat peed or pooped and ended up rolling around in it during the car ride. If you bathe your pet after surgery you can introduce bacteria into the surgery site, which you do not want to do.

This is super important because you never know if something abnormal is occurring unless you really check it out. Get your pet to roll over and get in a good tummy pet. You want to check for redness, swelling, and discharge. If there is a dramatic change in the incision, you need to bring your pet back the clinic for a recheck. We recommend Elizabethan collars aka e-collars or cone for all of the dogs and cats that have surgery with us.

It is easy enough for you to remind yourself not to scratch at something that hurts or itches, but unfortunately our pets are not capable of this! The e-collar is a great way to prevent your pet from hurting himself or herself. It does take a few days for pets to get used to the e-collar, but if you keep it on all they time, they will get accustomed to it even faster. Try to remember the last time you had a cut that was healing and how itchy it started to get around days later.

This is the MOST important time to keep that e-collar on! After your dog or cat has had surgery no matter how old or young they are you MUST keep them restricted for fourteen days. That means no running, jumping, playing, walking off leash, or being unattended without restriction i.

dog spay incision

No bathing of your pet and keep the e-collar on at all times. Last and not least, check out that incision twice a day to make sure it is healing properly. Please call to find out when it the best time for us to see you back at the clinic. Katie Marrie.Is this a medical emergency? Is my dog bleeding internally? Did my dog break a stitch and needs surgery again?

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While such concerns are reasonable, the good news is that more likely than not, if the blood loss is minimum, such as limited to a drop or two of blood -tinged fluid which resolves within minutes, there should not be reason to over worry. The wound may look bruised and may have minor blood tinged fluid seepage.

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Dawn Ruben. A drop of blood oozing is most typically the result of a dog who gets her stitches aggravated by excessive licking of the area. What has likely happened is that the dog may have just ruptured a small blood vessel causing the minimal blood loss.

If this the case, keeping an eye on the suture area is recommended to ensure the bleeding has come to a stop. Most dogs will have tendencies to lick their suture area because they have a strong instinct to lick wounds.

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And many owners see no harm in letting their dogs do do. Excessive licking can aggravate the incision and can cause an infection by introducing bacteria to the incision site.

On top of that the dog can pull out the stitches! Now, this can turn into an emergency, not good! The application of bitter apple spray, a sour product sold in retail pet stores sprayed around the suture area not directly on top may discourage licking since most dogs wholeheartedly hate its flavor—but not all.

To discourage licking or scratching the spay incision area, some dog owners find it helpful to let their dogs wear a pair of boxers. Keep your dog still under close supervision as most determined dogs can still find their way to the incision, no matter what! Should you notice any continued drainage or swelling, contact a veterinarian. Do not allow pet to lick and chew at the incision. Moving around may put pressure on the stitches causing problems.

Yes, stitches may be sturdy, but if your dog happens to move in such a way as to exert excess tension to the area, this may slow down the healing process and the incision may swell or start bleeding. In overly active dogs, the incision may even risk opening. No running, jumping, playing with other dogs for at least a week.

Your vet may recommend keeping your dog in a small room under supervision or in a crate for some cage rest. The formation of a seroma tends to occur when there is some empty, space between the layers of skin and abdomen.

Generally, most seromas tend to reabsorb on their own and you will see the swelling reduce gradually over the course of a few days. The inflammation that triggers the formation of the seroma is also seen as a result of activity during the recovery process or dogs licking the incision site. Hot or warm compresses to the area may be helpful as these encourage blood flow, allowing the body to reabsorb the extra fluid faster.

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The increased blood flow to the area, courtesy of heat, encourages the body to reabsorb the extra fluids faster and the warmth often feels soothing to the dog. Place some warm compresses to the area once or twice daily to reduce the seroma.

Simply wet a washcloth, place it in a Ziploc bag and heat it for a few seconds in the microwave.

dog spay incision

Make sure it is not too hot and place it on the incision for about 5 to 10 minutes until the cloth cools down.If you have had your female dog spayed, you have just helped to lengthen her life and to protect her from breast and uterine cancer, as well as having done something to curb the growing population of unwanted pets. Dogs recover fairly quickly from this surgery, but it does involve general anesthesia, an abdominal incision, and removal of the uterus and ovaries.

Normally, the incision is closed with staples or stitches that are removed 10 days later. Follow the vet's directions for post-surgical care, and inspect the incision twice a day for any signs of infection; if they appear, call the vet immediately. Turn the dog gently on her back or, if she's small, pick her up and and cradle her; examine the incision for redness, irritation or swelling. Speak soothingly and encouragingly as you visually inspect the incision, which should look clean and straight.

The flesh surrounding it should look free of inflammation. Be alert for bleeding or abnormal coloring, such as red streaks radiating out from the area, and for any signs that the incision is oozing yellowish or greenish pus.

Gently lay the flat of your palm on her abdomen near the incision, then slide it closer to gauge temperature. The area closer to the incision should not feel significantly hotter to your touch. Watch and listen closely to see if your dog yips, flinches, gasps or tries to nip.

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The incision will be tender, but indications of severe pain could be a sign of infection. Sniff near the incision to determine if there is any foul or putrid smell that would indicate infection. Be on the lookout for the following red flags that could signal infection: listless behavior more than 24 hours after surgery, refusing to eat or drink water, or difficulty urinating.

Home Learn Health. Share on Facebook. Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap. Praise and pet your dog for being so cooperative. Repeat this inspection twice a day until your vet pronounces the incision completely healed. Show Comments.T here are many benefits to spaying your dog. With this procedure done, you won't have to worry about your pooch going into heat every three weeks, and all the complications that may present, the possibility of puppies, and the increased risk of diseases.

