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A simple fun day at the dog park or a walk around the neighbourhood can result in something unexpected — your pet's unplanned pregnancy. More so, certain reproductive diseases and behavioural issues could arise in the long run if neglected.
We certainly don't want that!
When it comes to our pets, we always go above and beyond, even if it means getting them spayed or neutered. Whilst this particular process seems so unfamiliar and scary to many fur parents, spaying or neutering your pets actually comes with a bunch of benefits.
In Australia, over 200,000 stray and surrendered dogs and cats are admitted to shelters and facilities. Not to mention, 20% of them are euthanised. Spaying or neutering our pets can resolve this growing problem of overpopulation.
The benefits of spaying and neutering extend well beyond the latter — it can literally save our pets' lives. According to ASPCA, spayed and neutered pets can live much longer and healthier. Also, it can help manage aggressive behaviours, the urge to roam to find a mate, and territory-marking, which can be quite stressful.
But bringing your baby in for the surgery is one thing; preparing them and taking care of them after the surgery can be the most nerve-wracking part.
We jotted down 9 care tips you must do before and after your pet is spayed or neutered:
Ideally, if your pet is left unattended, it is better to confine them in a crate. This ensures that there will be no excessive and unnecessary activities several days before the surgery. While some find it uncomfortable and cruel, introducing and training them to behave in a crate can really help.
Ensure that they have no access to their food and water bowls by 9pm before the day of their surgery. This reduces the possibility of vomiting and aspiration when they're under anesthetic. Your vet will give you further instructions before the big day.
Getting anxious is inevitable. Who would want their pet to be under the knife? However, our pets tend to feed off our emotions. If you're feeling uncertain, they can sense it. It's not good for them to feel uneasy and panicky before the surgery.
So, as much as possible, do your best to be calm and reassuring.
Post-operation is only the beginning. A pain relief routine can be difficult for our pets since they cannot express pain as humans do. So, brace yourself. Your pet will probably be given a pain injection at the hospital and some take-home pain relief medicines for you to administer.
Also, doctors will typically say you have to rest and heal after surgery completely, but pet patients can't exactly follow. This is when the crate comes in handy.
Remember, medication is best discussed with a veterinarian since not all experience the same after-effects.
Lack of appetite, vomiting, or depression are common effects of anesthesia after the surgery, so offer food and water in small amounts for the first 12 hours. If they refuse to eat or start to vomit, don’t give anything else until the next day.
Any symptoms after 24 hours may indicate a complication. Go see your vet, immediately.
Your pets need to have their own safe space — quiet and warm, following the surgery. Also, you might need to fence up certain areas of your house where they can access stairs or furniture. Such can expose them to accidents and injuries. Strict activity restriction is necessary following spay and neuter surgeries. Activities like running, jumping, and playing can result in stitches failing, bleeding, pain, and other post-surgical problems.
Incisions can be external or internal. Regardless, you must check the area regularly for signs of redness, swelling, oozing or separation, which indicate inflammation or infection. If your pet licks the incision site, you may need a soft cone, cloud cone, or Elizabeth collar, to prevent the licking that can irritate the wound.
Consult your vet immediately if signs of wound irritations and complications show.
Taking care of the wound is important. Belly wraps can help protect the incision site, or wearing a Dog Recovery Onesie. Seek your veterinarian's advice on what topical wound product you can use to clean the wound to prevent infection and speed up healing.
Recovery is the hardest — what more to our fur babies? Keep them comfortable and happy by doing fun activities that require fewer movements, of course. Always smile and assure them that everything will be fine and give them lots of kisses and cuddles.
Follow these tips, so you can be ready when the time comes — so is your pet. As stressful as it may seem, remember you're doing what's best for them. They will go about their lives normally and much longer, without the risks associated with reproduction.