Post Operative Instructions


  • Your pet had major surgery with general anesthesia.
    In female dogs and cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall.
  • In male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. Male dogs have an incision just above the scrotum. Male cats have two incisions, one in each side of the scrotum. Male cats may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal- the swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period.


  • We strongly recommend you keep your pet confined in a crate or small room the night after surgery.
  • Your pet may sleep much more than normal for 18-24 hours following surgery.
  • Your pet may be a little agitated due to the after effects of anesthesia. Avoid handling the animal too much as he/she may try to bite or scratch you.
  • Isolate the animal from children and other pets. He/she may be more prone to snapping or nipping at other pets and even children due to the after effects of anesthesia.
  • Your pet may have poor balance. This will make climbing stairs, getting up and down from furniture, and getting in and out of the car more difficult than usual. So be ready to assist. Help your dog in and out of the car as sudden movements can damage his/her stitches. Lift the dog by wrapping your arms around the dog’s chest/front legs and rear/back legs.


  • What you see on the day of surgery is what we consider normal. There should be no drainage. A very small amount of redness/swelling at the incision may occur.
  • If animal allows, check incision site at least twice daily. Check for excessive redness, swelling, discharge, blood or if incision site is open.
  • Do not clean or apply any topical ointment to the incision site.


  • Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures.
  • Male cats do not have any sutures.
  • All sutures are absorbable on the inside. The very outer layer of skin is held together with surgical glue.
  • If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, he/she will need to return in 10-14 days to have those removed.


  • All animals receive a small green tattoo near the incision line.
  • This is a universally recognized tattoo that identifies your pet has been spayed or neutered.


  • Anesthesia tends to make animals experience nausea, so your pet may not want to eat when he/she get home after surgery.
  • You need to re-introduce food slowly the day after surgery. Offer a small amount of food and water throughout the day. If vomiting occurs, wait until the next day to give more food.
  • Do not change your pet’s diet at this time and do not give junk food, table scraps, milk or any other people food for a period of one week. This could mask post-surgical complications.
  • Your pet’s appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery.


  • Licking or biting the incision could cause the wound to re-open and become infected. If your pet is licking or biting the incision, call us immediately and we will sell you an e- collar. If we are closed, e-collars can be purchased at PetSmart.
  • If you are provided with an e-collar, please DO NOT remove it from the animal. The incision needs to fully heal before the e-collar is removed. Be sure your pet can eat and drink with the collar on.


  • The healing process takes 7-10 days.
  • Any strenuous activity could disrupt the healing process.
  • Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet. It is very important that you limit your pet’s activity during the healing process.
  • Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm.
  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity during the 7-10 .days of recovery period.
  • Do not bathe your pet or have it groomed during the recovery period.
  • When outdoors, dogs should be on a leash and taken for “short walks only” for the next 10 days.
  • Cats should be kept indoors for the next 10 days.
  • Keep animal away from all hazards (including stairs).


Spaying and neutering are very safe surgeries; however, complications can occur. Minimal redness and swelling should resolve within several days. If redness and swelling persists or if you notice any of the following:

  • Pale gums
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Discharge or bleeding from the incision
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Labored breathing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours

Click here for Additional TNR-Specific Instructions

Please call your regular veterinarian or one of the following 24-hours veterinary emergency hospitals for medical assistance.
We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-operative instructions in the post-operative period.


Pet Vet/ER-1 Campbell’s Run Road, Robinson Twp.   

PVSEC 807 Camp Horne Road, Sewickley     412-366-3400
Rainbow Vet 839 Route 168, Darlington    724-843-5443