After Spay/Neuter

Food and Water

You may offer your pet water and a small meal the evening of their surgery. If he/she vomits, take away the food and water until the next morning. If he/she holds down the small meal for at least 1 hour, another small meal can be given later (this is especially important for very young animals as they need to eat frequently).


Your pet has had major surgery which includes an incision into the abdomen for females and into the scrotal area for males. It is extremely important that you keep him/her relatively quiet for the next 10-14 days in order to prevent complications. No running, jumping, climbing stairs or doing anything other than walking on a leash for the next 10 days. Your pet needs to be kept in an indoor crate/ kennel for most of the day and night for the next 10 days. The time of highest risk for the sutures breaking down is 3-5 days after surgery.


Using a hard plastic cone collar at all times is the only way to make sure that your pet will not lick/chew at his/her incision. Licking/chewing at the incision can cause the incision to open or become infected. We strongly encourage purchasing these collars from us at the time of surgery or you can purchase from a pet store. Keep on for 10-14 days. 


No bathing your pet for the next 10-14 days as we do not want soap and water to get inside of the incision or to irritate the surgery site.


Please look at the area of the incision daily (middle of the belly for female dogs and cats, scrotal area for male dogs and cats). If you notice fluid draining, bleeding, excessive swelling, or that the incision appears to be open, please call us immediately.

Sutures: In almost all situations, female dogs, female cats, and most male dogs will have dissolving sutures in the incision, which will absorb on their own over the next 1-2 months. Except in rare situations, there are no skin stitches that need to be removed, and if this is the case, you will be notified.

Staying Indoors

Even if your pet normally lives outside, it is very important to keep him/her indoors at all times (except to go to the bathroom) for the next 10 days to prevent infection and allow for proper healing.

Pain Medications

All cats are provided pain medications that will last during their recovery period.  Your pet has had major surgery, and will likely show some signs of pain if he/she is not receiving pain medications (these may include panting, whining, and unwillingness to sit, lay down or walk, lack of appetite, fast heart rate, etc.). Please contact us immediately if your pet appears to be in pain. DO NOT ever give aspirin, Tylenol, Advil/ibuprofen or any other human pain medication as these can be deadly for dogs and cats.

Green Line Tattoo

All pets have a green tattoo on their stomach. This is to identify the pet as “fixed” (spayed or neutered) so that anyone can tell immediately that a surgery has been performed and does not need to be repeated. Surgical glue has been put over the tattoo and the incision site. The glue will wear off, but the tattoo is permanent. There is no after care needed for the tattoo.