Shana Bohac is a local veterinarian who writes a column about animal issues.

Shana Bohac

Shana Bohac

Will my pet go home the night of surgery?

Every clinic has different procedures. We send minor procedures and dentals home the day of the surgery, whereas we keep all spays and neuters overnight to ensure that they are eating and drinking well, that there is no significant swelling present post-operatively, and that they do not vomit the night of surgery. If they do vomit we give nausea meds to help with this side effect of general anesthesia.

Will my pet still be groggy when he/she goes home?

We never send home a pet that is still sedated. If there is a need to sedate a pet late in the day, we re-schedule the procedure for a different day or keep the pet overnight to ensure that they return home normal.

Will my dog eat the night of surgery?

Not all pets eat the night of general anesthesia, while others have no decrease in appetite. This is unique to each pet.

Will my pet vomit the night of surgery?

In some cases, pets will get nauseous after general anesthesia and vomit. We generally give an injection of nausea medication if any vomiting occurs.

Will there be any swelling or bruising?

A small amount of swelling and bruising is normal to see after a routine spay or neuter. Severe swelling, green discharge, a foul smell, heat or pain is not a normal finding after a routine surgery. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to contact your veterinarian for a recheck visit to ensure that there is no infection or other problem present.

Do I need to keep the e-collar that you sent home on all the time?

The answer is yes. An e-collar is sent home to protect your pet from licking, chewing and traumatizing the sutures that were placed. This is so important. Keep the e-collar on at all times unless directly supervised.

Are there any activity restrictions for my pet?

Yes, most definitely. The two weeks following surgery activity should be limited. No running, jumping, swimming or bathing is allowed. Your pet should be confined to a climate-controlled, small room or crate when unsupervised. Leash walking is best for dogs. Normal exercise can resume slowly after the two weeks.

What if there is a lump that develops at the incision site?

It is not uncommon to see suture reactions in pets. The body is trying to dissolve the sutures that are buried beneath the skin. However, I always recommend a recheck just to ensure that there is no other issue going on like a hernia or infection. It is always better to be safe, than sorry.

Dr. Shana Bohac is a veterinarian and the owner of Navarro Small Animal Clinic.

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