Although rare; complications can occur:
- Anesthetic complications resulting in death
- Other anesthetic complications resolving with treatment
- Hernias in females-breakdown of the internal sutures
- Delayed wound healing
- Urinary incontinence-dribbling urine/inability to control urination
- Infections in the abdomen or the remaining small piece of the uterus
- Weight gain in females
- Bleeding during or after surgery either internally, from the incision or from the vulva that can result in death
- Infection in the skin near the incision or sutures
- Adhesions or other complications which may impair gastrointestinal or urinary tract
Any time anesthesia or surgical procedures are done there is always a risk, but the overall incidence of complications is very low. Spaying and neutering are major surgical procedures but they are the most common surgery performed by veterinarians all over the world everyday! This is why we do a thorough physical exam prior to surgery. Keep in mind there is always the unexpected things that come up. We do everything in our power to give your pet a smooth and safe procedure.
Post surgically the number one complication we see is owner compliance!
That’s right owner compliance! Since your dog and cat cannot read, we ask you to read the to go home instructions and follow them! When our instructions are followed, it is a very rare that we see any problems post surgical. Your pet’s incision will heal much faster if you keep your pet calm and quiet for a few days after surgery.
See our post-surgical care instructions!
Common Complications or Issues Post Spay Neuter Surgery
Males: Scrotal bruising and swelling may occur. It usually resolves without treatment. Key = keep him calm and quiet! Minor redness or swelling around incision site. It usually resolves without treatment. Hematoma or seroma (non-painful swellings near the incision or in the scrotum) that resolve without treatment. This is rare.
Females have an abdominal incision.
The most common complication is Self-inflicted trauma to the surgical site. This includes suture removal by the animal, skin infections caused by licking and other damage such as rubbing, scooting or scratching with hind paws at incision. E collars are helpful at preventing self-inflicted trauma. See our E collar etiquette page.
Also for males and females OVER ACTIVITY post-surgery can be an issue.
Your pet should not be running, jumping, playing, swimming, wrestling with adults, children, grandchildren or other pets, no trampoline jumping, no turning loose out the backdoor to run wild for hours, no tying dogs out on a chain… females the chain can rub the incision on the belly, chasing cats cars or squirrels, going for a 5 mile jog or rock climbing, no humping anything live or objects of desire.
Seriously your pet just had surgery and should take it easy for a few days!
If your dog was in heat at time of spay do not allow her to be bred by a male dog the swelling and friction can pop internal sutures or damage incisions. Your female may still smell very attractive to a male dog. It can take up to 3 weeks for the hormone levels to dissipate.