Answering Your Questions About Dog Pain After Neutering

In today's post, you will discover valuable information on effectively managing your dog's pain following neutering and understanding the significance and benefits of spaying and neutering for our canine companions.

Benefits of Spaying & Neutering Dogs

Frequently referred to as having your dog "fixed," getting your dog spayed or neutered can have several benefits for your dog. 

Population Control - Spaying or neutering your pup can significantly reduce the number of homeless dogs in your area. Over three million dogs enter US rescue shelters annually.

Behavioral Benefits - These surgeries help curb undesirable behaviors like mounting, roaming, and animal aggression while also preventing the risk of unwanted puppies.

Health Benefits—Spaying your female dog before her first "heat" can lower the risk of uterine infections, mammary tumors, and cancer. Neutering your dog also reduces the risk of testicular cancer, prostate diseases, perineal tumors, and hernias.

Is it safe to have my dog spayed or neutered?

Yes. Most vets have extensive experience performing these common veterinary procedures. Nonetheless, it's important to note that risks are involved whenever an animal is put under anesthesia. This is as true for people as it is for our pets.

To minimize your dog's surgical risks, your veterinarian will perform a comprehensive examination and may recommend diagnostic testing, such as blood work, be performed before surgery day. This can help ensure that your pet has no undiagnosed health concerns that may increase its risk of surgical complications.

During your dog's surgery, your veterinary team will carefully monitor your pup to identify any complications.

What are the differences between spay & neuter surgeries?

While spaying and neutering sterilize dogs to prevent reproduction, they differ significantly. Neutering involves surgically removing the testicles of a male dog under general anesthesia.

Conversely, spaying entails surgically sterilizing a female dog by removing her uterus and both ovaries while under general anesthesia. Both procedures are commonly referred to as neutering or "fixing" dogs.

How can I ease my dog's pain after spaying or neutering?

When following your pet's procedure, ensure you do everything possible to make your pet feel as comfortable as possible. The first and most important step is to follow the post-operative instructions provided by your veterinarian.

If your pup is prescribed dog pain meds after surgery, make sure to administer all medications as instructed by your veterinarian. Other ways to help comfort a dog in pain after spay or neuter surgery include:

  • Put your dog in a cone (Elizabethan collar) or post-operative jumpsuit (recovery suit) to prevent them from licking the incision site. Licking the incision may transfer bacteria and cause infection.
  • Check the incision site daily to confirm that it is healing well and that there are no signs of infection.
  • For two weeks after the spay or neuter surgery, prevent your pet from jumping or running.
  • If you notice any discharge, swelling, or redness at the surgery site, or if the incision opens, contact your vet. Also, call your vet if your dog has diarrhea, begins vomiting, stops eating, or seems lethargic.
  • Have a quiet place for your dog to rest and recover indoors, away from other animals.
  • Follow your vet’s advice about physical activity after the procedure, as further restrictions may be required for your dog.

How long will my dog be in pain after neutering or spaying?

Spaying female dogs requires somewhat more involvement than neutering males. However, both procedures typically have the same recovery time.

After surgery, your dog may not exhibit their usual behavior immediately due to the typical side effects of general anesthesia, such as fatigue and nausea. However, your pup should start returning to normal the next day and exhibit little sign of pain or discomfort.

Discomfort resulting from neuter or spay surgeries usually only lasts a few days and should subside within a week. If your pet experiences prolonged discomfort or pain beyond a couple of days, reach out to your vet for further guidance.

Will my dog need pain meds after surgery?

Yes. Although your dog will not experience any pain during the surgery due to anesthesia, they will require medication to manage pain after the procedure. Your vet will administer pain medication to your dog through an injection following the surgery, which should remain effective in your dog’s system for about 12 to 24 hours.

You might wonder, "What pain relief can I give my dog after surgery?" Your vet will prescribe home-use medications to alleviate any post-operative pain your dog may endure. Rimadyl or Torbugesic are common pain medications for dogs prescribed by vets to aid in pain management after spay or neuter surgeries. When administering pain medications to your dog, strictly adhere to your vet’s instructions and never give them human pain medications, as many of these can be harmful and even toxic to dogs.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Our Weldon Spring vets regularly perform spay and neuter procedures at Tender Care Animal Hospital. Contact us today to learn more or to book an appointment for your dog.