Spay Recovery in Dogs

Updated April 13, 2018

Spaying is the common term for an ovariohysterectomy. This surgery is a routine sterilisation that removes your dog's ovaries and uterus. Although relatively free of complications, this major surgery requires post-surgical care.

Time Frame

Within 24 hours, your dog will begin to regain an appetite and desire to move around. Activity should be limited, and sutures should be examined for two weeks after surgery until they dissolve or are removed.


Spayed dogs will experience pain for several days after the procedure. Adverse effects that require medical attention include excessive swelling or redness and a foul, pungent discharge at the surgical incision site.


After spaying, a dog has stitches in her abdomen. These stitches can be pulled loose by excessive activity or by the dog chewing and licking at them. Try to prevent this from occurring.


Avoid bathing or exposing your pet to wet conditions for approximately two weeks after surgery to prevent dissolvable suture material from premature removal.

Expert Insight

Your veterinarian might request a return visit two to three weeks after your dog's spay. Be sure to follow any post-surgical care instructions about the care of your dog's sutures, overall condition and medication requirements.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Tumbarello has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites. She is an animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society. Tumbarello attended Hocking College and is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology from San Juan College.