Dog Post-Operative Care

Dog Post-Operative Care Guidelines
  • All postoperative patients must be kept indoors for 7 days. Discourage any running or jumping; limit stair climbing as much as possible. Outdoor dogs may stay in a clean, warm garage if you are able to watch him/her closely there. Keep your postoperative dog quiet and give him/her comfort.
  • Please leash-walk your dog for 7 days; do not allow any free roaming.
  • Male dogs, especially medium to large male dogs, should wear the Elizabethan Collar for at least 7 days. You may take the E Collar off when you are able to watch your dog and prevent him from licking/chewing the incision. However, he must wear the E Collar when you are away or are sleeping. Male dogs can do great damage to their incision in a short amount of time.
  • Check your dog’s mucous membrane (gum) color when you arrive home. The mucous membrane color should be a pale pink to red; more importantly, the color must quickly return after applied pressure to the gums (above the canine tooth). Check your dog’s color throughout the evening to verify mucous membrane color return.
  • Offer water immediately after returning home. Provide the water in small amounts throughout the evening, watching for vomiting. If your dog takes a large amount of water, he/she will likely vomit. If after 2-3 hours of offering ice chips or small bowls of water there is no vomiting, you may move to free-choice water. Small dogs and puppies 6 months and younger may eat dry food after 10pm, if they are not vomiting water. Resume normal feeding the day after surgery. Generally, a lack of appetite is normal for the first 24 hours post-op. However, your dog must be drinking water. If he/she shows no interest in food or water after 24 hours, contact the clinic. Contact the clinic if your dog continues to vomit water after 12 hours.
  • Check your dog’s incision daily for Redness, Swelling, Discharge or Wound Gaping. Some redness and swelling is normal, contact the clinic if it looks excessive to you. Contact FACE about any discharge or opening of the incision.
  • Do not clean the incision because you may introduce infection. The incision needs to remain dry. If it becomes dirty, flush the incision with Saline Solution (contact lens saline solution). Do not bathe your dog for at least 7 days.
  • Some discomfort 24-36 hours post-op is normal. Your dog should continually improve; he/she should feel better every day.
  • Your dog has buried sutures; there is no need for suture removal.
  • Male dogs remain virile for 3-4 weeks after surgery. Keep them confined.
  • If you feel your dog is in need of pain-relieving medication, please contact the clinic or our on-call staff before administering any medicines. Some over-the-counter medications can be very dangerous to your dog.
EMERGENCY: Contact FACE at (317)638-3223.

After hours: The clinic voice mail will give you instructions for contacting a staff member to discuss concerns and treatment.  We will not be responsible for postoperative care provided without contacting the FACE Spay/Neuter Clinic emergency staff.