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How should I manage my dog's pain after spay or neutering?

Our veterinary team in Pittsboro empathizes with the fact that deciding to neuter or spay your dog can be a difficult choice. We are here to offer guidance on managing your dog's pain during the recovery process, answer any questions that you may have, and address any concerns that you may be feeling.

Why Spaying or Neutering Your Dog is Important

As a responsible pet owner, one of the best decisions you can make for your dog is to spay or neuter them. This procedure not only helps prevent unwanted litters, but it also offers several other benefits to your dog and the community.

These benefits range from controlling overpopulation and improving health to enhancing behavior and promoting responsible pet ownership.

If you haven't already, it's a good idea to discuss this option with your veterinarian and take proactive steps to ensure the well-being of your furry companion.

Is it safe to have my dog spayed or neutered?

Yes, most veterinarians have experience performing common veterinary procedures. However, just like with medical procedures for humans, there are potential risks involved when an animal is put under anesthesia.

During your dog's surgery, your veterinarian will closely monitor your pet to watch for any potential complications.

What are the differences between spay & neuter surgeries?

Both spaying and neutering are surgical procedures that are performed to sterilize dogs, preventing them from producing litters of puppies. However, there is a crucial difference between the two procedures.

Neutering is the removal of testicles from a male dog while he is under general anesthesia. In contrast, spaying is the removal of the uterus and both ovaries from a female dog while she is under general anesthesia.

Despite the difference, both procedures are commonly referred to as "fixing" or neutering dogs.

How can I help my dog feel more comfortable after spaying or neutering?

Following your dog’s surgery, help them rest and feel comfortable. Here are a few tips if you're wondering how to comfort a dog who may be in pain after neutering:

  • Have a quiet place for your dog to rest and recover indoors, away from other animals.
  • Put your dog in a cone (Elizabethan collar) or postoperative jumpsuit (recovery suit) to prevent him or her from licking the incision site. Licking the incision may transfer bacteria and cause infection.
  • Check the incision site daily to confirm the incision is healing well, and that there are no signs of infection.
  • For two weeks after the spay or neuter surgery, prevent your pet from jumping or running.
  • Follow your vet’s advice about physical activity following the procedure since your dog may require further restrictions.
  • If you notice any discharge, swelling or redness at the surgery site, or if the incision opens, contact your vet. Also, call your vet if your dog has diarrhea, begins vomiting, stops eating, or seems lethargic.

How long will my dog be in pain after neutering or spaying?

Spaying female dogs is a bit more complicated than neutering male dogs. However, both surgeries generally require the same amount of time to recover from. 

After the procedure, your dog may not act like their typical self and could feel nauseous or tired due to the effects of general anesthesia. But, by the next day, they should start to behave more like themselves and show little signs of pain or discomfort. 

Any discomfort caused by the surgeries usually lasts for a few days; after a week, it should go away. If your pet experiences any pain or discomfort beyond a few days, it's best to contact your vet for further guidance.

Will my dog need pain meds after surgery?

Your dog will not feel any pain during the surgery as they will be under anesthesia. However, they will need pain relief medication after the procedure. The veterinarian will administer pain medications through an injection after the surgery. This long-term pain medication's effect should last about 12 to 24 hours. 

If you're wondering, "What can I give my dog for pain after surgery?" then your vet will prescribe take-home medications to relieve any postoperative pain your dog may experience. Rimadyl or Torbugesic are commonly prescribed dog pain medications that help manage pain after spay or neuter surgery. Follow your vet's instructions carefully when administering pain medications. Never give your dog human pain medications, as many of them are toxic to dogs.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog displaying signs of pain or infection after surgery? Contact our animal hospital in Pittsboro as soon as possible.

Welcoming New Patients

Our vets at Hope Crossing Animal Hospital are now accepting new patients! Our talented veterinary team is passionate about caring for the pets of Pittsboro. Contact us today to book your first appointment. 

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