Desexing (otherwise known as 'neutering' for male animals and 'spaying' for female) is a type of veterinary surgery which involves removing a section of an animal's reproductive system so that they will not be able to reproduce in the future. If you've decided to have a vet perform this procedure on your dog, here are two tips which should help to make this experience as simple and stress-free as possible.
Make sure your dog is prepared
It's important to make sure that your dog is fully prepared for surgery. For example, you must stop feeding your pet by around midnight, the evening before they are due to undergo their procedure.
This is crucial, as their stomach has to be completely free from any food during the surgery; if it is not, there is a risk that the food may travel up their oesophagus whilst they are unconscious and go into their lungs, which could lead to them choking. It is, however, completely safe to give your dog water during the run-up to their operation.
You should also take your dog for a long walk on the day of the surgery so that they can relieve themselves before their procedure. However, make sure that they do not get too dirty during the walk, as excess mud may lead to them having to take a bath prior to the operation.
Practice good post-surgery care
Following the operation, you will need to take particularly good care of your pet to ensure that they do not become ill or suffer from any postoperative complications.
During the first 24 hours after surgery, it's best to feed them simple foods that are quite bland (such as plain beef or chicken). The reason for this is that many animals feel nauseous after receiving general anaesthetic and as such, are likely to vomit if they consume strongly flavoured foods during the first day or so after their operation.
You should check the wound regularly for signs of infection; if you notice any increase in swelling or tenderness, or if the wound starts to produce pus, you should contact your vet immediately. One way to reduce the likelihood of an infection occurring is to put a cone around your dog's neck; this will prevent them from licking and potentially infecting the incision.
To ensure that the stitches do not tear open whilst the wound is still healing, you must try to prevent your pet from running and jumping during the first week following their operation. If you need to leave the house during this time, you may need to either put them in a crate (or in a room which does not contain furniture that they can jump on), to reduce the chances of them ripping open their stitches whilst they are not being supervised.