I've written extensively about pet care and pet health both on the web and in print. I have 6 dogs, 16 cats, and a small flock of birds.
What to Expect After Spaying a Dog
Did you just get your dog spayed? Great job! Spaying (and neutering) is key to controlling the pet population.
Recovery from spaying surgery takes approximately 10 to 14 days. Many pet owners are unprepared for their dog's post-operative symptoms, and they're left wondering "Is this normal?"
In This Article
- Which items you'll need to have on hand at home
- How to prepare a recovery room
- Normal post-operative symptoms to expect
- How to care for the incision
- Warning signs of complications to look out for
- Additional tips for helping your dog heal as quickly as possible
- How to care for your pet in the hours and days after the operation
What's the difference between spaying and neutering?
First, let's clarify: spaying is the process used to "fix" a female dog, while neutering is the process used to castrate and "fix" a male dog. Spaying is much more invasive since it entails cutting through the abdominal wall (whereas neutering recovery is much easier since they only cut through the skin of the testicles).
What You'll Need
When your newly spayed dog returns home from the veterinary clinic, you should have the following items on hand:
- E-collar (traditional "cone" or inflatable e-collar)
- Dog bed
- Food and water dishes
- Puppy pads or plastic garbage bag and tape
- Towel or blanket
- A quiet room, away from children and other pets
- Dog kennel
- Phone number and address for the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic
Inflatable E-Collars for Dogs
Looking for an alternative to the cone (also known as an Elizabethan collar or e-collar)? Consider an inflatable one. They are smaller and more convenient for both dog and owner. It's easier for the dog to access food and water bowls, and they'll have an easier time walking around. Traditional e-collars tend to get caught on doorways, walls, and woodwork.
You can purchase inflatable e-collars for dogs of all sizes. Once inflated, it looks like a doughnut with a slit that allows you to place it around the dog's neck. It secures with Velcro.
How to Prepare a Recovery Room
After surgery, dogs will require rest—and lots of it! In addition, many get aggressive due to the pain and unusual physical sensations that can result from the anesthesia. Therefore, we'll need to isolate the dog from children and other pets.
Find a quiet room that can be closed off to other dogs, cats, and kids. It should be free of couches, beds, and stairs, as the dog may be unsteady and prone to falling. A fall can be extremely dangerous for a recently-spayed dog, as she may rip the stitches or trigger internal bleeding.
A bathroom typically works well, and a tile floor also allows for easy clean-up if the dog vomits (which is common after surgery).
Place the following items in the pet's recovery room:
- Water bowl
- Food bowl
- Dog bed
- Puppy pads
The dog bed should be covered with a puppy pad or placed inside a plastic bag (tape the plastic bag closed or pull the drawstrings closed, knot the strings, and snip off the excess to prevent strangulation). Place a blanket or towel over the puppy pad or plastic.
The dog bed will need to be covered because dogs are very prone to vomiting after surgery due to the effects of the anesthesia. Also, many dogs will urinate in their sleep. Your pet will be sleeping very deeply due to the after-effects of anesthesia and she may experience sleep incontinence, particularly if she received IV fluids during the procedure. Place a few puppy pads near the bed as well.
Post-Operative Symptoms to Expect
These are some of the more common post-op symptoms that your dog is likely to experience. Understanding these symptoms and why they occur will help you care for your recovering dog.
Immediately following surgery, dogs tend to exhibit poor balance. This is probably one of the first things you'll notice. It's an after-effect of anesthesia and it is completely normal, though not all dogs exhibit this problem.
Remember the following tips:
- Walk-behind your dog as she walks up any set of stairs, so you can catch her if she falls.
- Walk slowly.
- Keep your dog leashed while outside.
- Be prepared to help her into the car; don't let her jump into the car.
- Keep her away from kids and other pets. They may bump into her, causing her to fall or react aggressively due to pain.
- Don't allow her to jump onto the couch or bed. She may miss and the sudden movement can result in torn stitches.
It's best to avoid carrying a dog immediately after spaying surgery. The veterinary surgeon must cut through the dog's abdominal wall muscles during the procedure, making her entire torso very sensitive and tender. When you pick her up, you risk stretching her skin and abdominal muscles. This can cause pain and damage to the stitches, so avoid carrying your girl.
Go straight home after collecting her from the veterinary clinic following surgery. She will be tired and in pain.
Did You Know...
The vet will insert several layers of stitches at different depths. Some stitches dissolve; others need to be removed. If you're unsure whether your dog will need her stitches removed, call your vet clinic.
Anesthesia results in grogginess and long periods of sleeping, so you can expect that your dog will be tired. Notably, some dogs are more affected than others. A small percentage of dogs aren't groggy at all by the time the vet clinic is ready to send them home.
If your dog is sleepy, this is totally normal. They tend to be prone to very deep sleep, and as I mentioned above, this can result in a dog that pees in her sleep. Therefore, cover the dog's bed with a puppy pad or plastic. Check on her every few hours to ensure the bed is dry and take her outside to do her business frequently.
In the event that your dog is not sleepy following surgery, you'll have the unpleasant task of keeping her inactive and quiet. Crating may be required if your dog is attempting to jump and play.
In the days following the operation, your dog's energy level will return to normal. Her body may require a bit of extra sleep to help aid in the healing process, but she should not be groggy or lethargic. If your dog seems lethargic more than 36 hours after surgery, contact the veterinary clinic. This can be a sign of an infection.
Don't Forget the Puppy Pads!