Furthermore, studies have shown that you can increase her life expectancy by spaying, and by decreasing her chance of future diseases, including breast cancer and uterine infections. With all of the benefits to spaying your female dog, it's important to keep in mind the possible complications that could occur once you have made the decision. Typically, most possible issues that could happen after the surgery include: infection, spay incontinence, opening an incision, seromas, and hernia.

You should check your female pup for infection no less than twice each day. Infection will make the incision site become red and hot to the touch. It could also cause the incision site to ooze blood or puss. An infection could occur if your dog is excessively cleaning or chewing at the incision site. Do not allow any other pets in the home to lick the incision site either.

Usually, internal sutures, or stitches, are used to close the opening from a spay surgery, so you will not be able to see visible stitches, but if infected or bothered the sutures could open. There is a chance, even though the sutures are placed internally, for your dog to loosen or break the sutures open.

By opening the incision there is a greater risk for infection as well as a host of other problems.

dog spay incision

Your dog may be able to open her sutures by licking or gnawing on the incision site. She may also open the incision by tearing or breaking the sutures if she plays hard or exercises too much. In fact, it might take some time for this complication to present itself. By decreasing the hormone your dog may not be able to control her bladder.

This complication is usually seen in dogs from larger breeds. If your dog is suffering from post-spay incontinence, talk to your veterinarian. The vet will be able to assess the animal and will potentially prescribe her medication. Supplemental estrogen as well as herbal supplements are commonly used to help the urinary health of your dog. A seroma is a lump or blister that occurs at, near, or under the incision site.

If there is puss that emerges from the area then your dog might have an abscess. An abscess is caused by a specific bacteria that has created an infection. Your veterinarian can properly diagnose if your dog has a seroma or an abscess by examining the area and taking a sample of the fluid from the area in question. Often times, seromas are painless and will clear up on their own. If you notice bumps or lumps that have oozing puss at your female pup's incision site, you should take her to the veterinarian.

Generally, oozing puss indicates an abscess.

5 Possible Complications After Spaying Your Dog

Abscesses can be painful to your dog and can indicate an infection that needs treatment. A hernia will look like a lump protruding from the abdomen near the incision site. If a hernia on a dog consists of fat only, then your pooch may not experience any pain; however, some hernias are the result of organs slipping through the abdominal wall, such as the intestine or bladder. If your dog has a hernia, they will most likely need surgery to correct the problem. Sometimes, hernias in dogs can be life threatening so if you suspect that she has a hernia you should return to the veterinarian immediately.

In addition to post spaying surgery complications, it is important to discuss complications that could happen during the surgery itself. One possible complication during the surgery is that your female dog has a bad reaction to the anesthesia. However, there are tests that your veterinarian can do to ensure that she will not have a bad reaction to this.As a great pet owner, you carefully think over every decision you make when it comes to your dog's health.

Spay surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed on dogs, and while it offers many benefits to your dog's health, it can still carry some risks. If you're considering having your dog spayed, take a minute to familiarize yourself with potential complications so you can discuss them with your vet before the surgery takes place.

The good news is that the most common spay complication is trauma to the surgical site that the dog inflicts herself. This is entirely preventable by keeping your dog quiet after the surgery and by having your dog wear an e-collar as directed by your vet.

Dogs who aren't made to wear an e-collar may remove their sutures, cause skin infections by licking, or scratch at their incision with their hind paws. Allowing your dog to get too active too soon can also cause her to tear her sutures. The best way that you can help your dog to avoid spay complications is simple: Follow your vet's directions. Keep your dog calm and quiet during her recovery and make sure that she wears her e-collar and that she cannot get to her incision site while it's healing.

Your dog may have some constipation after she's spayed. Many dogs don't have bowel movements for two to three days after their surgery. This is due to a number of factors, including the fact that your dog will have fasted before the surgery and may not have an appetite right when she gets home.

If your dog is in pain, she also will not want to have a bowel movement. While many dogs will resume having normal bowel movements on their own, if your dog hasn't had a bowel movement by her fifth day home, she will need some treatment. You can add Metamucil to her diet to help soften her stool.

Metamucil can be given at a dosage of half a teaspoon twice a day for smaller dogs, and larger dogs can have up to 2 teaspoons twice a day, but check with your vet for an exact dosage for your dog. You can mix Metamucil with canned food, which makes it more palatable. If your dog seems uncomfortable or continues on without a bowel movement, ask your vet for advice.

Dogs can also develop hernias after spay surgery. If a dog is too active after the surgery, she can tear the stitches in her abdominal wall. This can result in an acute hernia that may need to be corrected with a second surgery. If your dog does develop a hernia after her spay surgery, you may notice a soft lump on her abdomen that gradually changes in both size and shape. Your vet will take X-rays of your dog's abdomen to diagnose the hernia and will recommend a treatment of either surgical correction or using medication to help the hernia heal.

In some cases, spaying a dog may lead to urinary incontinence. While urinary incontinence can be caused by multiple factors, the hormone imbalances that can result after spay surgery are one potential cause of the condition.

A dog's urinary tract tissue must be exposed to enough estrogen in order to function normally, but removing a dog's ovaries reduces her estrogen levels. Urinary incontinence most often occurs when a dog is sleeping, and her muscles are relaxed. Urinary incontinence in dogs can be treated using a number of different medications including diethylstilboestrol, which is a synthetic estrogen.


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