Post-Surgery Instructions

Post-Surgery Instructions

For Female Cats

Your cat has just been spayed. Before surgery she received a general anesthetic to induce sleep and a long-lasting analgesic to prevent any pain. An incision was made through the skin and abdominal wall (into the abdominal cavity), and the three points where the ovaries and uterus attach were tied off and cut, and both ovaries and the uterus were removed. Because of the seriousness of the operation your cat requires and deserves proper care and observation for the next several days. 

  1. If you bring your cat home on the day of surgery, she will be feeling the effects of the anesthetic. Her eyes will have a protective ointment on them and she may not be able to see well. She will be easily startled and may become frightened by sounds and movement. It is important this first day that you confine her and disturb her as little as possible. This is equivalent to the strict bed rest you would get in the hospital if you had received abdominal surgery. Keep her away from all other animals and children. She should return to her normal self in a few days.
  2. Do not feed your cat until the effects of anesthesia have passed, and she has fully regained her coordination. How quickly this happens depends on each individual cat. Many are able to eat the first night after surgery. Some cats feel nauseous the first few days, so don't be alarmed if she does not want to eat immediately. When she is ready to eat, make her first meal a small one. Give her a small portion initially and space out the rest of the meal over the remainder of the day. If your cat is not back to her normal eating habits by the second day after surgery, please let us know about it.
  3. Your cat will need to be confined indoors for at least seven days following surgery and kept as inactive as possible. Too much activity too soon will disrupt the healing process and can lead to swelling and/or the formation of a fluid pocket under the incision. If a fluid pocket does form it should go away on its own in a few weeks.
  4. Observe the incision daily. A small amount of redness and firm swelling is normal and usually resolves in a few weeks. Cats often react this way to internal sutures. Any drainage or bleeding or excessively large swelling is not normal and should be reported to the Clinic.
  5. Do not let your cat lick her incision excessively.
  6. Avoid getting the incision wet. This means no baths for a week.
  7. If your cat was pregnant at the time of surgery, it may take her longer to recuperate. She may be slightly anemic and run down. To help her recover as quickly as possible, allow her access to plenty of fresh, clean drinking water and quality cat food.
  8. Check your surgery record to see if you need to return for suture removal. Most of the time we put in "buried sutures," which require no removal.
  9. Keep your cat's surgery report as verification that she has been spayed. It also indicates whether your cat was vaccinated, along with information regarding the microchip, if one was implanted. If a rabies vaccination was given, the report contains your Certificate of Rabies Vaccination. This document is required for travel with your cat across state and national borders. Check the Rabies Certificate to see when the next rabies vaccination is due. Check with your regular veterinarian to determine when to booster your cat's vaccinations.
  10. If a problem should develop, contact us immediately. If the Clinic is closed, contact your private veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic.

We anticipate that your cat will have a normal, uneventful recovery. If you have any questions regarding her progress, please call us at 206-386-4260.

For Male Cats

Your cat has just been neutered. Before surgery he received a general anesthetic to induce sleep and a long-lasting analgesic to prevent any pain. Two small incisions were made through the scrotum and the testicles were removed. While this is a relatively simple surgical procedure, your cat requires and deserves proper care and observation for the next several days. 

