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How long will my dog's pain last after neutering or spaying?

Our Los Angeles vets know that the decision to get your dog spayed or neutered for many pet parents can be emotional. In this blog post, our vets will discuss how long your dog might be in pain after neutering, the types of pain medications that can be administered, and effective ways to comfort your furry friend during recovery.

How long will my dog be in pain after neutering or spaying?

The duration of pain after neutering varies among individual dogs, but most experience discomfort for a few days up to a week. Typically, the first 24 to 48 hours post-surgery are the most uncomfortable, as the initial swelling and soreness are at their peak.

By the end of the first week, most dogs begin to show significant improvement as the incision site heals and the internal tissues start to mend. It is crucial to monitor your dog closely during this period and ensure it is healing correctly without any signs of complications, such as infection.

What can I give my dog for pain after neutering surgery?

Veterinarians often prescribe pain medications to help manage your dog's discomfort after neutering. Common dog pain medications after surgery include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like carprofen, meloxicam, and deracoxib.

These medications help reduce inflammation and pain, smoothing your dog's recovery. To ensure your dog's pain is adequately managed, it's essential to follow the veterinarian's dosage instructions carefully and complete the full course of medication.

Besides prescribed medications, there are additional ways to alleviate your dog's pain post-surgery:

  • Cold compresses: Applying a cold compress to the incision site for short periods can help reduce swelling and numb the area.
  • Warm compresses: After the initial swelling subsides, warm compresses can soothe sore muscles and promote healing.
  • Natural supplements: Some natural supplements, like omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric, have anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in pain relief. Consult your vet before adding any supplements to your dog's diet.

How to Comfort Your Dog After Surgery

After your dog's spay or neuter surgery, your pet should experience minimal pain. However, we understand you want to make your pet comfortable. Here are a few things you can do to help comfort your dog after neutering:

  • Ensure your dog has a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals and small children.
  • For two weeks following the spay or neuter surgery, prevent your dog from running, jumping, or climbing stairs. Follow your vet's instructions regarding activity after these procedures since your dog may require further restrictions. 
  • Even if you feel like your dog looks sad, it's important to have your pup wear a post-operative jumpsuit (recovery suit) or a cone (Elizabethan collar) to prevent your pup from licking the incision site. Licking the incision could lead to infection.
  • Do not bathe your dog (or allow your dog to swim) for at least ten days after spaying or neutering to allow the incision to heal as quickly as possible.
  • Check the incision site daily for any possible signs of infection and to ensure that the incision is healing well.

Contact your vet if you spot any redness, swelling, or discharge at the incision site or if the incision has opened. Symptoms such as lack of energy, reluctance to eat, vomiting, or diarrhea also signal the need to call your vet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you ready to book your dog's spay or neuter surgery? Contact our Los Angeles vets at Ambassador Dog & Cat Hospital today to schedule an appointment.

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