Puppy pads will be useful since you'll need to protect the dog's bed from accidents and vomit. In addition, your dog will receive IV fluids during the operation and this will cause an increased need to urinate. Dogs must be supervised when outdoors until the stitches are removed, so you'll need to cut off access to the doggy door. Put down a puppy pad instead.
Vomiting and Refusing to Eat and Drink
Is your dog vomiting following a spay operation? This is totally normal.
Anesthesia results in nausea, so some dogs will vomit. Others won't.
As a result of the nausea, some dogs won't eat after surgery. Some will also refuse to drink water. This too is completely normal; it's a result of the anesthesia after-effects and it can be a response to the pain as well.
To limit the chances of vomiting, wait until 8 or 9 o'clock at night before putting down food and water. Your dog may eat a small amount of food and water or she may refuse.
The nausea and the dog's refusal to eat and drink should disappear within 24 hours after surgery. If your dog is vomiting and still refusing to eat and drink 24 hours later, consult your veterinarian.
How Do I Care for My Dog's Incision?
Your dog will have an incision on her lower abdomen. It will be several inches in length and it will be secured with one of the following:
- Dissolving stitches
- Wound glue
If the incision is closed with wound glue, you must use extreme caution to avoid getting it wet. Therefore, you should avoid bathing your dog and cleaning the wound unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian. You'll know it's closed with wound glue if you can't see any stitches or staples. Non-dissolving stitches and staples will be removed at the vet's office after 10 to 14 days.
How to care for the incision:
- Check the incision twice daily. It may be slightly red and there may be minor swelling in the day or two following surgery. A small amount of blood-tinged discharge is normal, particularly during the first few days.
- Remove dried discharge with a warm, damp washcloth. Hold the washcloth against the incision for a few seconds, and then gently wipe away the discharge.
- A small dab of antibiotic cream can be applied to the incision during the first couple of days post-spay. Clean the incision by applying Betadine to a cotton ball or cotton pad. Dab the Betadine onto the dog's incision. This is only necessary after removing discharge or if your dog contaminates the wound by licking it, etc. (This is another reason why the dog's e-collar must stay on until healing is complete!)
Signs of an infected incision or another problem include:
- Gap between the edges of the incision
- Pus discharge
- Large amount of discharge
- Odor or discharge with a bad odor
- Bleeding, especially after the first 36 hours post-surgery
The general rule is this: The incision should be improving with time. Take a daily photograph of the incision; compare the photos. This will enable you to monitor healing without relying on memory. If the redness, swelling, discharge, or general appearance of the wound is looking worse with time, this signals an infection! Get your dog to the veterinary clinic ASAP!
Why Do I Need an E-Collar or Cone?
The e-collar or "cone" will prevent your dog from licking the wound and therefore prevent infection. After several days, as the skin starts to heal, the dog's incision will get itchy! In response to the itching, your dog may bite at the incision, stitches, or staples. If you remove the cone before the stitches or staples are removed, your dog may remove them prematurely! This is dangerous and costly to fix, so keep the cone on!
Additional Tips: Dos and Don'ts
Here are some important dos and don'ts that will help facilitate a smooth recovery post spaying.
- Look up the phone number and address of the nearest 24-hour emergency clinic.
- Let your dog sleep following surgery.
- Leash-walk your dog until her stitches are removed.
- Bring her to the vet if she is exhibiting pain, signs of infection, pale gums, or other problems.
- Crate your dog if she wants to run, jump, or play. She must remain inactive for 10 to 14 days.
- Expect minor panting and other signs of discomfort in the hours immediately following surgery.
- Give your dog aspirin. It will thin her blood, causing uncontrolled bleeding.
- Give your dog Tylenol or other pain medication! These are deadly to dogs!
- Let your dog run or jump until her stitches are removed.
- Let your dog lick the incision.
- Let her off-leash until she has healed (10 to 14 days). If she gets lost, it could be deadly!
- Be surprised if your dog exhibits aggression immediately after surgery. This is a normal reaction to pain.
- Remove the e-collar! It only takes a moment for your dog to remove her stitches prematurely. This can lead to a medical emergency!
Is My Dog in Pain?
Your dog will be in pain following spaying surgery. Spaying is more painful than neutering since the surgeon must cut through the abdominal wall. Your vet will give your dog pain medications before she leaves the clinic, so that will help. If you think she is uncomfortable, contact your vet. NEVER give a dog pain medication at home! Many are toxic and aspirin will cause internal bleeding.
Warning Signs: Post-Op Complications to Look Out For
Prior to your dog's spaying surgery, look up the name and phone number of the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic. Know where it's located so you don't get lost if you need to rush her to the hospital. Always call ahead so the emergency vets can prepare for your dog's arrival.
Bring your dog to the veterinary clinic if you notice...
- Pale gums**
- Torn stitches, dislodged staples, or an open incision**
- Excessive panting or vocalizing due to pain (especially beyond the first 12-24 hours post-surgery)**
- Gap between the edges of the incision
- Foul-smelling discharge from the incision
- Lots of incision discharge
- Redness at the incision site
- Swelling at the incision site
- Refusal to eat or drink (24 hours after surgery and beyond)
- Lethargy (24 hours after surgery and beyond)
** The starred (**) points are signs of an emergency. Rush your dog to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic if you observe any of these symptoms.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Sit! Stay! Speak!
shanny on August 02, 2020:
hi my dog went for neutering a week ago he has been vomiting ever since,we took him back to the vet she put a drip we took him home
and a day later started vomiting and shaking again,what exactly is happening to him.
