Spaying and neutering are important veterinary procedures for pet health, but they also come with the risk of postoperative complications, sometimes requiring emergency veterinary care. One of the more common issues is wound dehiscence or bursting open of the surgical incision. While this is generally not a serious problem, it can lead to pain, bleeding, and infection.
You can do several things to care for your pet’s spay or neuter wound and help promote faster healing. Read on to learn more.
What Are Spaying and Neutering?
Spaying is the surgical removal of a female dog or cat’s ovaries and uterus. The procedure is also called an ovariohysterectomy or “OHE.” OHE is performed under general anesthesia and requires a small incision in the animal’s abdomen.
On the other hand, neutering is the surgical removal of a male dog or cat’s testicles. The procedure, also called castration, is performed under general anesthesia with a small incision in the animal’s scrotum.
Both procedures are considered routine surgeries, typically safe, and have few complications. But as with any surgery, there is always a risk of postoperative complications, such as infection, bleeding, and wound dehiscence. You may visit this page to learn more about pet surgeries.
Tips on How to Care for Neuter and Spaying Wounds
Here are a few tips you can do to help your pet’s incisions heal faster:
1. Allow your pet to rest and recover in a quiet, confined area.
For the first 24 hours, your pet will likely be groggy and disoriented from the anesthesia. You should keep them calm and quiet to prevent them from opening their stitches. They may also have less appetite and energy, so make sure they still have easy access to food and water.
2. Keep the area clean and dry.
Make sure that the incision is always dry and clean. Avoid letting your pet swim or get the incision wet until it is fully healed. Also, unless your vet instructs, avoid applying ointments, creams, or other topical treatments to the incision.
3. Change your pet’s e-collar as needed.
An Elizabethan collar, or “e-collar,” is a plastic cone that prevents your pet from licking or chewing at their incisions. Change the e-collar when it gets wet or dirty or as directed by your veterinarian.
4. Watch for signs of infection.
Call your veterinarian immediately if you observe any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, discharge, fever, or lethargy. These could indicate a more serious problem and will require treatment. In addition, if bleeding persists or the incision opens up, this could also signify a more serious problem, and you should seek veterinary care.
5. Apply a warm compress to the area.
If your pet’s incision is painful or swollen, you can apply a warm compress for 10-15 minutes several times a day. This will help reduce pain and swelling. You will usually know if it’s painful if your pet cries out when you touch the area or if they are not their usual selves.
6. Give your pet pain medication as prescribed by your veterinarian.
Your vet will likely prescribe pain medication for your pet to help them recover comfortably. Make sure to follow the instructions on how often to give it and never give more than what is prescribed.
7. Take your pet to all follow-up appointments.
Take your pet to all of their follow-up appointments with the veterinarian. The vet will check for signs of infection and ensure the incision is healing properly. Sometimes, the vet may need to remove stitches or perform other treatments.
Spaying and neutering are vital procedures for your pet’s health and other vet services, such as vaccinations, grooming, cat and dog dental care, etc. These procedures help reduce the number of unwanted animals and also have many health benefits for your pet.
Remember to follow all postoperative instructions from your veterinarian and contact them if you notice any signs of infection or other problems. With proper care, your pet will heal quickly without complications and return to their usual self in no time.