How to Care for Your Pet After Surgery
Please closely monitor your pet during the 7–10 day recovery period and strictly follow these mandatory post-operative care instructions.
Limit activity for at least one week after surgery.
No running, jumping, playing, swimming or other strenuous activity for 7-10 days after surgery. Pets must be kept indoors to rest and stay clean, dry and warm. No baths during the recovery period. Dogs must be taken outside on a leash, even in a fenced-in yard.
Check the incision site at least two times a day.
Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision site. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) MUST be put on immediately to prevent injury to the surgical site (can be purchased at UCAN for $5/Cat, $8/Dog, or at local pet stores). You can also use boxer shorts to cover the incision (stick the tail through the opening). UCAN is not liable for any self-induced trauma resulting from not using an E-collar. There may be a FIRM LUMP under the incision as the dissolvable sutures break down for several weeks. This is normal. There are no external sutures, unless otherwise noted. Redness and swelling should be minimal.
Do not give your pet human pain medication.
Pain Medication that lasts 24 hours was given to your pet at the time of surgery. DO NOT give your pet any human pain relievers (like aspirin, Advil, Tylenol, etc.). These medications have the potential to be toxic to your pet.
Monitor appetite and activity level for 24 hours after surgery.
Appetite and activity level should gradually return to normal within 24 hours after surgery. Lethargy or lack of appetite lasting more than 24 hours, severe diarrhea or persistent vomiting are NOT normal and you should contact us promptly at 513-787-8746 if these symptoms occur. Pets may have a slight cough for a few days after surgery.
Keep a consistent diet for at least one week after surgery.
Do not change your pet’s diet for 7 to 10 days after surgery and DO NOT give any people food or table scraps during the recovery period. These could mask post-operative complications.
Quarantine female pets who were in heat before surgery.
If your female pet was in heat you MUST keep her away from intact (not neutered) and recently neutered males for TWO weeks or serious complications may result. It is normal to have some spotting of blood or mild discharge for up to 2 weeks after surgery. Please contact us if it continues longer than 2 weeks.
For 24 hours after a vaccine is given, it is common for pets to experience mild pain/swelling at the vaccine site, mild fever, decreased appetite or activity, and sneezing/mild cough (for Bordetella vaccine). Less common but more severe reactions are persistent vomiting or diarrhea, facial selling, hives, severe coughing or difficulty breathing. If your pet shows any signs of these more severe reactions, please seek care immediately at a full-service veterinary facility.
EMERGENCY HOURS: MON-FRI 7:30 AM-3PM
UCAN is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays. If any post-operative concerns arise on a non-holiday Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (our “Emergency Hours”), please call UCAN’s emergency line at 513-787-8746 and leave a message; a medical team member will return your call as soon as possible.
UCAN will treat at our clinic, at no or minimal cost, any post-operative complications resulting directly from surgery. UCAN is NOT liable for complications resulting from failure to follow these post-operative instructions or for contagious diseases for which the pet had not been properly vaccinated.
After Hours Emergencies
If an emergency issue arises outside of our Emergency Hours above, please contact your personal veterinarian or an emergency clinic. UCAN’s veterinarian will decide, based upon the medical record and a discussion with the veterinarian who handled the emergency, as to whether and how much of the costs of the emergency visit and treatment will be covered by UCAN. UCAN will only cover costs directly related to the spay/neuter surgery. UCAN will NOT pay the costs of a visit to another veterinarian or an emergency clinic during the Emergency Hours noted above if you did not call UCAN first.
Your regular veterinarian must address any illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of the spay or neuter surgery.