Wendy Miller on July 10, 2020:
Hi my female dog just got surgery done yesterday and today she drink a little bit of water this morning and she ate a little bit and it stayed Down
satyam jaiswal on June 08, 2020:
it is really nice information
Robert Gallo on May 22, 2020:
my chocolate lab is going in at 8 o c
lock today to get spayed shes 7 months my daughter keeps crying. i just pray everything goes ok.
Kathy Wells on March 15, 2020:
My 6 month old Shih Tzu was spayed last Wednesday, the 11th. She has done well, except I was wondering why she has a little lump by her stitches. Thank you.
Sue on January 14, 2020:
Does anyone know if it's ok to give my dog milk after getting spayed?
msrilyn on December 09, 2019:
My 5 year old chichuaua was spayed 3 days ago and she stil hasn't pooped
Nalas mum on October 16, 2019:
I had my 1 year old Puggle spayed yesterday and she has slept since i brought her home. I have managed to get her to eat some chicken but she is not interested in her water unfortunately but I think this is due to her having to have extra fluids during the operation. I have been incredibly worried because she can not seem to control her bladder however reading this has put my mind at rest. Thank you!
Skeeter's Mom on October 06, 2019:
We are on day 2 of Skeeter being home, her surgery was Thursday and our vet keeps them overnight. biggest issue is that our girl still wants to run and play. i freaked out when her surgery site had some spotting and it caused her to itch. it seems to help when i hold a clean towel gently, very gently to her surgery site. she is my girl and trusts me completely so there hasn't been any aggression due to her being uncomfortable, I'm hoping it stays that way!
kira25 on September 26, 2019:
i have Recently had my 14 month old Labrador Spayed on the 25/09/2019 i sat up all night to keep an eye on her it is not a Nice thing to see what they go through after surgery while anaesthetic is wearing off i have managed to get my girl Labrador to eat small portions of breast chicken on the 26/09/2019 today but i am bit concerned that she is still not going to her water bowl to drink water after 24 hrs But i can say i took her out the back garden as i know she loves the hose pipe i put that on slow to trickle and she did take a few drops of water through out the day i would say just over a cup full is that Natural for them to be like that and how long have your fur babys taken to get back to drinking water there selves after being spayed look forward to Reply of your experiences
KAMI on September 17, 2019:
Thank you so so much Jadri!
Jadri on August 08, 2019:
spayed my 7 month old German Shepard/retriever per my Vets suggestion. She said that its better if you spay a dog when they're a bit older as supposed to when they are younger than 7 months because they haven't developed completely? something like that.
my dog is SUPER energetic...and immediately wanted to jump and run...it has been so hard to contain her and I have been freaked out about her opening her incision because of all of her energy and activity. I checked it 3 days later and it looks ok. nothing major. it might be because of her age that it heals faster? I don't know. im still freaked out so we are continuing to monitor her and keeping her in a confined space.
another thing to note, is that I had read articles that say that dogs tend to change after the surgery. That they are not the same. I was afraid my dog would not bark or be playful anymore. So far that has not changed! she seems to be the same...at one point for the first couple of days she wouldn't bark I was afraid that she would never bark again, but I guess it was that she was in pain. the Doctor did prescribe pain meds for 5 days and I believe that has helped. I just cant wait this is over, because I feel for her. it hurts me to think that she thinks that we are abandoning her or don't want to play with her anymore.
to everyone out there...be patient...and be strong. Its tough to see your dog like that...but its for the best. and time will pass and your dog will be back to normal. I have about another 5 days to go...and it seems like eternity.
greeting from Los angeles California :)
Caitlyn on July 13, 2019:
My girl is a picky eater as is so her not eating will probably cause more of an issue than it really needs to be. Added some coconut oil to her mix and still nada. It’s currently 3 hrs before the 24 hour mark of dropping her off at the vet, and she had just vomited not to long ago. After reading this I feel a little at ease. However, seems like I’ll have to force water into her if she doesn’t start drinking in the morning.. she is crated and has her water and food bowl.. Guess we will wait and see!
Theress on July 06, 2019:
I adopted Alfred from PAWS in Anderson SC last Saturday. They did give me any information about the neutering. Glad i found your site. He hasnt been eating ir drinking..i was getting worried... Ithasnt been 24 hr yet.
Beni on May 26, 2019:
My dad brung my dog Lila to the vet today and I needed to know what to do to be prepared for when we got home so I’m very happy I did because now I know what to do to make my Lila comfy at home
sheila taylor on May 24, 2019:
i took my jack russel to the vets as she had gone of her food ' the vet gave her a scan and said she had a womb infection and there was fluid in her womb so she was rushed in for a spay operation. she is 14yrs old and its 2days now shes still sleeping alot and shes ate a small amount but hopfully she will start improving tommorow .
Maggie on May 21, 2019:
My pug was spayed yesterday morning and i picked her up at 3.30pm from the vets she was very wobbly and dazed and slept right through until this morning no interest at all in eating and drinking last night and i felt so sorry or her but she has eaten well and had plenty of water this morning she hasnt been to the toilet at all yet but took her liquid painkiller and antibiotic capsule wrapped in a bit chicken no problem at all I was just wondering if anyone has a male dog as well because I am having an awful problem keeping our boy away from her they are like a wee married couple and pine for each other but im worried about him licking or biting her stitches any advice would be welcome thanks.
