Neutering and Spaying - The Decision Is Worth It
Although you may not be comfortable with the idea at the moment, going through the emotional process of deciding to have your dog spayed or neutered is worth it both for you as a loving pet-parent, and for your dog. Getting your dog spayed or neutered has been shown to have a number of health benefits for your dog, and may even help to curb undesirable behaviors such as mounting, animal aggression, and roaming.
Of course, getting your dog fixed will also help to prevent unwanted puppies. An estimated 3.3 million dogs enter US shelters each year! Getting your dog fixed is the best way for you to help to reduce the overall number of unwanted animals in your neighborhood.
Is it safe to get my dog 'fixed'?
Yes. Spay and neuter surgeries are common veterinary medical procedures that most vets get a lot of experience performing. Nonetheless, it's important to remember that whenever an animal is put under anesthesia for any procedure, there is some risk involved. Throughout your pet's surgery the veterinary team will closely monitor your dog for signs of possible complications or illness.
What's the difference between spaying and neutering?
Getting your dog 'fixed' is a blanket term that refers to both spaying and neutering as a way of sterilizing your pet. More specifically, spaying is the surgical sterilization of a female animal through the removal of both ovaries and the uterus, while neutering (or castration) involves the surgical removal of a male animal's testicles under general anesthesia.
How do I manage my dog's pain after neutering or spaying?
Following neutering or spaying, you will want to help your dog to rest and feel as comfortable as possible. Spaying a female dog is more involved than neutering a male dog, however both of these surgeries take about the same amount of time to recover from.
Here are a few ways you can help comfort your dog after their surgery:
- Provide your dog a quiet and comfortable place to recover indoors and away from other animals.
- Prevent your pet from running and jumping for a full two weeks after surgery. Pay close attention to your vet's advice regarding activity following spay or neuter surgery, since your dog may require further restrictions.
- Be sure to have your dog wear a post-operative jumpsuit (recovery suit) or a cone (Elizabethan collar) to prevent licking of the incision site. Licking the incision may cause infection.
- Do not bath your dog (or allow your dog to swim) for at least ten days after surgery.
- Check the incision site daily for signs of infection and to ensure that the incision is healing well. Contact your vet if you notice any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if your dog's incision has opened.
How long will my dog be in pain after neutering or spaying?
Right after the surgery your dog may be tired, queasy, or just not seem like their usual self - those are all typical side effects of general anesthesia. The next day, your dog should begin behaving more like themselves and be showing little sign of pain or discomfort. Any discomfort caused by these surgeries should only last for few days and be gone after a week. If your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort for more than a couple of days contact your vet for further advice.
Will my dog have pain meds after surgery?
Yes. Your dog will require medication to help with pain following their procedure. Immediately after the surgery your vet will administer pain medications to your dog via an injection. This medication should help to relieve your dog's pain or discomfort for about 12-24 hours. Your vet will also prescribe take-home medications such as Torbugesic or Rimadyl, to help relieve your dog's post-operative pain. Follow your vet's instructions carefully when it comes to giving your dog pain medications. Never administer human pain medications to your dog! Many pain medications that work for humans are poisonous to dogs.
Complications from these surgeries are unusual but be sure to contact your vet immediately if your dog seems lethargic, stops eating, or begins vomiting or has diarrhea after you have returned home.
If you're ready to have your pet spayed or neutered, or if your pet requires care following surgery contact us. The veterinary team here at Southwind Animal Hospital in Southeast Memphis is here for you.
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