We are officially complete with the spay surgery process! Hooray!
The spay conversation began at our first vet appointment… typically spay is done within the first year, at least 6 months of age and is a great solution to the pet homelessness crisis. Spaying your dog allows them to live a longer, healthier life and prevents uterine infections, decreases the incidence of breast tumors and other cancers. Fortunately, spaying does not make your dog fat or change their personality forever.
Some people debate whether you should spay pre or post the first heat. We chose to get Lucy spayed at 7 months of age and before her first heat. Current research shows if you spay before the first heat it offers the best protection from disease. We made an appointment for pre procedural bloodwork & physical exam then booked the surgery for a week later. It happened so fast, I felt so guilty & nervous signing her up for this, but I knew overall it was for the best & we would be glad to have it out of the way.
Things to Consider
- Scheduling: what day & time? When is the drop off time? Do you need to take off work? Who is going to be available for pick up? Are you going to be available for the next ~4 days for around the clock care? Make sure to schedule lots of play dates preOp!
- Activity: for the next 10-14 days after surgery your dog is to only walk on a leash and for the next 7-10 days no: running, jumping, climbing, going up/down stairs, jumping on furniture *we had to carry her up/down the apartment stairs & no dog park for 2 weeks?!
- Incisional Care: monitor for- swelling/odor/discharge, don’t allow your dog to: lick/chew/scratch, do not apply anything to the incision & do not allow bathing or for the incision to get wet for 14 days
- Food/Water: continue to feed/drink like normal but understand they may have a decreased appetite at first
- Post Anesthesia Personality: after surgery, the day of your dog might be more whiny, groggy, have goopy eyes and be “out of sorts” but should be back to their normal selves the next morning ~24hrs later
- Medication Regimen: our vet prescribed Rimadyl an anti-inflammatory every 12 hours and Trazadone for calming every 12 hours. Trazadone was KEY in preventing our hyper pup from jumping 10 feet in the air & ripping every stitch.
What to Purchase
- Pill cutter
- Elizabethan collar provided by vet
- Elizabethan collar alternatives: Inflatable dog collar Surgical suit Recovery suit
- Recovery toys- she got extra large plushies to snuggle with
- Cozy dog bed
- Dog pen/gates- we reused our puppy pen to block her from jumping on the couch!
- Puppy pads
What to Expect
From our experience- Day 1: a groggy, sleepy doggy… Days 2-4: a lethargic and chill pup, who luckily never seemed to be in pain, Days 5-12: a sleepy & bored pup ready to go! We are so thankful for our experience with the doctors and staff at Park Vet they took such good care of our girl! Lucy hated the Elizabethan collar, she did so much better with the surgical & recovery suits -we were lucky to have 2 because a couple of times I forgot to unsnap her suit outside & we had to wash the suits!! Also- beware, while the suits were perfect for recovery, she did get a lot of matts on her fur under & around the suit edges. If I did it again I would schedule a hair cut before surgery & post op I would take advantage of the sleepiness, combing her extra! As the anesthesia wore off, she did have a couple of accidents too- so give grace & prepare for clean up! After lots of couch snuggles and lazy days our girl was back & ready to go 100% On her 1st day of freedom she sprinted out of the apartment & ran laps around the building?! AHHHH