“Recently, my dog got spayed with laser surgery, now he is doing fine, and I have not come across any postsurgical issues.
It has now been over a week. He is filthy from head to foot. I’m in the mood to give him a good bath. But I’m not sure if bathing your dog after surgery is a good idea.”
Well, getting your dog spayed and neutered is good for their health. But if you don’t know when you can bathe your dog postsurgery, then you have landed in the right place.
In this, we have answered all queries related to neutering and spaying your dogs. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
Is it safe to bathe your dog after spaying or neutering? When should you clean them?
It is vital to clean your dogs and bathe them, but it isn’t easy after surgery.
Their stitches are fresh, and moving their body can be risky as the stitches can start bleeding and cause other issues.
Therefore, always take your vet’s advice. And bathe your dog right after 14 days.
However, the process of drying will be different for each individual. Some dogs may heal their cuts quickly. Like, the chances of small dogs are higher. In contrast, bigger dogs take more time.
You must stick to vet advice because if you take any step before 2 weeks, it may cause problems for your dog. Like the glue used for closing the stitches may get loose because of water.
So, you will basically disrupt the healing process and may result in painfully swollen stitches.
Wait, are you wondering that your long hairy dog might get very filthy in those 14 days.
Well, in such cases, you can always take decisions prior.
You can take your dog to the groomer and get his ‘sanitary trim’ done. It will help your pup to have a clean area near his genitals as the groomer will cut short all his hair.
Now that you know you can bathe your spayed dog right after 2 weeks, do you wish to know how to wash them? Well, let’s check that in the new section now!
TIP: Make sure that the genitals area is not entirely spotless because once the hair starts growing back, it will cause irritation, and your dog will end up licking it.
How to take care of your spayed or neutered dog while bathing?
Before you start bathing, you must gather all the stuff you need while washing your dog. Like, keep his shampoo, soap, towel ready neaby you.
Now, follow the steps listed below.
Relax and take care of the surgical site: The first step is to carefully check the surgical incisions.
Even though the incision is dry, it still has a higher possibility of becoming sore. Be gentle nearby the areas.
Use shampoos made for dogs: You cannot use any human shampoo as it can cause irritation and skin dryness. Therefore, get the right shampoo that suits his ph level.
Use lukewarm water: Your dog has already suffered a lot in the last 2 weeks for surgery. Therefore, try to make her bathing session relaxing and calming.
Do not use direct stream. It can make the situation go pathetic. Instead, you use a container to pour water on his body. Moreover, you can also control water from spilling onto his genital area.
Wash him: With the help of pet cleaner and water, wet your dog’s body and clean all the area softly. Lather up and deeply cleanse his fur, ears, head, and paws.
Drying process: Drying your pet after cleaning is critical. It is best if you take extra care during this because your dog may get hurt.
Use a soft dry towel for this, and slowly-slowly dry his fur and body.
Caution: Not use any sort of hairdryer appliance, it will scar your dog, and you even burn his skin.
What precautions should you take after your dog is spayed or neutered?
You have to take care of a list of things right after surgery. We have jotted down everything and made it easy for you. So, let’s gather more knowledge now.
Starting with anesthesia and surgery
Keep a track out for any signs of unexpected recovery from anesthesia and surgery in your pet. By any chance, you notice any of the symptoms given below, immediately speak to your vet.
- Pale gums
- Increased or decreased body temperature
- Loss of appetite/decreased water intake
- Unsteady gait
- Labored breathing
- Lethargy, depression, or weakness
Food and water
After returning home from surgery, give your pet half a normal serving of food and water right after two hours.
If you have spayed your 16 weeks puppy, you must feed them half food and water right after returning home.
You can apply some syrup on cotton and dab on his upper gums if he doesn’t eat.
Right after the surgery, most of the dogs won’t have food till the night. In such a case, you can offer them food and water the next day.
If your dog eats it and vomits it out, then make sure to keep food away and just give him little water.
Please give him a small amount of food the next day. If he continues to throw up or passes out watery stool after that, seek the advice of your veterinarian.
Pain and other medication
Your vet already gave your pet a long-acting pain reliever during the surgery. So, don’t act stupid and give your painkiller to your pet if he feels unwell.
Medicines made for humans do not work for pets, and it can become a fatal situation in some severe conditions. Only give vet prescribed drugs.
As we have already stressed a lot on the surgery site before, we will still light up your knowledge along with other things.
- Please make sure to cover your dog’s neck with a cone of shame to prohibit licking surgical sites.
- Keep him away from other pets in your house. They may end up hurting or may lick his wounds.
