Symptoms After a Dog Is Spayed

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A symptom can be any sensation or bodily change in a patient. When the patient is your dog, you're at a disadvantage because she cannot tell you how she feels after being spayed. Most young dogs recover after a couple days, though stitches will take longer to heal.


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However, your dog's behavior, such as whining after a spay, can indicate if she is having problems. And there are physical signs you can check for even if she is behaving normally such as a lump or blister near the incision or excessive fluid leaking. Always be watchful after your dog has any kind of surgery, including one this common.


Pain as a symptom

Spaying is a surgical procedure. After spaying, your dog is likely to experience some level of pain. Some dogs behave normally within hours of surgery. Others whimper, cry, pace, moan, and try to bite the incision for several days afterward. Most dogs fall between these two extremes.

Discuss pain medication options with your vet before the surgery. Many vets suggest giving pain medication after surgery and before a pain spiral begins to keep the dog comfortable and give her time to heal. Only give the recommended dosage.


Excess activity as a symptom

Most young dogs recover after a couple days, though stitches will take longer to heal.
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When a dog is spayed, she undergoes abdominal surgery. Your dog may take the pain medication your veterinarian has prescribed and feel so little pain that she becomes too active too soon. If she this happens, she can damage her incision increasing the chances of infection.


In this instance, pain is what alerts her to the fact that she has an incision or an irritated one. Check your dog's incision daily after spaying and check with your vet if your dog seems overly active. Follow your veterinarian's instructions and advice about pain medication. Feeling too good can lead to overexertion.

Complication symptoms after a spay

As with any surgery, complications can occur after a dog is spayed. These are exceptions, but they do happen. Your dog can have a reaction to the anesthetic; her stitches can pull and break; or she can develop an infection. Report any bleeding at the site of the incision or any vaginal bleeding in the hours or days after the surgery to your veterinarian right away.


Similarly, if during recovery from surgery your dog is unusually listless, that can be a symptom of a complication. If she shows little or no interest in eating or drinking water, if she becomes very weak, if she has a fever, vomits, has diarrhea, or displays signs of pain when she is handled, contact your veterinarian. If the area surrounding her sutures becomes inflamed, also contact your vet.

Long-term complications of spay

Hormonal changes occur in dogs who have had their reproductive organs removed. Some dogs experience long-term effects that are not desired changes. A tendency to gain weight is one symptom that can occur after spaying. Another symptom some dogs experience is a decrease in stamina.


Restrict your dog's activity so the stitches don't get pulled out.
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Some dogs have episodes of urinary incontinence. This doesn't usually happen immediately after the surgery but a few days later because your spayed female is experiencing lower estrogen levels. Estrogen helps control sphincter muscles. If your dog loses control of urine unexpectedly, contact your veterinarian. Any of these long-term effects can occur months or even years after your dog is spayed.