Post-Op FAQs

Your Questions, Answered

If after reviewing all of our FQAs you still cannot find an answer and are concerned about your pet, call the clinic to schedule a re-check.  There is no examination fee at Pet Savers to look at your pet within 14 days of the surgery.  If your pet’s condition appears to be life-threatening, please call your nearest emergency veterinary clinic.


Pet Savers will not examine most pets after the 14-day period has expired as most often

complications from surgery will present during this time.


We recommend the following: 

Animal Emergency Clinic

6522 E 1st Ave, Spokane Valley, WA

P: (509) 535-8743


You are responsible for all costs associated with your pet’s emergency care

MY PET HAD SURGERY TODAY AND IS STILL GROGGY. IS THIS NORMAL?

It is common for your pet to be a little groggy the first night. Your pet may be drowsy for 24-48 hours from the anesthesia. Wearing an e-collar can also appear to be making your pet groggy as they may not want to move with it on. If you think your pet is groggy, try putting a few dabs of corn syrup, honey or pancake syrup under the tongue. This may help raise your pet’s blood sugar level. If your pet is still extremely groggy, contact the after-hours emergency phone number on your take-home instructions or visit your closest after-hours veterinary hospital (at your own expense). Pets that had surgery later in the day, will of course be groggy further into the evening.

MY PET IS VOMITING AFTER EATING/DRINKING. IS THIS NORMAL?

When your pet gets home from surgery, you should offer water and ¼ of a normal meal. Give your pet about an hour to digest that meal and if they are able to keep that down, you may offer more. However, if your pet is having repetitive vomiting after eating the day of surgery, then take away the food and try feeding again the next morning. It is common to have some vomiting after anesthesia. You may leave the water down for your pet to stay hydrated, but be sure that they are not gulping the water, as excessive amounts can lead to vomiting as well. If your pet is gulping the water, limit the amount that you put in the bowl at one time. Lethargy lasting for more than 24 hours post-op, and continued diarrhea and/or vomiting are not normal and your pet should be seen by our clinic (with no exam fee) or your full service vet clinic (at your own expense).

IS IT OK THAT MY PET HASN’T EATEN OR DRANK ANY WATER?

It is not uncommon for your pet to not be hungry after surgery. If your pet refuses to eat, you may give them a diced up hard-boiled egg, boiled chicken/hamburger meat, or cooked rice (all bland food with no seasoning) as this may help increase their appetite. To entice a pet to drink water, you may add small amount of low or no sodium beef or chicken broth to the water. If your pet continues to refuse water or food after 24 hours, your pet should be seen by our clinic (with no exam fee) or your full-service vet clinic (at your own expense).

IS IT NORMAL FOR MY PET TO BE SHIVERING OR SHAKING A LOT?

This is not uncommon and can be a side effect of the anesthetic wearing off, which should resolve within 24-48 hours; or it could be anxiety. Remember, your pet does not understand he or she had surgery. Try your best to not hover over your pet as that may increase their anxiety. You may also apply a warm towel from the dryer on your pet for comfort. If you did not purchase additional pain medication you may come into the clinic to purchase additional pain medication to help your pet recover.

I THINK MY PET IS IN PAIN. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

ALL owned cats and feral cats are given a standard 12-hour pain injection the day of surgery. Dogs receive oral medications the day of surgery and are sent home with a 3-day supply for pain management. The dosage is adequate for your pet and will allow them to recover comfortably. Do not give more than the recommended dose. If your pet is out of pain medication and you believe he /she is still in pain, please schedule a re-check for the doctor to rule out any other issues. DO NOT give any human pain medications or medications prescribed for other pets.

MY PET WON’T LAY DOWN OR REST. DOES THIS HAPPEN OFTEN?

Your pet may be somewhat groggy, confused, uncomfortable, or not used to the e-collar, so being anxious is not uncommon. Provide your pet a comfortable place to lay down and try your best to not hover or push them into laying down. The e-collar can be extremely confusing to them and they may feel they are unable to move. However, your pet will lay down and rest eventually. If you feel the issue is due to the e-collar, you may visit PetCo or PetSmart to purchase other types of e-collars that may be more tolerable for your pet, but please do not remove an e-collar that our vet has strongly recommended you to use. It may negatively impact the post-op healing and wellbeing of your pet.

WHAT DO I DO IF MY PET HASN’T POOPED OR PEED?

It can be normal for your pet to not poop or pee the day of surgery. You have withheld food the night before surgery, therefore, there may not be any food for them to break down in their system currently. Additionally, we often express the bladder just before surgery and/or your pet has peed or pooped already at our clinic. Also, your pet may feel “off” or anxious due to the e-collar. You can temporarily remove the collar to allow your pet to eliminate, but make sure to put it back on when finished. If your pet has not pooped/peed within 48 hours after surgery, you should visit our clinic during business hours or you should seek out a full service vet clinic (at your expense).