Ann on May 01, 2019:
Thanks for your comments its helped to ease my mind. My welsh springer was done yesterday picked her up at 5.30pm very groggy slept all evening took her in the garden 10pm she did nothing just lay on the grass put her back to bed she slept all night , seemed happy to see me this morning 7am went in the garden didn't do anything put food down for her from the vets she didn't touch it proceeded to vomit all over quite a lot yellow liguid not seen her drink yet and judging by her bowl doesnt look like she has , shes back in her nice clean bed now just slerping but thanks to your comments i realise this is normal . Hopefully she'll improve as the day goes on . On the plus she is wagging her tail when i speak or touch her so happy about that.
Cheryl on April 11, 2019:
I had my baby girl cocker spaniel spayed yesterday .I managed to walk her before the op.. she was full of life and happy..I thought if only she knew what was going to happen next!I couldn’t wait to go and collect her .thow the op went very well she was drowsy and sleepy and she couldn’t get comfortable it was awful to see her looking so confused sad and feeling sorry for herself awww ... This morning a different dog ! You would never think she had had surgery!She is back to her normal self I’m pleased to say.she has eaten and drunk and took her medication no problems..also managed the toilet so all good...it is hard to keep her quiet and still I have had to crate her a little for her own sake..check up tomorrow morning so fingers crossed I’m sure all will be fine
Buffy on March 28, 2019:
Shes very restless.. All night, and still this morning. It is about 20 hours since being spayed. I was able to get her meds down this morning. Still restless..
Dee on March 18, 2019:
Our 6 month baby was spayed 3 days ago. First night was awful, my fiancé did not sleep most of the "first night" trying to make her comfortable. I should have taken a couple of days off work to get her through those first 3-4 days, luckily I work from home. If you don't, its best to have someone there the first days-not just the weekend.
Second day and night was way better, but caution she took off the inflatable collar at night...ugh!
This 3rd morning, she woke up clearly in pain again- and those awful pain jabs, that make her jerk. She will not lay down when she feels like that- until the pain med kicks in-now she is resting. We were not prepared for this-every dog is different- Coko was way easier.
Best advice -be prepared for someone to be home with the puppy for MORE than just a couple of days. Thank goodness I work remotely at home. Great site and comments. Best wishes with your baby!!
Julie on March 14, 2019:
I had my 2 1/2 year, golden retriever spayed 2 days ago.
Dropped her off at 8.30 Tuesday morning and collected her at 4pm? She was very groggy for hours wouldn't eat, managed to get her to wee about 10pm. She slept all night, was still very lethargicthe next day, I sat with her all day. I had a problem trying to stop her getting on the furniture, had to baracade the stairs, made little ramps for her to climb up to get on to the sofa, as this was the only option. Just tried to mKe everything easier for her. She's a very active dog. 48 hours on she's dragging me on a walk, I'm only doing 10 min tops. She needs to get out. Otherwise so far so good.
Justine on March 07, 2019:
I just had my pug spayed today. I read that sometimes they will make accidents in the house due to the medication they are on and not really wanting to jump at the door when they have to go out. I'm wondering if I can put a puppy diaper on her for a few days or if it will irritate the stitches
Kate on March 05, 2019:
My 3.5 years old Spanish Water Dog was spayed 4 days ago. I have postponed the operation for so long but eventually made brave decision. On the day of operations I have dropped her if at 9:30. She stayed at vets all day and they were updating me during the day how is she doing. We have collected her at around 5pm. She was spaced out and wobbly. Gave her pain killers at 7 pm together with her meal. At midnight she managed to go for a wee. I slept with her all night on the floor. In the morning she was full of energy. Myself was more tired than her. Since she is very energetic it is a problem to prevent her from jumping on furnitures. I have placed thick duvets an the sofa so she can not jump up and barricaded stairs with a chair so she can not go up the stairs. Due to her large size, she has nylon stitches put on that have to be removed after 10 days. There is a bit of dry blood around stitches but wounds looks good. I opted for surgical vest. She is wearing in most of time. This prevents her from leaking the wound and external infection. I had so many worries before doing it and it is very emotional decision to make but 4 days after I believe that it is right decision. Through this experience I have learned that dogs are so much stronger than us humans.
Joanna on February 27, 2019:
My 18 month old jack/chihuahua was spayed this afternoon. About 1.30pm. I picked her up about 5.15pm from the vets. She was very spaced out when i collected her. I opt for a surgical vest instead of a cone for comfort.
Its now 9.20pm she has been sleeping on and off. Taken alittle bit of water. Not interested at all in food. I decided to keep her in her crete as i have another dog. She has not moved a inch. Only to slightly move in her bed. Still very sleepy. Hoping she will pick up in the morning. She wont even move to wee.. so heartbreaking to see her like this but know we have done the right thing.
Nikki on February 06, 2019:
Didnt bother with a cone or e collar vet was pushing for it and i refused turns out the dog is more interested in sleep and cuddles she hasnt once tried to lick and we have 24/ 7 eyes on her so thankful for how she is recovering so mellow and says in bed untill i force her out good training good dog
Patti on February 05, 2019:
Great advice! We had our 6 mo. old girl spayed 7 days ago-7 more to go-so far so good. She is already wanting to run and play vbut NO! Crated a lot to keep her quiet, out on leash, and everything so far seems ok! No ext. stitches so that's a plus. Now 7 days from now, here we go!
