How to Prep a Dog for a Spay


Spaying is a routine surgery in the veterinary medical world. It reduces health problems and can help with behavioral problems. Spaying also reduces the number of unwanted litters. It can be scary to see your beloved pup going under the knife for any reason, and spaying is no exception, however, there are some basic procedures you can follow to make your pet's surgery go smoothly.

Restrict your dog's food and water intake beginning 12 hours prior to surgery. This reduces the risk of vomiting due to preanestheic and anesthetic drugs.

Remove your dog's flea collar. Veterinarian-approved flea and tick preventives may be applied prior to or immediately after surgery. Over-the-counter flea and tick medications, including flea collars, can cause life-threatening reactions in conjunction with anesthesia.

Inform your veterinarian of any medications your dog is currently taking or has taken within the month prior to the spay surgery.

If your dog has recently given birth, make sure the litter has been weaned from the mother for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. The presence of milk in the mammary glands increases the risk of infection and delayed healing.

Bring any copies of your dog's medical records to the clinic on the day of the procedure. They may contain vital information that your veterinarian should know.

Discuss your concerns with your veterinarian, and mention any abnormalities in your dog's behavior. These abnormalities can be indicative of a problem or potential problem.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to follow all postsurgical care instructions given to you by the veterinarian. These instructions should include the signs and symptoms of complications, a list of restricted activities, normal side effects, postsurgical home care and directions on pain medications, if prescribed. Your postsurgical care instructions should also contain information about your dog's stitches, as well as if and when a follow-up appointment is needed to remove them.
  • Do not restrict food and water in animals less than 2 kg in weight or in accordance with your veterinarian's instructions. Very young or very small animals cannot regulate their blood sugar and are at an increased risk of dehydration.

Related Searches


  • "Clinical Textbook For Veterinary Technicians"; Joanna Bassert, Dennis McCurnin; 2009
  • "Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats"; Etienne Cote DVM; 2006
  • "Minor Veterinary Surgery: A Handbook for Veterinary Nurses"; Julian Hoad; 2008
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