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THERE IS A LOT OF SWELLING IN THE SCROTUM?

If you have a male dog that is over 50 lbs, then there is a 50% chance that your dog can develop a scrotal hematoma. Cats are less likely than dogs to develop a hematoma, but it is possible. A scrotal hematoma is the collection of blood and fluids inside the scrotum. It occurs when bleeding resumes after closing of the incision site due to trauma or other conditions. The scrotum may swell, bruise, and is often painful.

It is very important that you restrict your pet’s activity. No running, jumping, roughhousing allowed. Walk your pet outside on a leash to urinate and defecate. Do not let your pet run around the yard. An e-collar should be kept on your pet at all times for pets that tend to lick, nibble, or generally fuss with the incision area. You may purchase one from our clinic or from a pet store such as Petco or PetSmart.


To help prevent issues associated with a hematoma, it is recommended to use cold/ice compresses (if tolerated by the pet!) on the scrotum for 24 hours post-op. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to the scrotum for 10 minutes, 3 times a day for the next few days.

If swelling continues and the scrotum is growing larger and is dripping blood, you should contact our clinic immediately. Please do not feed your pet in case the veterinarian needs to surgically repair the site. If our clinic is closed, contact the emergency clinic immediately. You are responsible for paying the cost of this visit and all treatments directly to the emergency clinic or private veterinarian.

WHAT IF MY PET’S INCISION IS SWOLLEN?

Gently touch the swollen area to see if it is hard or soft. If it is hard, it is most likely the suture material being absorbed. This is not uncommon and will eventually go away. It can take several months for the material to be completely absorbed by the body. If the swelling is larger than a grape, or if the swollen area is soft, it should be looked at and you may contact Pet Savers to schedule a recheck. We offer a free examination for any pet who received surgery with Pet Savers within the past 14 days who is exhibiting abnormal behaviors/concerns.

IT LOOKS LIKE THE INCISION IS OPENING OR DRAINING. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

It doesn’t take much for your pet to do damage to the incision site. If your pet does not have an e-collar on, you should purchase one from our clinic or from Petco or PetSmart. Running, jumping, or excessive activity can cause stress on the incision site. Dogs should be leash walked only (no running loose or roughhousing) for one full week after surgery. Cats should be kept indoors if at all possible for one week. You may utilize a pet crate or a small room with the door closed to keep your pet’s activity to a minimum.


A few drops or slight draining may occur at the incision site, however, he/she needs to be looked at. If you feel the bleeding or draining is not life-threatening, bring your pet to our clinic during regular business hours. If it is a Saturday afternoon, Sunday, or Monday (hours that we do not have a vet on site) we encourage you to call an emergency clinic.

Major bleeding that appears to be life-threatening is serious and you should call the emergency number provided on your post-surgical instructions packet immediately or take your pet to the nearest emergency clinic. If your female dog or cat’s incisions opens up completely and/or you see tissues protruding from the incision site, contact and/or visit the emergency clinic immediately. You are responsible for paying the cost of the visit and all treatments directly to the emergency clinic or private veterinarian.

MY FEMALE PET WAS PREGNANT BEFORE SURGERY. SHOULD I PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO HER?

Yes. Due to the stresses of both surgery and pregnancy, your pet is at a higher risk for metabolic changes and pain-related issues. Please ensure she is eating and comfortable especially the first 1-3 days post-op. If the pet is a nursing mom, we recommend not spaying until after the litter is fully weaned (6-8 weeks).

MY PET'S FACE IS SWOLLEN AND THEY HAD VACCINES TODAY. IS THIS NORMAL? WHAT SHOULD I DO?

This sounds like an allergic reaction to the immunization(s). Typically a patient who is experiencing a vaccine-related reaction will show symptoms within the first 4 hours following immunization. You can give your pet Benadryl to help remedy the symptoms. Please contact us for the appropriate dose. If your pet has severe allergic symptoms (ie-trouble breathing, weakness, collapse) contact us immediately or take your pet to a full-service veterinarian or emergency clinic for care.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY PET’S E-COLLAR IS SCRATCHING THE INCISION SITE.

If the e-collar is scratching the incision site or your pet can reach the incision site with the e-collar on, you should either bring the pet into our clinic get a larger collar OR PetSmart and Petco carry other types of e-collars that may work better for your pet.

I HAVE OTHER PETS IN THE HOUSE. DO I NEED TO SEPARATE THEM FROM MY PET THAT HAD SURGERY TODAY?