Tracy on January 20, 2019:
Loved this article so much! I’m a nervous nelly so I read it probably 10 times, haha! We are doing cone every time she goes in her kennel. We put a smaller bed in her kennel to accommodate the size of the cone and she’s doing great with that. She obviously hates the cone but I know it’s best for her incision! Thanks again for the helpful article!
Monica on January 19, 2019:
My 11month old toy poodle was spayed yesterday. Now (24hrs after spay) she is swollen under rib cage. Is this normal or should I be concerned?
Caroline on January 01, 2019:
My bitch got spayed 5weeks ago now she cant lift or use her left leg properly it is up in the air and then she pants what is this is this normal shes running walking fine just cant scratch it goes up n looks like a crap she slides on her bum then i rub her leg and shes panting alot why is this plus shes gone very hypo active pants alot 2
rich on December 22, 2018:
if i am traveling can i leave the spay stitches in for 25-30 days
Patsy Carbonette on November 15, 2018:
Thank you for a very informative article
Iris on November 09, 2018:
Thank you so much for all this useful info. It helps reassure me and take care of my dog properly after her surgery.
email@example.com on November 05, 2018:
Very rich and useful guidelines that I could not get from the vet clinic, I found here as far as caring for the puppy after sterilisation, thank you.
I found the DO's and DONT's particulary helpful.Thank you
annoyed. on October 17, 2018:
my dogs are one and two and HYPER active- so with my exhausting 24/7 care for 4 days they managed to lick the areas and jump play act nuts. I don't know how anyone can keep a dog confined in a pen for 7-10 days-they go berserk so I am thinking the vet and people need to be realistic- the surgery aftercare did not come with anti-itch or antibiotics or sleep aides which are ALL critically important for super hyper dogs. Bummed at the nonrealistic directions and don't comment back in judgement-
keya on August 08, 2018:
I look after street dogs. Want to start a care center for them.
Siberian Husky puppy on August 02, 2018:
The girl is 6 months and 8 days, and she is going to have the spaying surgery today.
After the surgery what should we pay more attention to her? please give us some recommendations.
Lulu on July 18, 2018:
My dog had a spayed surgery two days ago. After the surgery, she didn't pee much, only once a day. I wonder if it is normal
Wayne on July 17, 2018:
Our six month old German Shepherd wore a huggy type vest that velcros around her body and allows easy access for doing her business and then easy velcroing back to make her wound inaccessible. I can tell you this has been a God send. The cones and collars are ridiculously inadequate and uncomfortable. She is hard to limit in her activity. Expect large active breeds to want to go, even the day after. Our Athena wanted to play, but we have closely monitored her activity and kept her near her older brother GSD, but kept all hijinx to a minimum.
Maejo22 on July 04, 2018:
My 8 month old Chiscon was spayed 24 hours ago. Found her shaking in her little dog bed today. Has been 48 hours since her surgery and she just wants me to constantly hold her. Does not want to go outside which she normally loves to do. Elimination is normal but does not want to eat or drink. What do I need to do?
Melanie Wilder on June 30, 2018:
My puppy was spayed yesterday. She is not eating much. She pooped this evening and cried out when she did. Is this normal?
Brandon on June 11, 2018:
You can get a good antimicrobial surgery suit on Amazon, instead of a cone or anything like that.
Maria on June 04, 2018:
I used a baby onsie instead of the cone. It was much more comfortable.
SadieLady on June 02, 2018:
My 3 y.o. terri-malti-poo was spayed 1 week ago and did not poop until day 5 post-op, but after day 3, she was on her feet and hard to slow down. I was very worried that her activity level would harm her incision (closed with staples) but my vet said some dogs just handle the surgery differently and get back to normal sooner than others. Now, 1 week later, her daily elimination is back to normal and she acts like nothing happened. It's hard not to take her on her usual long walks and runs, but I guess I need to keep exercise to a minimum until the stitches are removed...
Dutchessmom13 on May 29, 2018:
My four and a half year old female pitbull with spaded this morning and they gave me pain meds but they said she cannot have them until the morning she seems very uncomfortable and I'm trying to figure out if giving her a pain med is going to harm her being that she just had the surgery this morning
Randomjane on May 18, 2018:
My dog was spayed and is post op 30 hours. She has eaten 3 regular sized meals but has not eliminated. Should I be concerned or is she just experiencing pain and a slowed system due to anesthesia?
Aleah on May 03, 2018:
My dog was spayed yesterday as she is a shih tzu.This info is very helpful because now I know what to do with Stella.Thank You!
Milla on April 18, 2018:
She got her surgery on April 17 and today April 18 she came back home, but she can poop or pee (she cries a lot). Is it normal ????
My email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenna D. on March 16, 2018:
Thank you so much for the useful information! My 14 month old husky was spayed yesterday and she is still very groggy and dry heaving at times. I wasn't sure what was normal until I read this article. I'm keeping her as comfortable as possible with her bed and furry blankets. She won't eat or drink as of yet. It also hasn't been a full 24 hours yet. I took off work for a couple of days to care for her properly. She sits like a statue with the collar on head faces floor, so I haven't been putting it on her. She is just so sad looking and it breaks my heart that she is like this, but very grateful to have done the procedure. I work in the operating room for humans, so the post-op after care isn't my specialty, but I am a mom so I know some stuff. Your article is very accurate and I'm very grateful for you posting it for people to properly care for their furry family members!!!
