When you have a female dog spayed, you are proactively helping to keep the local dog population down. Since your local animal shelter on any given day is likely full of unwanted dogs, this is very important. In addition to canine population control, spaying your dog also keeps them healthier as they age by preventing uterine and ovarian cancer.
While spaying your female dog is essentially the same surgery as a human hysterectomy, your dog will recover in much less time than its human counterparts from the procedure. In fact, within a week or two, your dog will be back to their pre-surgery selves. However, while most dogs do not have any complications from spaying surgery, there are a few possible complications that you need to keep an eye out for during the first week after their surgery.
Here are some tips for caring for your dog post-surgery:
Tip: Provide a Safe Place for Your Dog to Recover Away from Children or Other Pets
As your dog is healing from their surgery, they will be less interested in interacting with your children or other pets. Their pain and irritability can cause an otherwise mellow dog to bite, so it is important that you provide a quiet place for your dog to recover that is away from children and other pets. A bathroom or unused closet provide excellent safe areas for your dog, or you can provide a travel crate for them.
Tip: Provide Plenty of Clean Water for Your Dog When They Come Home
When your dog returns home from their surgery, it is normal for them to be thirsty. Provide your dog an unlimited supply of clean water and let them drink at their own will. Follow your veterinarian's instructions about feeding post-surgery.
Tip: Check Your Dog's Incision Daily for Signs of Infection
Just as humans can get post-surgical infections, so too can your dog. After your dog's spaying, inspect their incision each day and ensure that the area is not turning red or oozing pus. These are both signs of an infection and should be looked at by your veterinarian.
Tip: Know the Signs of an Emergency
Finally, it is important that you know the signs of a post-surgical emergency in a recently spayed dog. If your dog develops any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:
- labored breathing
- excessive coughing
- lack of food or water consumption
In addition, if your dog's incision starts bleeding and will not stop after you apply direct pressure for a few minutes, then you should contact your spay and neuter professional.