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What to Expect When Spaying and Neutering your Pet

Spaying/neutering is one of the most common elective veterinary surgeries. Both spaying and neutering are names of a procedure designed to prevent an animal from reproducing. In males, this means removing both testicles and their associated structures, while in female animals it refers to the removal of the ovaries and usually uterus.


Although primarily preformed to prevent unwanted pregnancy and overpopulation, there are also many health benefits associated with spaying and neutering, from preventing testicular and ovarian cancer to improving certain behaviors.  In male dogs, this can include aggression, marking, and roaming.  In male cats, this can include excessive yowling, roaming, and urine spraying. Countless owners choose to get their pets spayed/neutered every year. Here’s what you can expect when it comes to your animal undergoing a spaying or neutering procedure.



The Procedure


Spaying/neutering is usually performed either using a combination of local anesthetic and sedation (males) or general anesthetic (females, since the surgery is more complex). The procedure itself is usually performed in less than an hour, although it may take a little longer for larger female animals. The incisions may be closed using sutures, and unless your vet uses the dissolvable variety, these will need to be removed at a later date.



Will My Pet Need To Stay In the Hospital?


Unless your veterinarian considers it medically necessary for your pet to be monitored overnight, most animals are sent home following their spay or neuter surgery. Pets generally prefer to be in comfortable, familiar surroundings while they recover, and this can help to relieve any anxiety or fear that they may feel.


Your veterinarian in Brownsville, TX will give you a comprehensive set of instructions to follow once you take your pet home. It’s crucial that you follow these exactly as they are designed to help minimize the likelihood of complications and ensure that your pet recovers as quickly as possible.



The First 24 Hours After Spay/Neuter Surgery


The first 24 hours following surgery are the most important. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your pet, so don’t make plans for anything other than a quiet night in. Your pet may seem lethargic and tired, and it’s not uncommon for them to sleep a lot as their body takes the time it needs to heal and recover. Owners should also follow some recommended precautions, which include:


  • Keep your pet away from other animals in the house

  • Keep your pet as calm and quiet as you can

  • Make sure that you prevent your pet from licking or biting the incision site (which may be itchy and irritated, this may require an e-collar)

  • Check the incision site that evening to ensure that there is no oozing, excessive swelling, or suture failure


After the first 24 hours, you should still avoid bathing your pet for at least 10 days as this could increase the risk of them developing an infection. Your veterinarian will give you instructions on how to care for the incision site and change your pet’s dressings if required.



Know When to Contact Your Veterinarian


As much as it is important to know how to take care of your pet after their surgery, it’s also just as crucial to know when there could be a problem and you should contact your veterinarian for medical support. You should call your veterinarian if the incision site is red, hot to the touch, particularly swollen, or producing a discharge or foul odor. You should also contact your veterinarian if the wound doesn’t appear to be healing or if your pet seems to be in an excessive amount of pain.


For more information about spaying and neutering, please contact Boca Chica Animal Hospital & Pet Resort in Brownsville, Texas at 956-541-5249 today.

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