Our Memphis vets know that for some pet parents, deciding to have your dog spayed or neutered can be an emotional decision. Try to keep in mind that these surgeries are fairly routine for your vet, and the pain from neutering is typically short lived and easy to manage.
The Decision Is Worth It
While you may not feel like it at the moment, going through the emotional process of having your dog spayed or neutered is worth it, both for you as a loving pet parent, and for your pooch.
Getting your dog 'fixed' may help to curb undesirable behaviors such as animal aggression, roaming and mounting, and could have a number of health benefits for your dog, as well as preventing unwanted puppies.
In the US an estimated 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year! Having your dog spayed or neutered is the best way for you to help to reduce the overall number of unwanted pets in your neighborhood.
Is spaying or neutering safe for dogs?
Yes. Spay and neuter surgeries are common veterinary medical procedures that most vets get lots of experience performing. That said, as with people, whenever an animal is put under anesthesia for a procedure, there is some level of risk involved. During the procedure, your vet will closely monitor your dog and be on the lookout for any signs of illness or possible complications.
What's the difference between spaying and neutering?
'Spaying' and 'neutering' refer to a surgical procedures that render your pet unable to produce puppies. Both surgeries are commonly referred to as 'neutering' or being 'fixed'. The neutering or castration of male dogs involves the surgical removal of the testicles while the dog is under general anesthesia. Spaying is the surgical sterilization of a female animal through the removal of both ovaries and the uterus, while under general anesthesia.
How do I help my dog feel more comfortable after getting them fixed?
Following your dog's surgery you are going to want to help them to rest and feel as comfortable as possible. Here are a few things that you can do to help comfort your dog after neutering:
- Ensure that your dog has a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals.
- Prevent your dog from running and jumping for two weeks following the spay or neuter surgery. Follow your vet's instructions regarding activity after these procedures, since your dog may require further restrictions.
- We know that it can make your dog look sad, but it's important to have your dog wear a post-operative jumpsuit (recovery suit) or a cone (Elizabethan collar) to prevent your pet from licking the incision site. Licking the incision may cause an infection.
- In order for your dog's incision to heal as quickly as possible, do not bathe your dog (or allow your dog to swim) for at least ten days after spaying or neutering.
- Check the incision site daily for any possible signs of infection and to ensure that the incision is healing well.
Be sure to contact your vet if you notice any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision has opened. Also call your vet if your dog seems lethargic, stops eating, or begins vomiting or has diarrhea.
How long will my dog be in pain after neutering or spaying?
When you pick your dog up from the vets office on the day of the surgery, your dog may be tired, queasy, or just not seem like their usual self - those are pretty typical side effects of general anesthesia. The next day your pet should begin behaving more like themselves and be showing little sign of pain.
Spaying your female dog is somewhat more involved than neutering males, however it should take about the same amount of time to recover from either of these surgeries.
The discomfort caused by spay or neuter surgeries lasts for just a few days and should be completely gone after about a week. If your pet is experiencing pain or discomfort for more than a couple of days it's a good idea to contact your vet for further advice.
Will my dog have pain meds after surgery?
Yes. During the surgery your dog will be unconscious and not feel any pain however, once they wake up they will require medication to help with pain. When the surgery is complete, your vet will administer pain medications to your dog via an injection. This long-term pain medication should last for about 12-24 hours.
Your vet will prescribe any take-home medications they feel will be required to help relieve post-operative pain for your dog. Some of the most common medications prescribed by vets to help manage pain after spay or neuter surgery include Torbugesic or Rimadyl.
It's important to follow your vet's instructions carefully when it comes to giving your dog pain medications. Never administer human pain medications to your dog! Some pain medications that work for humans are poisonous to dogs.