Cathy on March 10, 2018:
I have a cavalier King spaniel she seems to have put on weight since then. Can anyone recommend a dog food with lower calories so that I can give her more. She has regular walks.
lexie on February 06, 2018:
My about 2 maybe a little over 2 year old lab mix that I have just got fixed today and has never really been a fan of wearing things like harnesses too long but she likes her anxiety vest and occasionally sweaters. I'm afraid with the cone she'll find a way to some how get it off. I just put it on her not too long for her to get used to it before she goes in the crate tonight. She hasn't messed with the incision at all since we've been home and she didn't have the cone on but, I'm afraid that at night when shes in the crate she'll get the cone off some how and possibly mess with the incision. When she would be in heat and we put diapers on her if we took our eye off her for a little bit or put her in the crate with a diaper at night every night till she was out of heat she always chewed the diapers up. I don't know if anyone gets on this site that much lately, but if you do could you give me any tips on how to keep the cone on or other ways to make sure she doesn't mess with the incision it would be appreciated!
Alofa on January 14, 2018:
Amanda: my pup is hyper also. Instead of a cone I wrapped a small towel around her neck and duct taped it. It made eating easier, she could sleep better, and it stopped her from licking her wound. I kept her short leash on her when not in a crate. She likes to jump up but I would step on the leash to keep her on the ground.
Amanda on December 18, 2017:
My 6 month old pup is getting spayed tomorrow morning and she is insanely hyper and jumps on everything so I’m nervous on how to keep her inactive for 2 weeks and how she’ll be with the cone
Ann on November 23, 2017:
My husband removed the collar on day 2 because dog won't eat and we can't get pain pills in. We can't get the collar back on. She has a glued incision and so far gas left the wound alone but she still gas had NOTHING but a few small drinks of water. Suggestions?
email@example.com on November 10, 2017:
sign language to speak to puppy chihuahua
Trish on November 08, 2017:
My 12 year old was just spayed today. I am giving her Tramadol, but she let's out a cry when I move her. She never cries. I'm afraid to put the cone on, but I'm going to before I go to sleep. Poor baby is miserable. She hasn't peed, drank a bit of water, got lots of IV fluids during surgery, so I'm concerned. But, I'm going to let her rest and hopefully tomorrow is better. The pain med puts her right to sleep, so how is she going to eat or pee. I have wee wee pad, but she has a drunken walk with her back hunched because of the pain. Her incision looks dreadful, total bruising all over her belly. Poor poor baby.I'm giving her anitbiotic and pain meds with Nutrical. No vomiting thank goodness. She got spayed because of a prolonged heat, About the cone, I have it off now, a nurse tech told me tonight will be OK, but I'm afraid to keep it off. It's a softer cat cone, but it still is hard. She can't get comfortable. I feel so awul putting her through this, but next heat may end up in pyometra and that may be deadly. I' will call the resident tomorrow who helps the surgeon. I have no one to speak to and it's sad. Tomorrow I will try to feed her some fish, hopefully she'll be hungry. I'm overly exhausted since I spent 8 hours in the hospital waiting for her.
Gloria on November 04, 2017:
Any reviews about cone after surgery.
Phil on October 06, 2017:
If it is glued and the internal layers are dissolvable stitching then what does the licking do against the wound. All I keep reading is that they pull the stitches but the wound is glued.
Mindy on September 30, 2017:
im nervous about tomorrow
my 7yr old bella is getting fixed first thing in the am, i didnt know how to prepar myself for this whole thing cause its my first time one of my pets is going through this & she means the world to me, but after reading all the Do & Don't i feel so much better, thanks for the info on this God Bless
ps. will keep up in the next few days once bella is home
firstname.lastname@example.org on September 28, 2017:
my 15month rough collie was neutered yesterday, he was tired but today is very much back to normal, i have removed his toys from the garden but still he keeps on looking for them, you would never know he had this done yesterday.
Debbie Woods on September 22, 2017:
My 8yr old shih tzu had surgery yesterday
Debbie Woods on September 22, 2017:
the vet that did her surgery ,did not talk to me and did or will not give her pain meds. i am very upset about this!
Cici on September 13, 2017:
Hey, I'm actually 11 and I'm caring for our small family dog Bella. She was lazy when we first got home (I have a 3 story house), but now she's unusually active. This is actually the day she has been spayed, and she is kind of active.. what does this mean?
Kris on September 09, 2017:
My vet did not give me any pain meds for my puppy after her spay, is that normal? She seems very uncomfortable.
heather on August 31, 2017:
the e collar is making my pup very aggressive and he keeps pulling it apart what should i do
Dale M. Baranoski on July 11, 2017:
Missing information on how long to wait before being concerned about female dog not urinating or defecating (address both) after spaying surgery.
Ruthie on July 10, 2017:
My baby girl is having her surgery right now, and I read bere that we shouldn't pick her up, My house has two stories and she's sleeps in my room upstairs, how should I get her to my room? And I don't have a crate, I have a playpen and a bag to carry her, what do you recommend me to have when I pick her up from the vet?
Louise on July 01, 2017:
It's been 11 day since she was fixed. Is it safe to bath her?
maria on June 21, 2017:
My baby was spayed yesterday. Thank you for the article!!!
Dana on June 10, 2017:
My puppy (7 months) was a LITTLE lethargic the first day, but now at day 4 after spaying she is like a little jackrabbit, I cannot keep her from playing and feel so bad trying to keep her in her crate! I know it is for her own good but she so wants to run and play with the other dogs in our household! I have successfully raised numerous dogs through my lifetime and restraining a 10 lb. dog for 14 days from running & jumping for 14 days - cruelty!
