Recovery after spaying

Updated April 17, 2017

Spaying involves surgery in which your pet’s ovaries and uterus are removed through small abdominal incisions. Pets tend to recovery quickly from this procedure, but you will still need to take special precautions while caring for your post-operative pet.

After the Surgery

Pets are usually able to go home the day of the surgery. When you bring your dog or cat home, keep her indoors in a small, confined space where she can be easily observed. Pets need to avoid strenuous activity including running, jumping and playing, which may cause the incision to reopen.

Recovery Time

The younger your pet is, the less time it will take her to recover. Younger pets may be back to their normal self in as little as a day, while it may take older pets a few days longer.


Your pet may not have much of an appetite following the surgery. However, you may provide your pet with a lite meal and a small amount of water upon returning home. Pets may resume their normal feeding schedule the day after the surgery.


To help prevent infection, watch your pet closely for excessive licking or chewing. These actions could lead to infection or may cause the incision to reopen. You should also refrain from bathing your pet for seven to 10 days while the incision heals.


Most pets will have self-dissolving sutures at the site of their incision. If your veterinarian closes the incision with skin sutures or staples, you will need to schedule an office visit seven to 10 days after are surgery for their removal. In both cases, it is essential not to clean or apply any ointment on the incision site.

Warning Signs

Some redness and swelling of the incision are normal but you should contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms: depression, vomiting, pale gums, laboured breathing, difficulty urinating, diarrhoea, or discharge or bleeding from the incision.

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About the Author

Cari Riley received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. She is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience. She has served as a sports writer, feature writer and contributor of advertising copy and Web content for major media groups.