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Signs of Infection After Spaying/Neutering a Dog

Spaying or neutering your dog is a big decision, and you might be worried about the complications that could arise. The chances of a complication are very low, but our Poway vets discuss what to expect after spaying/neutering your dog and the signs of complications or infection to look out for.

What to Expect After Your Dog's Procedure

Your dog may feel a little queasy or tired right after the procedure, which is a normal side effect of the anesthesia. Your dog will also be given pain medications to help relieve the pain. During the first 24 hours, their appetite will be reduced as well. Your dog will also need to wear a cone to prevent licking at the incision site, and you should avoid bathing or swim for at least 10-14 days. It is critical to keep the wound dry until it heals.

It is also critical to restrict your dog's activities and ensure that they rest until they recover. Even if they try to run or jump, this does not mean they will heal faster; dogs do not understand the need for rest, so you will have to limit their movements. Limiting your dog's movements (no running or jumping) may entail keeping them in their crate or a small room away from any excitement.

Spaying female dogs are also more complicated than neutering male dogs, but their recovery time should be about the same, which is 10 to 14 days. It is critical that they wear their cone, keep the incision site dry, and limit their activities until they have fully recovered.

Signs of Infection and Complications in Male Neutered Dogs and Female Spayed Dogs

Remember that while complications following a spay/neuter procedure are extremely rare, there is always some risk involved with any surgical procedure. As a result, it is critical to carefully follow your veterinarian's post-operative care instructions. If you do not follow them, your dog may require a longer recovery period as well as other complications and infections. Some of the potential side effects of a spay and neuter procedure include:

  • Infection
  • Anestetic complications
  • Self-inflicted complications
  • Poorly healed wound
  • Scrotal bruising/swelling in males
  • Incontinence problems
  • Hernias in females
  • Internal bleeding
  • Ovarian remnants in females

Below are the signs of infection and complications you need to keep your eye out for:

  • Lethargy for more than a couple of days
  • Refusal to eat more than a couple of meals
  • Signs of pain for longer than a week (shaking, hiding, drooling)
  • Acute redness, swelling, or bruising at the incision site
  • Bleeding or pus from the incision site
  • Vomiting or diarrhea longer than 24 hours after the procedure (some immediately after can be normal as a result of anesthesia)
  • The incision site reopens
  • A bad smell coming from the incision site

Your veterinarian will tell you more about what to expect after the procedure, which may include some minor swelling, lethargy, and vomiting. However, if you notice any of the above symptoms of a complication in your dog, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you have any more questions about what you can expect from your dog's spay or neuter procedure, or if your pup is showing any signs of a complication, contact our Poway vets today. 

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