After Your Pet’s Spay or Neuter Surgery

Post-Surgery Instructions for Your Pet

To be ready for your pet’s recovery period, please watch this video and read below.

Food and Water

You may offer your pet water and a small meal this evening. If he/she vomits, take away the food and water until tomorrow morning. If he/she holds down the small meal for at least 1 hour, another small meal can be given later (this is especially important for very young animals as they need to eat frequently).


Your pet has had major surgery today which includes an incision into the abdomen for females and into the scrotal area for males. It is extremely important that you keep him/her relatively quiet for the next 10-14 days in order to prevent complications. No running, jumping, climbing stairs or doing anything other than walking on a leash for the next 10 days. Your pet needs to be kept in an indoor crate/ kennel for most of the day and night for the next 10 days. The time of highest risk for the sutures breaking down is 3-5 days after surgery.


Using a hard plastic cone collar at all times is the only way to make sure that your pet will not lick/chew at his/her incision. Licking/chewing at the incision can cause the incision to open or become infected. An e-collar comes with every spay/neuter package here. Your pet will need to keep that on for 10- 14 days after their surgery.


No bathing your pet for the next 10-14 days as we do not want soap and water to get inside of the incision or to irritate the surgery site.

Staying Indoors

Even if your pet normally lives outside, it is very important to keep him/her indoors at all times (except to go to the bathroom) for the next 10 days to prevent infection and allow for proper healing.


Please look at the area of the incision daily (middle of the belly for female dogs and cats, scrotal area for male dogs and cats). If you notice fluid draining, bleeding, excessive swelling, or that the incision appears to be open, please call us immediately.

Sutures: In almost all situations, female dogs, female cats, and most male dogs will have absorbable sutures in the incision, which will absorb on their own over the next 1-2 months. Except in rare situations, there are no skin stitches that need to be removed, and if this is the case, you will be notified.

Pain Medications

All pets will receive 5 days of medications, to help them with the healing process, and to keep them as calm as possible. Your pet has had major surgery, and will likely show some signs of pain if he/she is not receiving pain medications (these may include panting, whining, and unwillingness to sit, lay down or walk, lack of appetite, fast heart rate, etc.). Please contact us immediately if your pet appears to be in pain. DO NOT ever give aspirin, Tylenol, Advil/ibuprofen or any other human pain medication as these can be deadly for dogs and cats.

Green Line Tattoo

All pets will receive a small green-line tattoo on their stomach. This is to identify the pet as “fixed” (spayed or neutered) so that anyone can tell immediately that a surgery has been performed and does not need to be repeated. Surgical glue has been put over the tattoo and the incision site. The glue will wear off, but the tattoo is permanent. There is no after care needed for the tattoo.

Expected After Surgery

  • Sleepy or anxious
  • Small spots of blood on bedding
  • Reduced appetite 24-48 hours
  • Moderate vomiting for 24 hours
  • Closed incision
  • Mild redness along incision
  • Mild firm swelling just below and following along the incision line

Abnormal After Surgery

  • Nonresponsive or unable to move
  • Continual bleeding or constant dripping
  • Complete refusal to eat
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Open incision, anything protruding from incision
  • Discharge, uncomfortable redness of the skin
  • Unable to urinate
  • Large soft swelling that is surrounding the incision

If you are concerned about your pet after their recent surgery, please reach out to us at 816-353-0940 x 3, or email us with pictures at [email protected]. There is no examination fee at Pet Resource Center of Kansas City to look at your pet within two weeks of the surgery. 

If it appears to be life threatening, please call your nearest emergency veterinary clinic.  We recommend VCA Mission Animal Referral and Emergency Center, at 5914 Johnson Drive, Mission KS 66202 or call 913-722-5566. (You are responsible for all costs associated with your pet’s emergency care)

FAQs (Post-operative)

You may find the answers to many of your questions or concerns about your pet’s surgery on our Frequently Asked Questions page.