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Post-Operative Instructions

1. Limit your pet’s activity for 7-10 days. No running, jumping, excessive play, or other strenuous activity. Keep pets inside where they can stay calm, clean, dry, and warm. Leash walk dogs.


2. Your pet’s appetite should return gradually within 24 hours. Do not change your pet’s diet or give any special treats for 7-10 days. This could mask post-surgical complications. Lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting lasting more than 24 hours post-op is not normal and you should call this office for instruction.


3. Any sutures are internal and dissolvable and do not need to be removed unless otherwise noted.


4. Keep your pet’s incision dry for 7-10 days. Do not bathe your pet or apply creams or ointments to the incision. Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, bitter apple spray or an e-collar MUST be used to prevent it. Do not apply bandages to your pet’s incision.


5. Check your pet’s incision for proper healing twice daily for 7-10 days.

• Female pets have a mid-line incision in their abdomen. There should be no drainage, discharge or odor

in females, and redness and swelling should be minimal. There may be a small, firm lump on or next to the incision caused by a slight reaction to the sutures. If there is no discharge or bleeding, this type of swelling will generally resolve on its own over time.

• Male dogs have an incision on the scrotum, which is left partially open. They may have small amounts

of drainage or discharge for several days. Dogs’ scrotums may swell after being neutered. If serious swelling occurs, APL recommends purchasing an anti-inflammatory medication from our clinic.

• Male cats have two incisions, one on each side of the scrotum. Male cats may appear as if they still

have testicles; this is normal, and swelling should subside gradually.

• If there are any bumps or bruises present, they should decrease in size and appearance through the recovery period.


6. Dogs may experience a slight cough for a few days after surgery. Call this office if you notice a cough, hacking, or gagging that lasts more than a few days after surgery.


7. If your female pet was in heat at the time of surgery she must be kept separate from un-neutered males for at least 2 weeks. While they are unable to become pregnant, they will still attract intact males for a short period of time. If a male attempts to breed your female, it can cause serious and possibly life-threatening complications.


8. Your pet received a green tattoo next to their incision. This tattoo is a scoring process in the skin; it is not an extra incision.


9. Spaying and neutering are both very safe surgeries; however, as with all surgery, complications can occur. You should contact us immediately if you notice any of the following: fever, pale gums, depression, unsteady gait, lingering loss of appetite or decreased water intake, signs of incisional infection (white to yellowish discharge, foul odor, bright red incision margins), persistent vomiting or diarrhea, or labored breathing. Always monitor your pet’s urine for blood; a small amount may be present in female animals during the first 24 hours after surgery. If this continues or occurs at other times, please call your regular veterinarian, as your pet may have a bladder infection unrelated to surgery.


10. We are happy to perform no-charge recheck exams during regular office hours. Cost for prescribed medications is minimal. Most post-op complications can be addressed the next business day. Please contact our office at the phone number or email above if you have post-op concerns. Our office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. Make sure to leave a message if we do not answer; we monitor messages regularly during office hours.


11. If you feel your pet needs medical attention outside of our regular office hours, you must contact a private veterinarian or emergency clinic for treatment. You are responsible for any charges incurred at these clinics. Regardless of circumstances, APL is not responsible for treatment sought at another facility.


APL will treat at our clinic, at minimal cost, any post-operative complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-operative instructions have been followed in full. Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-operative instructions, for pre-existing medical conditions, age or health-related issues brought on by the surgery, or from contagious diseases for which the animal was not previously properly vaccinated.

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