  1. If you bring your cat home on the day of surgery, he will be feeling the effects of the anesthetic. His eyes will have a protective ointment on them, and he may not be able to see well. He will be easily startled and may become frightened by sounds and movement. It is important this first day that you confine him and disturb him as little as possible. This is equivalent to the strict bed rest you would get in the hospital following surgery. Keep him away from all other animals and children. He should return to his normal self in a few days.
  2. Do not feed your cat until the effects of anesthesia have passed and he has fully regained his coordination. How quickly this happens depends on each individual cat. Many are able to eat the first night after surgery. Some cats feel nauseous the first few days, so don't be alarmed if he does not want to eat immediately. When he is ready to eat, make his first meal a small one. Give him a small portion initially and space out the rest of the meal over the remainder of the day. If your cat is not back to his normal eating habits by the second day after surgery, please let us know.
  3. Your cat will need to be confined indoors for at least seven days following surgery and kept as inactive as possible. Too much activity too soon will disrupt the healing process.
  4. Observe the incision daily. A small amount of redness and firm swelling is normal and usually resolves in a few weeks. Any drainage, bleeding or excessively large swelling is not normal and should be reported to the Clinic.
  5. Do not let your cat lick his incision excessively.
  6. Avoid getting the incision wet for a week. This means no baths.
  7. There is no need for suture removal.
  8. Keep your cat's surgery report as verification that he has been neutered. It also indicates whether your dog was vaccinated, along with information regarding the microchip, if one was implanted. If a rabies vaccination was given, the report contains your Certificate of Rabies Vaccination. This document is required for travel with your cat across state and national borders. Check the Rabies Certificate to see when the next rabies vaccination is due. Check with your regular veterinarian to seen when to booster your cat's vaccinations.
  9. If a problem should develop, contact us immediately. If the Clinic is closed, contact your private veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic.

We anticipate that your cat will have a normal, uneventful recovery. If you have any questions regarding his progress, please call us at 206-386-4260.

For Female Dogs

Your dog has just been spayed. Before surgery she received a general anesthetic to induce sleep and a long-lasting analgesic to prevent any pain. An incision was made through the skin and abdominal wall (into the abdominal cavity) and the three points where the ovaries and uterus attach were tied off and cut. Both ovaries, the fallopian tubes and the uterus were removed. Because of the seriousness of the operation your dog requires and deserves proper care and observation for the next several days.

  1. When you bring your dog home, she will be feeling the effects of the anesthetic. Keep her away from all other animals and children at first. She may feel a little wobbly and not be in complete possession of her senses. It is important this first day that you confine her indoors and disturb her as little as possible. This is equivalent to the strict bed rest you would get in the hospital if you had received abdominal surgery. She should return to her normal self in a few days.
  2. Your dog has been given one of the most effective combinations of analgesics for this type of surgery. She should remain comfortable throughout her recovery. You are the best judge of how well your pet is coping with her discomfort following surgery. Dogs are individuals and there are some dogs that are more sensitive to pain. Please let us know if you would like to purchase additional pain medication.
  3. Do not feed your dog until the effects of anesthesia have passed and she has fully regained her coordination. How quickly this happens depends on each individual dog. Many are able to eat the first night after surgery. Some dogs feel nauseous the first few days, so don't be alarmed if she does not want to eat immediately. When she is ready to eat, make her first meal a small one. Give her a small proportion initially and space out the rest of the meal over the remainder of the day. If your dog is not back to her normal eating habits by the second day after surgery, please let us know about it. Fresh, clean water should always be available.
  4. Keep her as inactive as possible for one week. Too much activity too soon will disrupt the healing process and can lead to swelling and/or the formation of a fluid pocket under the incision. If a fluid pocket does form it should go away on its own in a few weeks. Short on-leash walks are okay. Running or off-leash yard play should not be allowed.
  5. Observe the incision daily. A small amount of redness and swelling is normal. Drainage, discharge or excessively large swelling is not normal and should be reported to the Clinic.
  6. She may have a slight cough for a few days. We put a breathing tube in her trachea to give her oxygen and gas anesthesia. Sometimes this tube causes normal irritation.
  7. Do not let your dog lick her incision. She could open up the incision or cause an infection by doing so. If your dog insists on licking her incision, it may be necessary to place a collar (often called an "Elizabethan" collar) on her to prevent her from doing so. These collars are available from the Clinic, other veterinary clinics and pet stores.
  8. Avoid getting the incision wet for at least a week. This means no baths, swimming or wading in belly-deep water.
  9. If your dog was in heat at the time of surgery, she should be kept away from male dogs for the next 8-10 days. She will retain the odor which attracts male dogs and may still be receptive to them. If a male dog mounts her, there is a risk that this may rupture her internal sutures and cause them to begin to bleed. If she was in heat or near the beginning of her estrus cycle at the time of surgery, you may see some small amount of blood-tinged vaginal discharge for a few days after surgery.
  10. If your dog was pregnant at the time of surgery, it may take her longer to recuperate. She will probably be slightly anemic and a little run down. To help her recover as quickly as possible, allow her access to plenty of fresh, clean drinking water and a high quality dog food for the next few weeks.
  11. Check your surgery record to see if you need to return for suture removal. Most of the time we put in "buried sutures," which require no removal.
  12. Keep your dog's surgery report as verification that she has been spayed. It also indicates whether your dog was vaccinated, along with information regarding the microchip, if one was implanted. If a rabies vaccination was given, the report contains your Certificate of Rabies Vaccination. This document is required for travel with your dog across state and national borders. Check the Rabies Certificate to see when the next rabies vaccination is due. Check with your regular veterinarian to see when additional boosters of other vaccines are recommended.
  13. If a problem should develop, contact us immediately. If the Clinic is closed, contact your private veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic.

