Spay and Neuter Aftercare Instructions

Please follow these instructions to make sure your pet recovers properly from a spay or neuter surgery.

  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity for 7 to 10 days. Keep your pet quiet. Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm. No baths during the recovery period. Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats must be kept indoors.
  • Check the incision site twice daily. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal. Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar MUST be applied to prevent additional licking and chewing that could cause infection.
  • If your dog had a scrotal castration, they may have small amounts of drainage/discharge for up to three days.
  • Appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Lethargy lasting for more than 24 hours, diarrhea, or vomiting are not normal and your pet should be taken to your regular veterinarian. Dogs may have a slight cough for a few days after surgery.
  • Do not change your pet’s diet at this time, and do not give them junk food, table scraps, milk, or any other people food during the recovery period. This could mask post-surgical complications.
  • We recommend that your pet receive a post-operative examination with your regular veterinarian 7 to 10 days after surgery, to have the incision checked for complete healing, to remove any skin sutures, and to discuss additional needs, follow-up care, and vaccination boosters.
  • If there are any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call us at (619) 279-5085. If there is an emergency after hours, contact your regular veterinarian or local emergency clinic. You are responsible for the treatment at your own cost.
  • Your pet received a tattoo next to their incision. This tattoo is a scoring process in the skin; IT IS NOT AN EXTRA INCISION.

San Diego Humane Society will treat at our clinic, at minimal cost, any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-op instructions are followed in full.

Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, or for contagious diseases for which the animal was not previously properly vaccinated.

Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery.