What to expect (when your pet’s no longer expecting)

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You’ve made the (right) decision to spay or neuter your pet, but now you’re worried about providing the best care after surgery. And while we can never be too protective of our four-legged family members, these tips for post-op care will put your mind at ease.

Be mindful of changes in your pet’s behavior. Don’t be alarmed if your pet sleeps more than usual for the first day or so after surgery. He might also be a little woozy from the anesthesia and off balance. Your pet may also seem more agitated than usual following surgery so it’s best to keep him in a crate for the first 24 hours. If he’s still lethargic after several days, call your vet. Your pet may also experience a loss of appetite right after surgery. Re-introduce food and water slowly. If excess vomiting occurs, contact your vet.

Follow your vet’s instructions. Be sure to keep your pet’s medication on schedule, and don’t introduce any supplements or other medications without consulting your veterinarian.

Check your pet’s incision site. Some redness or swelling is OK, but if the incision starts to bleed or discharge or if redness persists for several days, consult your veterinarian. Be sure not to wash the incision site or apply any topical medication or ointments unless directed by your vet.

Limit activity during the healing process, which usually takes from a week to 10 days. Strenuous activity, such as running and jumping can cause the incision to open. You should also keep your pet indoors during the healing process to avoid injury or infection.