While any vet visit can cause anxiety for a pet, when major surgery such as spaying is in order, you can anticipate emotional havoc with both the pet and its owner. A spay typically calls for one to two nights stay, depending on several factors, including how well she does after surgery. When your pet is ready to come home, you want to do everything you can to ensure she’s comfortable during her recovery period.
If at all possible, visit your pet while she’s hospitalized. Even though she may be groggy, your presence can be recognized and can reduce the amount of stress and anxiety she may be feeling. While your pet is away from home you can begin preparing a quiet, comfortable place for her to recover once she returns.
When you’re ready to pick your pet up from the hospital, take something such as a quilt (for larger dogs) or blanket that will give extra padding and support for the drive back home. After being spayed, your pet is going to be sore and still somewhat groggy; therefore, you want to make the ride home a calm and secure one. Remember, your goal is to keep her as comfortable as possible.
Make certain you understand any medications that she will be taking before leaving the veterinary office, along with any other care instructions following spay surgery. Inquire about her activity level and what to do if problems arise. While spaying is a routine surgery and complications are uncommon, it’s better to be prepared and know what to do than to be taken by surprise.
She may require your help getting to the vehicle. If she’s small enough it would be better to carry her. Although pets can walk after spay surgery once anesthesia wears off, they should not jump as this could break loose stitches or cause pain in the area of incision.
Your vet will probably tell you to limit your pet’s activity for the next week or two. Try to keep their atmosphere as low key as possible and avoid anything that could cause her to become excited.
Even though some pets recover quickly after being spayed, keeping them calm and in a confined area will enable them to get the rest they need during their recovery. Keeping your pet indoors out of extreme weather and temperatures is ideal. If that is not an option, a garage or fenced in area will work, just make sure to monitor them closely.
Don’t be overly concerned if your pet doesn’t eat right away. She will gradually build up her appetite and return to normal in a few days. It’s a good idea to reduce the amount of food offered until her appetite returns.
Loving your pet and keeping them calm and free of unnecessary stimulation is the best support you can give while they recover. If your pet does not return to normal after several days or if bleeding, tearing, redness or swelling appears at the incision area, call your veterinarian promptly.