Aftercare Instructions: Dogs

What You Need To Know:


Please follow these instructions to ensure your pet has a smooth recovery:

1.  SURGICAL PROCEDURE:  Your dog had major surgery with general anesthesia, which means he/she was unconscious during the operation. In female dogs, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. In male dogs, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. Male dogs may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal—the swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period (7-10 days).

2. ACTIVITY: Some animals are active after surgery, while others are quiet.  The night of surgery, dogs may be groggy, and may whimper a little.  However, they have had all the pain medication that they can receive for the day.  If this behavior persists into the next morning, please call our office for guidance. 

· It is very important that you limit your pet’s activity for the next 7-10 days and following the instructions below during that time period.  Dogs should be leashed for bathroom breaks. No free running should be allowed.

· Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm.

· Do not bathe your pet during the recovery period.

· Your dog may have a cough for a few days. This is due to the placement/removal of the endotracheal tube during surgery. This is not a sign of illness and should subside in a few days.


· Keep the incision dry. No swimming or baths for 7-10 days after post-op.

· E Collar Use: All dogs must wear an e-collar for 7-10 days after the surgery to prevent licking / chewing at the incision. Licking is the number one cause of post-op complications.

· Check the Incision Site Daily Until Healed. Notify PAAWS if you see excessive redness, swelling, draining or opening of the surgery site. 

· Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures. All sutures are absorbable on the inside and the very outer layer of skin is held together with surgical glue. Dogs have internal sutures that provide strength to the tissue as they heal. Any strenuous activity could disrupt this healing process.  

· Your pet has a small tattoo near the incision area. The tattoo will look like a small green line. This allows us, other clinics, and animal control groups to know that the animal has already been sterilized.

· Do not put any topical ointment, including Neosporin, coconut oil, or hydrogen peroxide on the incision, and do not cover the incision. 


· Your dog may have a suppressed appetite for a day or so after surgery. Animals all react differently to surgery and anesthesia; some recover more slowly than others. If your pet’s appetite does not return after 24-48 hours, please contact PAAWS.


· Your dog has had injectable pain medications the day of surgery.

· Starting the morning after surgery, give liquid pain medication (Meloxicam) daily in the morning for 3 days, per instructions. Give this medication with food. 

· DO NOT give you pet any over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, or ibuprofen, as these and other over-the-counter pain medications can be dangerous for your pet. 

If you have any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call the Minn-Kota PAAWS office during business hours 8:00 – 5:00 Monday-Friday at (701) 356-0523 and a staff member will advise you on the best course of action.  Please leave a message if we do not answer, and we will call you back as quickly as possible.  For emergencies, call 701-793-0602 and leave a message.

If our veterinarian is available, Minn-Kota PAAWS will treat at minimal cost any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery if the above post-operative instructions are followed in full. Your regular veterinarian must address diseases, illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery. Please call as soon as you see cause for concern. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, for pre-existing conditions, age or health-related issues brought on by the surgery, or for contagious diseases for which the animal was not previously properly vaccinated.