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What to Expect When Your Dog is Spayed or Neutered

Buzzle Staff
When you spay or neuter your dog, knowing what to expect when your pet comes home from the hospital can speed up recovery time.
Spaying and neutering your pets is incredibly important. There are so many dogs out there that don't have homes and who end up in kill shelters because people don't spay or neuter their dogs and can't handle the puppies that inevitably result.
Therefore, if you have a dog, you should definitely consider getting him or her neutered or spayed. If you've never done this before, it can be a daunting task to take care of a dog that has undergone a major surgery. However, don't fret too much. Your dog will be back to normal in no time.

Hospital Time

Most animal hospitals will want you to drop your furry friend at the hospital in the morning on the day of the operation, and they will probably tell you not to feed or give water to your dog for 24 hours before the operation. They may also want you to leave the dog overnight.
This is because they can get started on the surgery early in the day and then monitor your dog throughout the day to be sure he or she wakes up from the anesthesia and doesn't react poorly to it.
However, it's a good idea to make sure that there will be someone there with your dog overnight; if not, it may be better just to bring your pet home before the hospital closes for the evening. Either way, you'll probably be without your dog for about a day.
When you pick your pet from the hospital, you'll notice that he or she is going to be really groggy and tired. He or she may not be able to walk properly and will most likely not want to eat anything for a while when you get him or her home.
Be sure to not let your dog have any water for a few hours, either, because this could cause his stomach to become upset as a side effect of the anesthesia. You should also be sure that your dog doesn't jump on anything or lick the operation site, as this could cause the stitches to rip out.

Recovery Time

It will probably take about one week before your pet is back to a normal energy level, especially if you are giving him or her pain medicine. The pain medicine makes the dog groggy, tired, and can cause a lack of appetite. This is totally normal, but not all dogs need the pain medication.
After about two weeks, you should be able to take your furry friend back to the vet to get the stitches taken out, and that will mean your dog is back to normal and can do all the things he or she could do before the surgery.

The Collar of Shame

Along with the pain medication, you may want to invest in an E-collar or an Elizabethan collar. This is a type of plastic collar that you can fasten around your dog's neck and is at least as long as the dog's nose.
It prevents dogs from curling up and licking their stitches, which can also help your dog recover faster. If your dog happens to lick the stitches, this can cause infection or tearing, and if the stitches are torn out, the only way to get them back is to put the dog under the recovery process over again.