- You have to check his surgery site daily to ensure it is normal and healing correctly.
- By any chance, if you spot redness, yellow or green discharge, foul smell, or anything unusual, then immediately speak to a postoperative care line.
- Don’t use any products nearby the area unless your vet has prescribed it.
Take care of the tattoo.
Pets who have undergone surgery are given a small green tattoo. It is inked next to the surgical incision.
Generally, the tattoo site does not turn into an infectious space or have redness, swelling, or discharge. But still, you make sure to monitor it.
By any chance, if it occurs, contact your vet.
Rest is the key; restrict rough play.
After the surgery, you have to control your pet’s actions. Make sure that they do not attempt to do some extreme physical exercise like jumping.
- If you are not around them, make sure he keeps them in a carrier or crate to control mobility.
- In case your pet is small in size, then you can lift them up while using stairs.
- Please ensure to leash off your pet and then take them to the bathroom. Also, it would help if you did not take them for long walks.
Monitor your dog’s bathroom habits after the surgery. Inquire with your veterinarian if they’ve used the restroom following surgery.
If your pet doesn’t pee within 24 hours of the surgery, it is a sign of some problem. And, you must get your dog checked by the vet.
Don’t let your pet meet other animals.
It is your responsibility not to let neutered male dogs meet unspayed females. In case they meet, there are higher chances for the female dog to get pregnant.
A neutered male dog can still make an unspayed female dog pregnant after surgery because they are still fertile for 30 days.
Likewise, don’t let the spayed female dogs come nearby unneutered dogs.
Furthermore, the clinical odor that your pet emits after surgery may cause other animals to fight with them. As a result, separation is crucial!
It is an absolutely tough time for your dog and you. So, you have to take a lot of care once the operation is over.
Stay strong, and help them, shower some love, and soon things will be normal.
So far, you do know very well about bathing, but what about grooming spayed or neutered dogs?|
Can you groom your dog after being spayed or neutered?
As you know, grooming is essential, and while grooming, you do bloom your relationship.
But, after the surgery, grooming can be tricky because, as you know already, dogs after surgery needs to rest.
They cannot move a lot, and grooming involves physical movement, creating tension near the surgical spots.
So, once your dog is completely healed, you can groom them after that, which is after 14 days.
You can brush your dog’s fur once he is completely fine. If there is a matt, it is preferable to remove it.
In case you are using some grooming product, make sure not to apply that nearby stitches. Because alcohol inside the product cause irritation and may pace down the healing process.
How to clean stitches area?
If the surgery marks get dirty, or you find a slight discharge coming out of it, you can clean the area using a cotton ball and warm water. Remember, you just have to get rid of the dirt.
Most importantly, don’t use hydrogen peroxide, herbal preparations, or soap water for cleaning the incisions. Some of these products are toxic if consumed internally, while others can actually slow healing.
When should the stitches be removed?
Removing stitches really depends on what kind of surgery was conducted on your pet. If the stitches were enclosed with sutures under the skin, you do not need to remove the stitches.
However, if the surgeon used non-dissolving methods like staple or stent sutures, then it will take time. Be mentally prepared to get removed right after 10-14 days.
Your vet will speak to you about when to get your pet to remove the stitches.
Does neutering or spaying kill your dog?
Many owners get worried. They think spaying or neutering their dog can lead to a fatal-like situation. But, the fact is that it doesn’t not.
Are you wondering how?
Well, when you neuter your female dog before sexual maturity, you reduce the chances of breast cancer. It means eradicating the threat of uterine and ovarian cancer and uterine infection.
In the case of male dogs, you are prohibiting the chances of testicular tumors. It may also stop prostate problems.
Moreover, surgery can also reveal some undiagnosed health problems. Thus, you will have enough time to prevent health issues in your pets. Isn’t it fantastic?
Therefore, the chances of your pet dying because of spaying or neutering surgery are next to zero, and you must not worry about it. It is a safe option. It would be best if you went for it.
When will my dog be ready to start his routine activities?
It will take either two weeks or more than that for your dog to get back to his normal routine after the operation.
Your veterinarian will give you certain instructions on how long you should limit your dog’s activities after surgery.
Well, that’s a wrap!
After the surgery, you have to take complete care of your dog. You have to restrict their mobility and monitor stitches. Don’t bathe them till the stitches are entirely recovered, which nearly takes 14 days.
This time is unbearable for your dog. He will cry out of pain. You should be ready to deal with this. Be gentle to them, take utmost care, show love, and feed them bland food like chicken and rice.
If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.