Our Seattle vets understand that the decision to get your dog spayed or neutered can be fraught with emotion. If you're struggling with the question of whether or not to get your dog fixed keep in mind that these surgeries are routine for most vets, and the pain from neutering is typically short lived and easy to manage.
Is neutering my dog worth the expense and hassle?
While you may not feel like it at the moment, going through the potentially emotional process of having your dog spayed or neutered is worth it, both for you as a loving pet parent, and for your beloved pet.
Getting your dog spayed or neutered may help to curb undesirable behaviors such as animal aggression, roaming and mounting, and could have a number of health benefits for your dog, as well as preventing the birth of unwanted puppies.
In the US an estimated 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year! Having your dog spayed or neutered is the best way for you to help reduce the overall number of unwanted pets in your neighborhood.
Is spaying or neutering safe for dogs?
Spay and neuter surgeries are common veterinary medical procedures that most vets get lots of experience performing. These surgeries are considered very safe for most dogs and cats. That said, as with people, whenever an animal is put under anesthesia for a procedure, there is some level of risk involved. During your pet's procedure, your veterinarian and surgical team will closely monitor your dog and be on the lookout for any signs of illness or possible complications.
What's the difference between spaying and neutering?
'Spaying' and 'neutering' refer to surgical procedures that cause your pet to be unable to produce puppies. In many places, both surgeries may be referred to as 'neutering' or being 'fixed'.
- The neutering or castration of male dogs involves the surgical removal of the testicles while the dog is under general anesthesia.
- Spaying is the surgical sterilization of a female animal through the removal of both ovaries and the uterus, while under general anesthesia.
How can I comfort my dog after surgery?
Following your dog's spay or neuter surgery you will want to help your pet to rest and feel as comfortable as possible. Here are a few things that you can do to help comfort your dog after neutering:
- Ensure that your dog has a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals and small children.
- Prevent your dog from running, jumping, or climbing stairs for two weeks following the spay or neuter surgery. Follow your vet's instructions regarding activity after these procedures, since your dog may require further restrictions.
- Even if you feel like your dog looks sad, it's important to have your pooch wear a post-operative jumpsuit (recovery suit) or a cone (Elizabethan collar) to prevent your pup from licking the incision site. Licking the incision could lead to infection.
- In order for your dog's incision to heal as quickly as possible, do not bathe your dog (or allow your dog to swim) for at least ten days after spaying or neutering.
- Check the incision site daily for any possible signs of infection and to ensure that the incision is healing well.
Contact your vet if you spot any redness, swelling or discharge at the incision site, or if the incision has opened.
Symptoms such as lack of energy, reluctance to eat, vomiting or diarrhea also signal the need to call your vet.
How long will my dog be in pain after neutering or spaying?
When you pick your dog up from the vets office on the day of the surgery, your dog may be tired, queasy, or just not seem like their usual self - those are pretty typical side effects of general anesthesia. The next day your pet should begin behaving more like themselves and be showing little sign of pain.
Spaying your female dog is somewhat more involved than neutering males, however it should take about the same amount of time to recover from either of these surgeries.
The discomfort caused by spay or neuter surgeries lasts for just a few days and should be completely gone after about a week. If your pet is experiencing pain or discomfort for more than a couple of days it's a good idea to contact your vet for further advice.
What can I give my dog for pain after surgery?
During the surgery your dog will be unconscious and not feel any pain, once your pet wakes up further medication to manage pain required. Your vet will administer pain medications to your dog via an injection. This long-term pain medication should last for about 12-24 hours.
Your veterinarian will also prescribe any take-home medications they feel that your dog will need to help relieve post-operative pain. Some of the most common medications prescribed by vets to help manage pain after spay or neuter surgery include Torbugesic or Rimadyl.
Be sure to follow your vet's instructions carefully when it comes to giving your dog pain medications. Never give your dog human pain medications! Some pain medications that work for humans are poisonous to dogs.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.