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SAFE Care Spay & Neuter Clinic

Post Surgery

SAFE Care Clinic

Post Surgery

Hugs, love and a little extra attention will get your cat or dog on the mend.

Click here for our Spay / Neuter Post-Operative Care Instructions (pdf format)


Your Pet

Please keep your pet indoors for the next 5-7 days while his/her incision heals. During this time, monitor him / her closely for signs of lethargy, poor appetite, swelling with redness, drainage at the incision site or any other sign of illness. Offer your pet a small amount of food and water this evening and return to a normal feeding schedule tomorrow.

1. Limit activity for at least one week after surgery.
Dogs must have activity limited for at least one week after surgery. No running, jumping, playing, swimming or other strenuous activity for 7-10 days after surgery. Pets must be kept indoors to rest and stay clean, dry and warm. No baths during the recovery period. Dogs must be taken outside on a leash, even in a fenced-in yard.

2. Check the incision site at least two times a day.
Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision site. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) MUST be put on immediately to prevent injury to the surgical site (can be purchased at SAFE Care for $10 or at local pet stores). SAFE Care is not liable for any self-induced trauma resulting from not keeping your pet from licking their incision.

There may be a FIRM BUMP under the incision as the dissolvable sutures break down for several weeks. This is normal. There are no external sutures, unless otherwise noted. Redness and swelling should be minimal.

3. Do not give your pet human pain medication or any other pain medication.
Pain Medication that lasts 24 hours was given to your pet at the time of surgery. DO NOT give your pet any human pain relievers (like aspirin, Advil, Tylenol, etc.). These medications have the potential to be toxic to your pet.

4. Monitor appetite and activity level for 24 hours after surgery.
Appetite and activity level should gradually return to normal within 24 hours after surgery. Lethargy or lack of appetite lasting more than 24 hours, severe diarrhea or persistent vomiting are NOT normal and you should contact us at 984-664-2691 if these symptoms occur. Pets may have a slight cough for a few days after surgery.

5. Keep a consistent diet for at least one week after surgery.
Do not change your pet’s diet for 7 to 10 days after surgery and DO NOT give any people food or table scraps during the recovery period. These could mask post-operative complications.

6. Quarantine female pets who were in heat before surgery.
If your female pet was in heat you MUST keep her away from intact (not neutered) and recently neutered males for TWO weeks or serious complications may result. It is normal to have some spotting of blood or mild discharge for up to 2 weeks after surgery. Please contact us if it continues longer than 2 weeks.

7. Vaccine Reactions.
For 24 hours after a vaccine is given, it is common for pets to experience mild pain/swelling at the vaccine site, mild fever, decreased appetite or activity. Less common but more severe reactions are persistent vomiting or diarrhea, facial selling, hives, severe coughing or difficulty breathing. If your pet shows any signs of these more severe reactions, please seek care immediately at a full-service veterinary facility.

Your pet received a green tattoo next to their incision to show the pet has been altered. The tattoo is a scoring process of the skin and is permanent. It is NOT an extra incision.


Surgery-Related Emergency

If you have a surgery-related emergency (such as excessive bleeding, opening of the incision or severe lethargy) call 984-664-2691 and leave a message. Your call will be returned promptly.

If you have any other post-surgical concerns (such as mild discharge, bleeding or swelling at the incision site or vomiting, poor appetite and mild lethargy), call (919) 872-7730 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Calls after 4:00 pm will be answered the following day.

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