Rosa Campos on May 23, 2017:
My vet didn't give any meds to my 6month 68lbs dog
Tisha M Fanelli on May 10, 2017:
Dog was spayed 3 weeks ago Monday and now she has discharge coming out of her vagina is this normal
Barb M on March 17, 2017:
Thank you for this website..I had my dog spayed today 3/17/17 who is 6 1/2 yrs old. I know that she is old, but she is a Pekingese and basically a house dog. However, after an infection, and a few other issues it was a good solution for her. This site was a blessing for me tonight. I left my Vets office today with NO information on surgery aftercare. They basically told me she would be groggy, feed her at 7pm and give her a 1/2 pain pill twice a day and they would see me in 10 days to take out the stitches. If I had any problems feel free to call the office. (I have been going to them since she was born). With smiles from the girls in the office and a handshake from the Dr. I took my groggy 10 pound girl home. I have been crying for over 4 hrs. (Her surgery was at 9 am, it is now almost 1 in the morning). She has vomited, not moving around much, looks drugged, drooling, and won't eat or drink. I felt like I was about to lose my dog tonight. That was until I read your website. Thank you so very much for giving me peace of mind. I did have the wherewithal to put blankets and towels around and try to make her as comfortable as I could, but I was making the mistake of trying to force water and some food on her because they told me to feed her and was getting nervous because she wouldn't eat and I have been carrying her from place to place because I didn't know what to do for her because I was feeling so guilty that I did this to her. I can't thank you enough for the information and easing my mind, I have been making mistakes that could potential do damage in the long run. I will share this website with my family in the morning. I will sleep peacefully now knowing my girl Zoe is going to be fine..Thanks again! God Bless from Jersey
Anonymous on February 16, 2017:
Thank you! Great article.
Pedro Bruno on February 02, 2017:
Great information. Thanks!
Donna turner on December 31, 2016:
got my 11 month old boxer spaded and now she has a dime size knot beside theincision what could that be
Nikki on December 17, 2016:
My 4 month old pup was spayed a week ago and nothing abnormal has occurred. But i want to makE SURE she is healing correctly. I feel arounf the incision and there is a soft knot/ lump instead of smooth. Is this normal healing?
Rebecca on December 11, 2016:
I am so thankful for this article. My dog, Happy, will be going in for surgery this morning (dec 12th)around 8 a.m. She is not only going for spay but she also has a rather larger mammary gland tumor. They have already used the "C" word in regards to the mass. I got very little on pre-op instructions including when to cut off food and water and had to google that information as well. I figured they need to go NPO just like humans do prior to surgery and I found out I was correct about that. I am a bit worried and scared for her going in for this surgery. She is a 6yr old yellow lab. She is technically my ESA and I hate the idea of her being in danger. She had never been spayed and we actually thought about breeding her for canine companion puppies but then this mass appeared. She has had it for over a year but it was always small and not of much concern until about 4 months ago when it started to grow and balloon the skin rapidly. It is now the size of two golf balls held together. This article was very informative and gives me a good idea of what to expect from her when she gets home. I live in a high rise apartment building and believe it or not I have one of two apartments in the building that have stairs in them. I have two steps up into the apartment from the door. She really does not even go around then though unless she is telling us she needs to go outside. To take her outside it is only a matter of getting on the elevator and going across the street so there is not a lot of walking or stairs for her to deal with. I also walk her with a gentle leader because she would otherwise pull me and I have a bad knee. My other concern specific to her is that she is known to have seizures. The vet feels that they were due to hormones and since all her female hormones will be removed I am not so sure if that will get rid of the seizures or not. She had a very mild seizure just last week after she was attacked by another dog at the dog park. That told me that seizure was probably fear based. I am sort of afraid that fear and / or pain after surgery could trigger seizure activity. I most likely will ask the surgeon about this possibility and if there is anything I should do to help her through them if she does.
Thank you very much for sharing this information. God bless you and your furbabies.
Love and joy from, Rebecca, Ron and Happy the dog
Elizabeth on November 18, 2016:
Bella is 3 years old. Bella had pyometra aND was fixed. It's been 6 days and she still is laying around and doesn't want me to leave her side. I still have her on pain meds and antibiotics. Is this normal for recovery time. I think it's going to be about 6 more days for her to feel better. I hope this is normal
Felix on November 18, 2016:
It's been more than a year that we spayed our bitch after one litter. Lately milk oozes from her breasts (udder) and she keeps crying! Biting her nipples etc.
Could this be Psychological?
april on November 11, 2016:
Had gracie spayed last Friday they said she had a large uterus she needed staples well she ripped some of them out . I took her back they glued her incision and she ripped and licked the glue off! I am now just watching her making sure she doesn't touch it. I put some sterile strips on her hopefully this works. They have her taking antibiotics. What we wouldn't do for our animals
dyde on November 10, 2016:
I have two large year old pups spayed and neutered at the same time. To keep them from licking each other I used the cones and surgical suits on both.
Google: Suitical Recovery Suit or e-collar alternatives Surgi Snuggly That way they could not lick each others wounds or their own. May be an alternative to using the cone for ones that do not tolerate it well.
Rosie Partridge on September 15, 2016:
our little shih Tzu puppy has just been spayed. We had a blood test done first which picked up an abnormal enzyme in her kidney so they put her on a drip and checked her urine which was clear....thank god. She stayed at the vets overnight and had her op this morning. Will be collecting her this afternoon so will keep everyone posted on her progress.
