After Surgery

While sterilization surgeries are routine and safe, they are still considered major surgery. Post-surgery, your pet requires special care and attention. You can help your pet have a smooth and happy recovery by watching our aftercare video and following all aftercare directions. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our post-surgery hotline at (319) 826-0201.

Below are these details written out for you to reference, and is also located on your yellow discharge form.

When You Get Home:

General Care:

  • Your pet may seem sleepy or less active. Confine your pet to a small indoor room. Keep it warm and comfortable. Do not let it rest on cold, hard floors. Provide a blanket to prevent chills.
  • Check the incision twice a day for redness (some redness is normal), swelling, or discharge. If you find any of these symptoms, please contact us.
  • Restrict your pet’s activity for 7 days – no strenuous exercise. Dogs may need to be leashed walked when outside, and do not allow roughhousing or play time.
  • Your pet may lick initially to clean the surgery site. It is important that you do not allow excessive licking, which could cause infection. If this is a problem, we recommend an e-collar to prevent him from being able to reach the area. These are available at our clinic and at most pet stores. For cats, ask for recommendations on preventative measures at the time of checkout. If your cat will not leave the area alone after preventative measures have been taken, please call us, there could be another issue.
  • Do not give your pet a bath for 7 – 10 days. Keep your pet in a clean and dry environment during this time.
  • Do not apply any topical ointment to the incision site.

Food and Water:

  • The lingering effects of anesthesia may cause your pet’s appetite to be off. Vomiting and diarrhea are common results of this. Do not change your pet’s diet during this time. Offer small amounts of food and water at first.
  • Your pet’s appetite should be back to normal within 24 – 48 hours.

Monitor their Pain Level:

  • Our veterinarians use a multi-modal pain management protocol. This means that different pain medications are administered before, during, and after surgery. Dogs are also sent home with an appropriated amount of oral pain medication. Please follow the instructions for that medication carefully.
  • If you pet appears to be in pain after returning home, please call our post-surgery hotline at (319) 826-0201, so we can assess whether you pet needs to be examined.

Sutures (stitches):

    • Females have internal sutures (stitches) that will absorb on their own. Surgical glue was used to connect skin over the stitches, so you may not be able to see them. Females may develop a hard bump under the incision site 5 – 7 days after surgery. This is normal as long as it is firm and not painful.
    • Male Cats will have one or two incisions on the scrotum. These are left open, with no stitches or glue. They may drain for 24 – 48 hours and scab.
    • Male Dogs  will have one incision on the scrotum and may or may not have buried sutures. Any sutures will absorb over time. They will have surgical glue.
  • Male Dogs and Cats marked “cryptorchid” on the yellow discharge form will have more than one incision with buried sutures and surgical glue. Please ask for further detail during your checkout.