Spaying and neutering is something that I believe should be performed on our pets. I understand there are many people who will disagree with me. I just feel there are so many cases where puppies (or kittens) are born and abandoned, ending up in shelters that are already too full, or left for dead on the streets. It is my belief that breeding should only be done by licensed and responsible breeders. 

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Any who, yesterday, our youngest fur ball Pumpkin got spayed. She went into the vet a happy husky and came out a grumpy, miserable mess. Since I picked her up from the vet, she has refused to walk and pretty much move at all. She does not want to leave her crate (this is not a big deal though as it helps keep her separated from the other dogs). If she wants to eat, drink or go to the bathroom, she howls and whines profusely, until she is brought what she wants or we carry her outside to go the bathroom. I was so concerned that she was in a ton of pain that I called the vet. The vet reassured me that she was not in extreme pain and that the whining was just excessive as she is a husky and they can at times be overly dramatic (Dramatic in this case is a major understatement). 

So, for the next 10 days until her follow-up appointment, we will have to care for Pumpkin and watch to make sure she is healing properly from her spay. Because of this, I thought I would share some care tips for those preparing to alter their pet.

  1. Have a comfort zone prepared.
    Have a designated area ready for your pet when you bring them home. In our case, Pumpkin loves her crate which was good because, it also solved the issue of how to keep her separated from the other animals. Which by the way, if you have a multiple animals, you will need to keep them separated until the vet clears them for play. Also, don’t worry about having the area super padded or loaded up with blankets. I have found with all of my dogs, they actually prefer a padding free surface such as the crate bottom or the floor. I think personally it’s because the cooler ground feels nice and the blankets and padding sometimes push on the wound.
  2. Follow the medication schedule.
    Make sure to follow the medication schedule the vet provides you. Doing so will help keep your pet comfortable and help manage the pain during their healing process.
  3. Leave the cone on!
    You pet doesn’t like the feeling of their wound. It is foreign to them and as it heals it will start to itch. As a result, they are going lick it. Do not let them do this. They can irritate the wound more and could even cause complication such as popping a stitch. The best way to prevent them from licking is to just leave the cone you receive from the vet on. Yes, your pet will seem miserable (and look ridiculous) with the cone on, but what they can do to the wound is not worth removing the cone for. They may need a little bit of assistance with eating and drinking, but for their sake leave it on.
  4. Feed your pet exactly how the vet tells you.
    Feed your pet for the next week or so exactly as the vet advises you. This will help your pet from having an upset tummy or having difficulty going to the bathroom. The last thing your pet needs after surgery such as this, is to be struggling and straining to go the bathroom.
  5. Check the wound frequently.
    Make sure it’s not swelling or turning red. Make sure there is no puss seepage coming from the wound and that the sutures remain intact.
  6. Do not bath you pet.
    Avoid bathing your pet for 10 days, or until the vet clears your pet after their follow-up visit. Bathing, believe it or not, will actually delay the healing process.
  7. Restrict exercise and play.
    Do not let your pet play or have a lot of exercise until the vet clears them.
  8. Try to get them up and walking.
    The first day home they may choose to lay around and not move, which is absolutely fine. However, do not keep picking them up or letting them stay immobile consistently. Although it is uncomfortable and they will whine, they need to eventually get up and walk. Staying stationary and not moving until follow-up is not good for them. So, try to after day one or two (if they have not attempted to walk on their own yet) get them up and moving.
  9. Do not put anything on the wound.
    Do not put any sort of Neosporin or quick heal creams on the wound. Only clean, or apply ointment to the wound if you vet has advised that you do.
  10. Be patient with your pet. 
    Your pet will be in some pain, uncomfortable and for the most part frustrated. They are going to be annoyed with the wound, because it will feel weird and itchy as it heals. They are going to be frustrated from having to deal with the cone. So, be patient and don’t yell at them. Try to keep them calm and reassure them that they are okay.

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If you make sure to adhere to care tips like these, your furry family member will be back on their feet and back to their happy, playful selves once more!

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