Castration and spaying are fairly common procedures in dogs. How long does dog castration/spaying recovery take, what care does your dog need to have a smooth recovery? Castration and spaying are both surgical processes, it will leave your dog extremely tired and nauseous for the next few days. Thus your pooch needs appropriate care and support to recover after the operation.
Before the Surgery
Ensuring your pet’s safety should be the priority when castrating and spaying your dog. The best option is to entrust the surgical process to a licenced veterinarian.
Spaying females could cost £130 or higher, whilst the castration cost starts at around £100. The cost may go higher depending on factors such as your location and the specific clinic you are going for.
There are also animal organisations such as Dogs Trust that offers the surgery at a lower rate. Moreover, the RSPCA also offers affordable vet care on neutering, microchipping, and vaccinations.
Preparation for Castration/Spaying
To help your pup better prepared for the surgery, your vet will normally advise you not to give him/her any food after 8 pm the night before. Water can be left down, however, it is advised by some vets that it is best to also remove the water bowl in the morning of the surgery.
Caring for your dog after neutering
It is important to recognise your dog’s vulnerability after castration/spay surgery. Ensure that he/she recovers smoothly and fast by following these steps:
- It is best to keep your dog indoors or in the garden for some light exercise in the first two days after the surgery. Keep him on a lead when taking him out for a gentle walk after the initial two days, the post-surgery period will normally take around Seven to ten days,
- Exercise after castrating/spaying should be kept minimal. Avoid strenuous activity such as playing, running, jumping, and swimming. If you have another pooch in the house, it is best to keep them separated during the recovery period.
- Regular baths should be postponed during his/her recovery period. It is important to keep the incision site dry and clean for the seven to ten days of the post-surgery recovery period.
- Check the incision area daily for any signs of abnormalities.
- Never let him/her lick the incision area to prevent infection. Making him/her wear an Elizabethan collar helps prevent any contact from happening.
- As for cases that involve a scrotal castration, small amounts of discharge or drainage may usually manifest for at least three days after the surgery.
- For newly neutered males, apply an ice pack draped in a clean cloth to the scrotal part. Keep this practice two times a day for ten to fifteen minutes. This will help reduce the risk of swelling. However, for newly spayed females, it is advised not to put anything on the incision site.
- Your pooch may lose his/her appetite until after twenty-four hours. However, if it lasts more than twenty-four hours accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea, it is best to bring him/her directly to the vet.
- It is best to be strict with his/her diet at this moment. Never give him/her unhealthy foods or table scraps.
- Set a post-operative examination with your vet seven to ten days after surgery, unless there are emergency cases within those days.
- A small green short line tattoo will be placed next to the incision site. This is to identify that the dog is already neutered or spayed. Usually, there should not be any complications expected from the tattoo. However, it is safe to watch out for signs of infections or contaminations such as swelling and discharges. Should this occur, call the post-operative care line immediately.
Potential complications after dog neutering
It is important to watch out on any signs of abnormalities during the recovery period of surgery, which includes:
- Heavy breathing
- Loss of appetite and decreased water intake
- Pale gums
- Unstable body temperature
- Unsteady gait
Upon spotting any of the above-mentioned signs, it is best to call your vet immediately.
FAQs on dog care after castration/spay
- How can I help my dog with pain management after surgery? Just like humans when relieved from pain, our furry pets can heal faster. It is best to ask prescription from your vet as part of post-surgical dog care if this is not prescribed to him. Do not use medications for humans as dogs have different metabolism with us, some human medications can be fatal to them.
- How long does it take for dog stitches to dissolve? Surgical incisions are usually performed with the use of sutures, which can dissolve on its own. As such, there is no need for you to return to your vet for removal. It normally takes 10-14days for your dog to recover from the surgery.
- Will my newly neutered male dog feel less like a male? There are no changes in your pet’s personality. It is unlikely of him to suffer from any emotional reaction or identity crisis, although you might observe less of his roaming and marking behaviours.
- Will my neutered/spayed dog become less affectionate? With the absence of hormonal imbalance, especially the urge to mate, dogs will likely become calmer around other dogs. However, it will not make them any less affectionate towards their owners.
- Will my castrated/spayed dog become prone to obesity? The metabolism of castrated/spayed dogs may decrease; however, there is no direct link of neutering and weight gain. If you have been feeding your dog the same amount of food with what you gave him before the surgery, then it might be a good idea to speak to your vet.
- Will my castrated/spayed dog become less protective? Castrating or spaying your dog will not affect his/her unique personality. Therefore, strong instincts to protect his/her home, family, and territory will not be affected.