Mona on September 09, 2016:
2 days ago I had my 2 puppies spayed. They are the best in the world after reading some of the comments. One's a little lethargic yet but her sister is fine.
One thing I have noticed though is when there's a stab of pain they go ballistic. Scared me at first but only just found out that was normal. Your article and reviews were very informative.
SueG on September 04, 2016:
Thank You so much for writing this article. It was very informative and eased all my fears of what I thought was not normal... Thank You Thank You!!!!!
SkL on August 18, 2016:
My 6 month old border collie was just spayed and she would not wear a buster collar so I purchased a ballet leotard and cut a hole for her tail. She keeps this on and it prevents her licking day we are on day four and no issues at all. Her incision site looks great...just hard to keep a border collie quiet so I keep her on leash and with me at all times.
SK on August 15, 2016:
My dog is just a year old, I got her spayed this Saturday and since then she is been just vomiting. it's Tuesday today and she has not been eating anything.. the doc says it's acidity, but now I am really worried. She is been on saline and she is not eating anything. Is this normal? Do dogs have acidity post spaying?
zoey on August 13, 2016:
My dog was spayed on Tuesday early morning, Tuesday and Wednesday were hard for her and me, with it being Saturday she has done so well and really wants to be outside. Do you think it is to early. Was told to at least wait 7 days. She is so back to her self and the cut looks great... I want to wait the 7, but she want out... she is a boxer and more of an outdoor dog then indoor.
Fluffy on August 10, 2016:
Is it normal for them to breath fast after getting fixed?
lily keat on August 09, 2016:
my dog is getting spaded tomorrow i'm so worried hope she'll be ok when we left the adoption center so she could get spade her eyes looked so sad
amy on August 06, 2016:
i had my little 3 years old baby girl spayed yesterday after surgery I walked her home layed her down she was whistling through her nose and started whining I called the vet. she said shes probley in pain to put her in a dark room by her self away from my kids and her brother shes in pain and that a little dot of blood is normal im so worried its all most 24 hours and she wont eat or drink for me at 2:15am I forced her to drink a little bit of water in a dropper I offerd food too. and she wont take it so worried. pluse I had to carrie her home because she couldn't walk is she ok or did I hurt her by carring her home please someone reply soon thanks
Carol on July 14, 2016:
My dog never snored before the spaying she is in her 1st day after and she has been snoring I thought, Now I am wondering if she is having trouble bresathing and it is not snoring, It only happens when she sleeps. but she wakes up even if I just get up from my chair or bed. I try to be quiet but she wakes. Could she be snoring? Its 7:51 Pm, I picked her up at 3pm yesterday. I am just worried about the snoring, she is eating, walking wants to play but accepts me containing her. She moans when I pick her up, I notice, and I just read not to pick her up.
Mandi on July 12, 2016:
I am quite the momma duck with my Dog. I'm a worrier about everything, especially my pets. This article helped. I'm still ridiculously concerned that she won't drink or eat but she did only get her surgery today. I'm just extra worried because my vet had us fast her the night before. So she hasn't eaten anything since yesterday night.
LisaWestbrook on June 30, 2016:
IHad just had my dog spayed a week ago, she is a 2 and 1/2 year old Husky, I just got her a few months ago. She has been a Joy. She has done well with the surgery and recovery, my concern is that since that day, she acts like she is nesting, she gathers up toys and lays with them. she moves them to where ever she is, She has become very protective over the toys and stresses out when the other Husky plays with them. There have been no actual dog fights between but there has been some warnings, little growls and lunges. They have gotten along well since they have been together, When they are outside away from the toys, they are fine.Is this normal? will it Pass? or should I be concerned? Should I put all of there toys away for a while? I am not sure what to do, This is the first older dog that I have ever had spayed, I usually spay right away
Dellavern Gittens on June 11, 2016:
Hi my shepherd mix got spayed at 7 months she's a very active dog.
i notice a swelling at the site but no discharge no fever so i'm hoping it will go down eventually' she never had a cone but bounced back the second day after surgery, eating as usual , drinking water , playing is just too much.
she just can't keep quiet. but she's herself. get too excited when i'm around hope all works out well.
wendy on June 11, 2016:
hi .my bitch was spayed 3 weeks ago aged 10 months , its taken her all of the 3 weeks to totally recover from her op. she stopped eating/drinking and going toilet for nearly a week , so dont worry too much.
mrinalini on May 31, 2016:
my 6 month old puppy was spayed yesterday has not been eating or drinking since . Is groggy and sleepy and looks a little low . is it normal ? My parents have almost given up hope . Please im desperate to know if she will recover . How much time does it normally take ?
Evelyn on May 12, 2016:
Had my Abby spayed 2 days ago, she only tried licking it a couple times, we told her no, and she's been staying away from it. She's been sleeping most of the time. Still giving her the pain meds as it says for 3 days. She ate about 1.5 cups of dog food yesterday (she usually eats about 2-3 cups/day), and she hasn't eaten since. No vomiting, and no peeing in house. I'm worried that she's not eating... thoughts?
Natalie on April 18, 2016:
My French bulldog got spayed 2 days ago & she is leaking a dark urine but not much just concerned about this is it normal?
Amber on April 17, 2016:
My 2 yr old coon hound was spayed 3 days ago. She is having bloody diareah. Shes eating. Amd drinking water. Not quite herself but not too far off.
Should i be concerned?