Post-operative Instructions

  • Activity restriction: No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity for 10 days. Keep your pet quiet. Pets (except feral cats) should be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm. Dogs must be walked on a leash and not allowed to run free. No baths for 2 weeks.
  • No licking: Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) MUST be applied to stop the licking. E-collars are available from our clinic or most pet stores.
  • Check the incision site twice daily. Redness, swelling, and drainage should be minimal.
  • Food and water: Give your pet water as soon as possible. Feed them half of their normal amount on the day of surgery and resume normal feeding the next day. Appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Do not change your pet’s diet during the recovery period.
  • Tattoo: Your pet received a small green tattoo on their underside to indicate that they have been spayed or neutered. This tattoo is a scoring process in the skin; it is not an extra incision.
  • Pain medication: Your pet received medications that provide pain relief for 24 hours. Do NOT give any additional medications such as Aspirin or Tylenol. These can seriously harm your pet.
  • Sutures: The sutures do not need to be removed. They are absorbable and located under the skin.
  • Monitor for vomiting or lethargy lasting more than 24 hours post-op. Call our clinic if you have concerns.
  • Feral cats must not be released until the morning after surgery to ensure that they are fully alert.
  • Vaccine boosters: If your pet received vaccines, please check with our staff regarding the timing of boosters. Our veterinarian recommends that you establish a wellness program for your pet.
  • What to do if you have questions or concerns:
    • If it is during our phone hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), call our office at 219.922.3811. Please call us before seeking care from another veterinarian.
    • If there is an emergency outside of our hours, call your regular veterinarian or the North Central Veterinary Emergency Center at 219.881.1600. You will be responsible for paying the cost of this visit and contacting us as soon as possible to discuss possible reimbursement (if the problem was due to surgical error and the above post-op instructions were followed in full).
    • We will attempt to treat at our clinic, at minimal cost, any complications resulting directly from the surgery if the above post-op instructions were followed. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern.

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