That depends on your pets’ behaviors. If you have another pet that wants to nurture your surgery pet, they may want to “clean” their incision site for them, which makes the e-collar on the surgery pet ineffective. Also, other pets in the house are feeling fine and may want to entice the surgery pet into playing, which is something that should be avoided for 7-10 days. Your pet who has had surgery, may also be feeling grumpy or uncomfortable and may not want the additional attention from other pets. In all of these cases, you should separate your surgery pet from the others, especially when you are not there to supervise.

IT LOOKS LIKE MY PET HAS RAZOR BURN.

Your pet’s hair was shaved prior to surgery and there can be resulting mild/moderate “razor burn”. This looks like redness/bumps on skin. This will resolve within a few days. If your pet is licking the area, you should apply an e-collar on your pet. You may also apply topical Hydrocortisone cream to the skin (not on the incision) 4 times daily.

SHOULD I BANDAGE/COVER THE INCISION SITE AND/OR PUT ON NEOSPORIN?

No. Healthy skin will heal on its own and bandage placement or Neosporin could cause more skin irritation.

HOW IS THE GREEN LINE TATTOO APPLIED? IF MY PET LICKS THE INK, WILL IT HURT THEM?

A superficial skin incision is made near the surgery site, green tattoo ink is applied along with tissue glue. This is a universally recognized tattoo that identifies your pet has been spayed or neutered. The ink or glue is non-toxic and should not hurt your pet if licked.

CAN MY PET TRAVEL OR GO INTO BOARDING WHILE RECOVERING?

No. Please no travel or boarding your pet until 10 days post-op. It could delay recovery due to stress.

WHAT IF MY PET GETS DIRTY AFTER SURGERY? CAN I BATHE THEM?

No. If the incision should become dirty, gently clean the area with a cotton ball and mildly soapy water. You must not allow your dog or cat to get wet for at least 7 days after surgery. For this reason, bathing is also prohibited for at least one week after surgery.

CAN MY PET EAT/DRINK WITH THEIR E-COLLAR ON?

Yes. Although the e-collar can temporarily be removed if your pet is reluctant to eat/drink with it on.

DO I NEED TO COME BACK FOR A SUTURE REMOVAL?

No. The sutures are internal and will be absorbed by the body over the next few months. If you are seeing suture material protruding from the incision site, please call our clinic to schedule recheck within 14 days of surgery.

MY MALE PET WAS NEUTERED TODAY. CAN HE STILL IMPREGNATE A FEMALE?

Potentially. To eliminate this risk, please keep your neutered dog away from intact female dogs for 30 days after surgery.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF MY LARGE BREED MALE DOG GETTING A SCROTAL HEMATOMA?

If you have a male dog that is over 50 lbs, then there is a 50% chance that your dog can develop a scrotal hematoma. Cats are less likely than dogs to develop a hematoma, but it is possible. A scrotal hematoma is the collection of blood and fluids inside the scrotum. It occurs when bleeding resumes after the closing of the incision site due to trauma or other conditions. The scrotum may swell, bruise, and is often painful.

It is very important that you restrict your pet’s activity. No running, jumping, roughhousing allowed. Walk your pet outside on a leash to urinate and defecate. Do not let your pet run around the yard. An e-collar should be kept on your pet at all times. You may purchase one from our clinic or from a pet store such as Petco or PetSmart.


To help prevent issues associated with a hematoma, it is recommended to use cold/ice compresses (if tolerated by the pet!) on the scrotum for 24 hours post-op. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to the scrotum for 10 minutes, 3 times a day for the next few days.

If swelling continues and the scrotum is growing larger and is dripping blood, you should visit our clinic immediately. Please do not feed your pet in case the veterinarian needs to surgically repair the site. If our clinic is closed, contact the emergency clinic immediately. You are responsible for paying the cost of this visit and all treatments directly to the emergency clinic or private veterinarian.

MY FEMALE DOG IS PEEING BLOOD AND SHE HAD SURGERY TODAY. IS THAT NORMAL?

Females can (rarely) have blood-tinged urine for 1-3 days post-op. This can be normal and typically it resolves on its own. If the blood continues after 3 days or if your pet if lethargic, anorexic, or is urinating straight blood, please see a full-service vet to address.

MY CAT IS VERY ANGRY AND IS HISSING AT ME AND/OR HIDING FROM ME. IS THIS NORMAL?

Yes. Cats can have a change in temperament for the first few days following a visit to the vet (or surgery at the vet!). Please keep your cat in a quiet, non-stressful environment during this period and check daily to ensure he/she is eating and drinking.

SHOULD I CHANGE MY CAT’S LITTER BOX WITH ANOTHER MATERIAL?

No. This is not necessary and could lead to issues relating to inappropriate elimination. Remember: cats prefer UNSCENTED CLUMPING litter.

 

509.924.7826

7525 E Trent Avenue

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