Post-Surgery Care

Post-Surgery CareAftercare Instructions for Spay/Neuter Clinic

When you get home tonight

Your pet just had general anesthesia, and received morphine type drugs for pain control. He or she may seem drowsy. There may be shivering or trembling. You may notice some whimpering or whining. Cats sometimes have dilated pupils or "glassy eyes."

Please let your pet recover in a safe, warm dark area, away from stairs, children or other pets.

Offer a small meal, but do not be alarmed if your pet is not interested. He or she may be feeling nauseated from the anesthesia.

Your pet should be back to him/herself the next morning.

For male cats, use newspaper instead of litter for the first 24 hours after surgery.

What to expect over the next 7 days

For the next seven days, dogs should be leash walked only. No running, jumping or rough-housing. No ball throwing. No swimming, no bathing.

If your female cat usually goes outside, try and keep her inside for a week so that you can monitor her incision.

Take a look at the incision once in the morning and once in the evening. If you notice any redness, swelling or discharge, please contact us.

Your pet will go home with an E-collar. This is to prevent licking, biting or chewing at the incision site. Leave the E-collar on for 7 days, especially if your pet is unsupervised (e.g. asleep at night or when home alone).

Do not allow other pets in the household to chew or lick the incision.

There is no need to return for suture removal as the sutures we use are self-dissolving.

Any problems directly related to the surgery will be treated by the SF SPCA under the following  guidelines:

  • For any complications arising between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., 7 days per week, please call 415-554-3030. You may be instructed to return to the SF SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic or go to the hospital for follow-up care.

  • For after-hours emergencies, 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., 7 days per week, please call our Pacific Heights Campus at 415-554-3030 and veterinary technician will advise you.

    If you choose to seek veterinary care at any other facility, all financial responsibility will be solely yours.

Download information on post-surgery care in PDF format: