Friends - dog and cat togetherFor new pet owners, having your dog or cat spayed can be a little nerve-racking. No one wants to see their beloved pet suffer, and it is completely normal to feel anxious about providing spay surgery after-care for your pet.


When your pet was spayed, she received a general anesthesia. As with us, anesthesia can cause a few negative symptoms for your pet that can be alarming if not expected, including:

  • Sleepiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of balance
  • Disorientation
  • Panting
  • Lack of appetite

Most of these symptoms will have passed by the time you pick your pet up from the veterinarian’s office, but it is not unusual for a few to linger throughout the first day.

If symptoms persist past the first 24 hours, check in with your veterinarian’s office and explain her behavior and symptoms for advice.

Coming Home

When you combine an upset stomach with a car ride home, it can be a recipe for carsickness. Placing a blanket over your car can help prevent stains or lingering odors if your pet does get sick on the way home.

Your dog will have received IV fluids while under general anesthesia, which will likely cause her to need to urinate more than normal in the hours following the surgery. Because anesthesia also makes pets sleepy, it is not unusual for them to urinate in their sleep.

This is beyond your pet’s control, and the best way to prevent unwanted accidents is to gently wake her take potty breaks every couple of hours after you bring her home.

The IV fluids your pet received may also cause your pet to not take fluids for the first 24-36 hours after her surgery. Don’t be alarmed if your pet’s not drinking as usual until after 48 hours have passed.

It takes a female dog about two weeks to completely heal from a spay surgery. During this time, limit exercise to easy walks on a leash, unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise. While it can be difficult with a puppy or young dog, try to keep her from becoming too excited. If you have children in the home, make sure they understand that their puppy’s rest is very important.

Post Spay Surgery: When to Call Your Veterinarian

The vast majority of spay surgeries are simple and have no post-surgery complications. However, it is important to know what to watch for as your pet recovers.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away:

  • Swelling of the incision site
  • Redness around the incision or abdomen area
  • Discharge from the incision site
  • Bleeding
  • Stitches that come loose
  • Persistent licking or biting of the incision site

If you notice any of the above, or any other cause for concern, please don’t hesitate to call us for advice. Likewise, please keep your pet’s after-care appointment so we can remove the stitches and make sure your pet is healing properly, and that there are no complications.