Warning Signs after Spaying Dog

icon June 28, 2024

Spaying, or ovariohysterectomy, is a common surgical procedure performed on female dogs to remove the ovaries and uterus, rendering them incapable of reproduction. While the surgery is routine and generally safe, it is crucial for pet owners to be aware of the potential warning signs post-surgery. Understanding the care required after spaying, the healing process, and how to handle specific complications can ensure a smooth recovery for your canine companion.

Warning Signs after Spaying Dog

Warning Signs After Spaying a Dog

After spaying, monitoring your dog for any signs of complications is essential. Some warning signs that may indicate a problem include:

1. Excessive Bleeding or Swelling:
While minor swelling around the incision site is normal, excessive swelling or bleeding is not. If you notice these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

2. Redness or Discharge at the Incision Site:
Some redness and minimal clear discharge are normal, but if the incision site becomes very red, hot to the touch, or emits pus, it may indicate an infection.

3. Lethargy or Weakness:
While some drowsiness is expected due to anesthesia, prolonged lethargy or weakness could signal an underlying issue.

4. Vomiting or Diarrhea:
Post-operative nausea can occur, but persistent vomiting or diarrhea should be addressed by a veterinarian.

5. Loss of Appetite:
It is normal for your dog to have a reduced appetite for a day or two. However, if your dog refuses to eat for more than 48 hours, seek veterinary advice.

6. Pain:
Dogs may experience some discomfort post-surgery, but excessive whining, crying, or signs of pain indicate the need for professional evaluation.

7. Unusual Behavior:
Behavioral changes such as restlessness, aggression, or withdrawal can signal that your dog is experiencing discomfort or complications.

Care After Spaying a Dog

Post-operative care is crucial to ensure a smooth recovery. Here are some key aspects to consider:

1. Rest and Confinement:
Limit your dog's physical activity for at least 10-14 days. Prevent running, jumping, and playing to avoid straining the incision.

2. Monitoring the Incision:
Check the incision site daily for signs of infection or complications. Ensure it remains clean and dry.

3. Preventing Licking:
Dogs may attempt to lick or chew the incision site. Use an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) or a surgical onesie to prevent this.

4. Administering Medications:
Follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding pain medications and antibiotics. Ensure your dog completes the full course of any prescribed medication.

5. Diet and Hydration:
Offer small, easily digestible meals post-surgery. Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.
→Related: How Much Water Do Dogs Need To Drink

6. Follow-Up Visits:
Schedule and attend follow-up appointments with your veterinarian to monitor your dog's healing progress.

My Dog Jumped After Being Spayed

Despite your best efforts, your dog may occasionally jump or engage in sudden movements after being spayed. If this happens, observe her closely for any signs of pain or complications. Occasional minor jumps are usually not a cause for concern, but if you notice any of the following, contact your veterinarian:

Spay Incision Healing Process

Understanding the healing process can help you recognize what is normal and what is not. Here’s a general timeline of what to expect:

Spay Incision Healing Process

First 24 Hours:

Your dog will be groggy and may experience mild discomfort. Limit activity and monitor for any immediate complications such as excessive bleeding.

Days 2-3:
Mild swelling and redness around the incision are normal. Your dog should start to regain her appetite and energy levels. Keep her activity restricted.

Days 4-7:
The incision should start to heal, and any initial redness and swelling should begin to subside. Continue to prevent licking and monitor for signs of infection.

Days 8-14:
The incision should be healing well, with minimal redness or swelling. Your dog’s energy levels will likely increase, but continue to restrict activity until your veterinarian gives the all-clear.

After 2 Weeks:
Most incisions are fully healed by this point. Your veterinarian will likely schedule a follow-up visit to ensure everything is healing properly.

Can I Carry My Dog After Being Spayed?

Yes, you can carry your dog after she has been spayed, but you must do so carefully to avoid putting pressure on the incision site. 

How to Pick Up a Dog After Spaying

When picking up your dog after she has been spayed, follow these steps to ensure her comfort and safety:

  • Approach Calmly: Approach your dog calmly to avoid startling her.
  • Support Her Chest: Place one hand under her chest, just behind her front legs.
  • Support Her Hindquarters: Place your other hand under her hindquarters, in front of her back legs.
  • Lift Slowly: Lift her slowly and evenly, ensuring her body remains level and stable.
  • Hold Securely: Hold her close to your body to provide additional support and security.

Dog Spay Incision Broke Open

If your dog’s spay incision breaks open, it is considered a medical emergency, and you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Here’s what to do in the meantime:

  • 1. Minimize Movement:
    Keep your dog as still and calm as possible to prevent further damage.
  • 2. Prevent Licking:
    Use an E-collar to prevent your dog from licking or chewing the open incision.
  • 3. Keep the Area Clean:
    If possible, gently clean the area with sterile saline solution. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or disinfectants.
  • 4. Seek Immediate Veterinary Care:
    Transport your dog to the veterinarian or emergency animal clinic as soon as possible. Open incisions can lead to serious infections and require prompt professional treatment.


Spaying is a significant surgical procedure that requires careful post-operative care to ensure your dog’s health and well-being. By understanding the warning signs of complications, providing proper care, and knowing how to handle specific situations such as your dog jumping or an incision breaking open, you can help your furry friend recover smoothly and return to her happy, healthy self. Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions and do not hesitate to seek professional advice if you have any concerns about your dog’s recovery.
Related: Do Dogs Calm Down After Being Spayed

Leave A Comment
All comments are moderated before being published.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Join The Puainta

Become one of pet parents and get professional tips, immediate product info, updated promotions and discounts, and more surprises from us!