Taking Care of Puppies after Desexing

Desexing can be an invasive procedure which may leave your puppy feeling a little under-the-weather for a short while. How can you reduce pain after desexing? How can you ensure a quick recovery after desexing? This article aims to answer these questions and more.

What is Desexing

Desexing is an important procedure that most new puppies (almost 90%) will undergo. It involves the removal of a puppy’s reproductive organs to stop them from producing offspring. Desexing plays an important role in controlling the puppy population. It helps to reduce the number of unwanted litters and abandoned puppies.

We discuss desexing more generally in our articles ‘Should I Desex My Puppy?’and ‘What is the Right Age to Desex MY Puppy?

Taking Care of Puppies after Desexing

Keeping your Puppy Rested

After a puppy is desexed, your veterinarian will seal the wound with sutures. It’s important to keep your puppy rested in the days following the desexing procedure to avoid these sutures falling out.

You can assist your puppy’s healing by keeping them on a leash at this time. This will keep them from over-exerting themselves and damaging the wound. Keeping your puppy from over-exerting themselves after being desexed is especially important for female dogs (because the female desexing procedure is more invasive). 

While it is important to keep your puppy from running around and exerting themselves, in most cases, puppies will not need to be confined to a pen or crate full-time following a desexing procedure.

Keeping the Wound Clean

Your puppy’s wound will heal much quicker if it is kept clean and free from infection. Not only will an infection slow the healing process, but also, it will expose your puppy to dangerous diseases.

One of the most important things to look out for post-operation is licking of the wound. Your puppy’s mouth is full of bacteria (good and bad) and by licking itself, your puppy introduces these bacteria to the healing wound. This could potentially lead to infection and should be avoided. Ask your vet for an ‘Elizabethan Collar’ if your puppy won’t stop licking its wound.

In addition to this, avoid bathing your puppy or allowing them to swim until the desexing wound has healed. This way, you can be sure to avoid any bacteria in the water.

Do Puppies Change after Being Desexed?

Appetite: Some puppies experience disturbed appetite after being desexed. This will usually only last 24-48 hours. If your puppy does experience disturbed appetite, don’t be tempted to change their diet to something more ‘tasty’. Instead, consider feeding them something bland like boiled chicken or rice. If your puppy doesn’t start eating, contact your veterinarian.

Digestion: Another side-effect of desexing is a disrupted digestive cycle. Some of the drugs used in the procedure may cause your puppy’s motions to slow down temporarily. Stay in tune with your puppy’s cycle and be sensitive to their needs. If your puppy doesn’t go back to normal after a day or two, visit the vet for more advice.

Looking out for Internal Bleeding

Internal Bleeding is the most serious, albeit rare, complication associated with the desexing procedure. Signs that your puppy is internally bleeding include pale gums and lethargic movement. Check on your puppy a couple of times throughout the night, following the procedure. Keep in mind that internal bleeding is extremely rare following desexing.

Desexing is a common procedure which is performed in 90% of registered Australian dogs. Major complications are rare and side effects are usually short-lived. The most important thing is monitor your puppy’s behaviour and consult with your vet about any change that lasts longer than 24-48 hours.

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