Dog Post-Operative Care

Symptoms that may require emergency care: pale gums, labored breathing, vomiting lasting longer than 24 hours or difficulty urinating.

PLEASE NOTE: For the next 2-3 weeks, please keep your male dog separate from un-spayed female dogs. It takes weeks for testosterone to be eliminated from your dog’s body.


  • Your dog had surgery with anesthesia. Sedation effects can last for 24 hours.
  • Your dog may have a slight cough for up to a few days after surgery because the breathing tube used to give oxygen may have caused some irritation.
  • Female dog had the uterus and ovaries removed through a small incision in her abdomen.
  • Male dog has an incision just above the scrotum.
  • The healing process takes up to 2 weeks.

ACTIVITY: MOST post op complications occur due to excessive physical activity after surgery.

  • Your dog may be agitated or aggressive due to the effects of anesthesia. Rest and sleep are essential for healing.
  • Your dog may have poor balance so be ready to assist with getting into and out of the car. Lift your dog by wrapping your arms around the chest/front legs and rear/back legs.
  • Limit steps and keep off bed or furniture. SHORT LEASH WALKS. Crate rest is encouraged for puppies and young dogs.
  • Avoid handling your dog too much and keep away from other pets and children during recovery.
  • NO baths during the recovery period. NO running, jumping, playing, swimming for 2 weeks.


  • Licking and biting the incision could cause the incision to re-open and become infected.
  • Your dog must wear the e collar at all times for 10 days.

PLEASE NOTE that any repair needed for self- inflicted damage to the incision site may result in additional costs to the owner.


  • Anesthesia and surgery can cause your dog to have a sensitive stomach.
  • Offer a small amount of water when your dog is fully awake that evening. If they can keep the water down, offer ¼ the normal amount of food. If they cannot keep the food down, do NOT offer any food until breakfast the next morning. Appetite should return to normal within 24 hours.
  • If your dog is lethargic or having multiple episodes of vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours after surgery, contact NNN.
  • Puppies may be offered ¼ of their normal meal food upon arrival home.


  • Unless told otherwise, your dog does not have external sutures that need to be removed. The sutures are absorbable and can take up to 60 days to be fully absorbed.
  • Expect bruising and minor swelling near the incision.
  • Check the incision site daily for increased swelling or drainage. A small amount of clear, blood tinged discharge from the incision is acceptable the first day. Call NNN if you think the discharge is excessive; if the incision has an odor or if the discharge is yellow or green.
  • A small, hard lump along the incision a few days after surgery is normal and is a common reaction to the suture while the tissue is healing.


  • Your dog is going home with ORAL pain medicine. Give as directed.
  • Do NOT give your dog over the counter (OTC) pain medicine.
  • If you think your pet is in discomfort, call NNN post op number.


  • Your dog received a green tattoo next to the incision to indicate that he/she is fixed.


  • Your dog had eye ointment put in the eyes to keep them moist during surgery.