You have taken your dog to the vet and he has been neutered.
This is not the time for you to feel sorry for him, and get all emotional. He needs you now more than ever, and you must take care of him the best way you can.
Remember that he has had surgery, yes, he was opened up. This will definitely affect his behavior. Put yourself in his shoes and remember how it felt the last time you had surgery. It can be extremely painful, so you have to be patient with him.
He will, of course, be tired and probably nauseous for a few days and may be at risk of infection so be on the lookout. Aside from all this, your precious puppy still loves you, so, let him rest, and take care of him so he can heal quickly.
Here are a few tips on how you can provide your dog care after neuter:
Make him comfortable after the surgery:
When you get home, allow him to lie down on a comfortable spot, it can even be your bed. It should be very quiet because he will probably sleep since the effects of the anesthesia have not worn off. Check on him often, at least every hour, to ensure he is not vomiting excessively.
Keep all other pets and even your children away from him and just let him be. He may not have the complete control of his senses so, keep him indoors only.
Wait to feed him after the anesthesia has worn off:
Keep some clean drinking water readily available for him. Do not feed him, until he is completely composed. This will probably be in after 3-6 hours. Please note that most dogs may experience nausea after surgery and will only eat a little food at a time if they will even eat at all.
The first meal after surgery should be half of what he normally consumes. Provide the rest in small amounts throughout the day. Small portions at a time. If you find that after 48 hours he still doesn’t want to eat, take him back to the vet.
Watch out for danger signs:
Some of the common danger signs are;
- Decreased appetite.
- Persistent vomiting.
If you notice any of the above, call your vet immediately. This will, however, be after the first 24 hours, and it must be persistent. A minor cough is normal due to the breathing tube that was used during surgery when he was under anesthesia, but, this irritation will heal in a few days.
Ensuring the site of incision heals:
Steps that should be taken:
1. Get him an e-collar:
These collars are commonly referred to as “cones” they look like an inverted lampshade and I’m sure you have seen some dogs with them. An e-collar will help prevent the dog from licking or chewing the location where the surgery took place.
It is very important to keep his sutures in place because it will prevent infection and ensure he heals fast.
Putting a collar on him as soon as you get home will help you a great deal. Do not take it off too early, as he is most likely to chew on the incision once it gets itchy as it heals. This will probably be 5 – 8 days later. To be safe, keep it on till the skin heals completely.
If the vet did not provide you with an e-collar, you can purchase it from the local pet store. You can also choose a soft one, or a stiff one, depending on your preference, or whichever makes it easy for him to access food and water.
2. Check on the site of the incision at least twice a day:
Every day after surgery, ensure to check that the site of incision is healing at least twice a day. You will also be looking for signs of redness, discharge or swelling. Small amounts of swelling and redness are normal, but, if you notice any discharge or an abnormal swelling, call your vet immediately.
If the incision is open, call the vet. You may need to take the dog back for re-suturing.
If it is dirty, then you will need to clean it. Use a cotton ball that has been dipped in clean salty or boiled water.
3. Keep him inactive for at least 5 days:
Minimizing your dog’s activities for the first week is very important, as it facilitates the healing process. He requires plenty of sleep. Take him on short walks on a leash, and do not allow him to get near other animals. Even in a fenced yard, don’t let him off the leash.
Choose walking times where you are less likely to meet other dogs, if you see another dog, cross over to the other side. You can even change directions, to minimize the potential of sudden movements by your dog.
4. Easing him back to normal:
Do not let him jump for a few weeks:
For two good weeks after surgery, Do not let your dog run, or roughhouse, or even jump around. You want to make sure that he heals properly, before getting back to his normal activities.
Following your vets’ specific instructions regarding when he becomes fully active is highly recommended. When you notice that the incision is healed, you can start slowly, by letting him off the yard, but keep the leash on to be safe.
Do not bathe him yet:
Bathing should definitely be postponed for at least 10 days after surgery. Follow the vet’s instructions on the best time to bathe him again. Do not get him wet in any way before he is fully healed, as this may increase the chances of an infection.
If you must clean him for whatever reason, use a waterless shampoo from the pet store, and do not let it get anywhere near the incision site.
5. Return to the vet for the removal of the undissolved sutures:
It is important to read the surgical paperwork carefully in order to know what to expect. Choosing dissolving sutures is most ideal, but if these were not used, then you will need to go back to the vet for them to be removed at the specified time.
Your vet will have shared the timeline with you on when they should be removed, so follow his instructions closely, and all will be fine.
Commonly asked questions:
Is it common for my dog to throw up after neutering has been done?
Yes, this is a reaction to the medication used. However, if the vomiting is excessive, or continues for more than a day, go back to the vet.
What should I do if my pet does not poop after he has been neutered?
On the first day after surgery, this is normal. If he takes more than a day for him to poop normally, then you will need to consult a vet.
Should I use any antibiotic cream on the incision site?
No. Not unless the vet has instructed you to do so.
Should the dog go up and down the stairs?
No. Do not let him run around or even jump up and down till he is healed properly. Wait at least 2 weeks.
Should a neutered dog be crying?
The first few days yes. He is still feeling a little discomfort on the incision area.
What should I feed him?
You can feed him his normal food but in small qualities throughout the day, or, you can opt for a softer option. Do not give him too much too soon.
Hope these 4 tips to provide dog care after neuter are useful to you. If you feel like something else has worked for you, feel free to share it with me.