Post-Operative Instructions

Your dog or cat has undergone general anesthesia and surgical sterilization.  For the safety and well-being of you and your animal, please follow these post-operative instructions carefully. To obtain a printed version, click here.

• Dogs and cats must be kept indoors after surgery, to enable you to carefully monitor recovery and to prevent complications and possible death from exposure to outdoor temperature extremes.

• With anesthesia, stomach upset can occur.  We recommend that you only offer ¼ of your pets’ normal meal this evening and increase the amount over the next two feedings.  It is ok if your pet does not eat this evening. You can offer canned food or boiled chicken if you pet is reluctant to eat dry food.  Your pet should be eating the day after surgery and should not be experiencing any stomach upset.

Restrict your animal’s activity for the next 7 to 10 days.  Do not allow running, jumping, or unsupervised time with other pets. Please note that females in heat at time of spay can still mate with males and this can lead to infection or inflammation at the surgery site (but not pregnancy).

Please use an e-collar to prevent your animal from licking/chewing at the incision site for 7 to 10 days.

• Check the incision daily for the first 7 to 10 days.  A small amount of crusting is normal immediately after surgery.  Should you notice any continued drainage or swelling, bring your pet back to the SNAP clinic during normal business hours for a complimentary recheck exam.

• At SNAP male dogs have been neutered by a scrotal approach. You may notice an open skin incision on the scrotum, this is normal. The tissue will heal from the inside out in 7 to 10 days.  There may be a small amount of bleeding or drainage for a few days after surgery.

• If needed, you can gently clean the around (but not on) the incision with a warm water on a washcloth, gauze or paper towel.  All pets will have green tattoo ink applied to a small area near the incision, and cats will have tattoo ink applied to the inside of the left ear.  The tattoo is a universal indicator that an animal has been spayed/neutered and is an essential part of accomplishing SNAP’s mission.  The tattooed area may appear crusty or red for a few days.

Do not allow the incision to be immersed in water for 7 to 10 days after surgery.  (No bathing, no swimming)

• If the surgery required the use of sutures, the sutures are dissolvable and should not require removal.  Because male cat neuters do not require the use of sutures, we advise using shredded newspaper or Yesterday’s News instead of litter in your cat’s litter box for 7 to 10 days after surgery to prevent dust particles from irritating the incisions.

• DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN OR TYLENOL TO DOGS AND CATS FOR PAIN RELIEF.  TYLENOL IS TOXIC TO ANIMALS AND ASPIRIN CAN BE DEADLY AFTER SURGERY. Your animal was given pain medication at the time of surgery. Cats receive long-acting injectable pain medication. Oral pain medication is available for dogs for $15.

• If you have any questions about your animal’s condition after surgery, please call SNAP or bring your pet back to the clinic during normal business hours for a complementary recheck exam.

• For post-surgical problems or questions requiring immediate attention when the SNAP clinic is closed you may text or leave a voicemail on our emergency line:

HOUSTON/PASADENA area 832.801.9476
SAN ANTONIO area 210.632.0902

• Our team is on call to give guidance for post-surgical questions and emergencies only. For other question about your animal’s health, or for emergencies not related to surgery at SNAP, please contact your private veterinarian or your nearest Animal Emergency Clinic.