We anticipate that your dog will have a normal, uneventful recovery. If you have any questions regarding her progress, please call us at 206-386-4260.

For Male Dogs

Your dog has just been neutered. Before surgery he received a general anesthetic to induce sleep and a long-lasting analgesic to prevent any pain. An incision was made just in front of the scrotum and the testicles were removed. While this is a relatively simple surgical procedure, your dog requires and deserves proper care and observation for the next several days. 

  1. If you bring your dog home on the day of surgery, he will be feeling the effects of the anesthetic. Keep him away from all other animals and children when you first bring him home. He may feel a little wobbly and not be in complete possession of his senses. It is important this first day that you confine him indoors and disturb him as little as possible. This is equivalent to the strict bed rest you would get in the hospital if you had surgery. He should return to his normal self in a few days.
  2. Your dog has been given one of the most effective combinations of analgesics for this type of surgery. He should remain comfortable throughout his recovery. You are the best judge of how well your pet is coping with his discomfort following surgery. Dogs are individuals and some dogs are more sensitive to pain. Please let us know if you would like to purchase additional pain medication.
  3. Do not feed your dog until the effects of anesthesia have passed and he has fully regained his coordination. How quickly this happens depends on each individual dog. Many are able to eat the first night after surgery. Some dogs feel nauseous the first few days, so don't be alarmed if he does not want to eat immediately. When he is ready to eat, make his first meal a small one. Give him a small portion initially and space out the rest of the meal over the remainder of the day. If your dog is not back to his normal eating habits by the second day after surgery, please let us know about it. Fresh, clean water should always be available.
  4. Keep him as inactive as possible for one week. Too much activity too soon will disrupt the healing process. Short on-leash walks are okay. Running or off-leash yard play should not be allowed.
  5. He may have a slight cough for a few days. We put a breathing tube in his trachea to give him oxygen and gas anesthesia. Sometimes this tube causes a little irritation resulting in a cough.
  6. Observe the incision daily. A small amount of redness and swelling is normal. Drainage, discharge or excessively large swelling is not normal and should be reported to the Clinic.
  7. Do not let your dog lick his incision. Licking can irritate the skin, delay healing and lead to a secondary infection. Consider offering a chew toy as a distraction. If your dog insists on licking his incision, it may be necessary to place a collar (often called an "Elizabethan" collar) on him to prevent him from doing so. These collars are available from the Clinic, other veterinary clinics and pet stores.
  8. Avoid getting the incision wet for a week. This means no baths, swimming or wading in belly-deep water.
  9. Check your surgery record to see if you need to return for suture removal. Most of the time we put in "buried sutures," which require no removal.
  10. Keep your dog's surgery report as verification that he has been neutered. It also indicates whether your dog was vaccinated, along with information regarding the microchip, if one was implanted. If a rabies vaccination was given, the report contains your Certificate of Rabies Vaccination. This document is required for travel with your dog across state and national borders. Check the Rabies Certificate to see when the next rabies vaccination is due. Check with your regular veterinarian to see when additional boosters of other vaccines are recommended.
  11. If a problem should develop, contact us immediately. If the Clinic is closed, contact your private veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic.

We anticipate that your dog will have a normal, uneventful recovery. If you have any questions regarding his progress, please call us at 206-386-4260.