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It is critical that you follow these instructions to avoid serious and costly post-surgical complications!  Loving Touch Animal Hospital cannot be held responsible for any complications resulting from failure to follow pre and post operative instructions or for any contagious diseases for which the animal was not previously vaccinated.

Pre-Operative Instructions

Prior to surgery.  No food after dinner the night before surgery.  Water is allowed.  

Post Operative Instructions

Pain Management

If your pet was spayed/neutered, dogs will receive pain pills to go home.  They have had plenty of pain medication the day of surgery.  Please do not start your pain medication until the morning AFTER surgery.

If you pet is a cat and was spay/neutered, they will receive a long-lasting pain injection.  No pain medication needs to be administered by you.

If you pet received a surgical procedure other than spay/neuter, the doctor will prescribe pain medication.  The nurse will go over the pain management plan with you at the time you pick up your pet to go home.

If your pet seems painful, despite pain medication, call us first thing in the morning to schedule a same day re-check appointment.  Do not give your pet any human medication such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, aspirin or any other human pain relief medication as this can cause serious complications, including death!

What to expect when you get home

Your pet has had major surgery.  The surgery requires general anesthesia, which means the patient is completely asleep and unable to feel or move.  If your female pet had a spay surgery, the uterus and ovaries were removed through a midline incision in the abdominal wall.  In males who were neutered, only the testicles are removed unless a scrotal ablation was done.  If a scrotal ablation was done, the testicles and scrotal sac were removed.  Male cats have two incisions:  one on each side of the scrotum.  What you see the day of surgery is what we consider normal.  There should be no drainage.  Any redness or swelling should be minimal and should look better each day.  All animals receive pain medication before and after surgery.

Protect the Incision Site!

All animals, except male cats, go home with an Elizabethan collar.  DO NOT REMOVE THE COLLAR for 14 days following surgery unless directly supervised by you.  DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO LICK OR CHEW AT THE INCISION SITE!  Doing so will lead to complications including infection and opening the incision-it only takes seconds to do damage which will lead to a costly surgical repair!  We will not be held responsible for self inflicted injuries and there will be additional charges to repair any damage done.

Monitor the Incision Site

It is important to monitor your pet's incision site closely.  Check it twice daily for the next 2 weeks.  Mild swelling, bruising and even a little pinkish discharge ca be normal for the first 24-48 hours.  After that, it should begin to improve.

The First Night

Anesthesia interferes with an animal's ability to regulate body temperature.  Tonight, your pet should be confined to a small area where it is warm and quiet, keeping them separate from other animals and young children.  Anesthesia may wear off slowly, so your pet may appear drowsy or clumsy this evening.  To prevent injury, do not put your pet on a bed or other high places, and do not allow access to stairs unassisted.  Cats may be hypersensitive as anesthesia wears off and sounds, light and touching may frighten them.  Keep cats confined to a room with a litter box, bed, food and water until they appear normal.

Food and Water

You may offer your pet a small amount of water and 1 to 3 tablespoons of food the first night after surgery.  If no stomach upset occurs after 30 minutes, normal feeding may resume.  If vomiting occurs, remove food and water until morning, slowly reintroducing food/water at that time.  For pets weighing less than 20lbs, us corn, karo or maple syrup on the gums to prevent a drop in blood sugar levels.  If vominting continues, please contact us.  New foods or treats should not be introduced at this time!


If your pet was spayed/neutered, they will have no external sutures.  The sutures will be absorbable on the inside of the body.  If your pet had any other procedure and the doctor applied staples or external sutures, you will be advised to return for suture removal when you pick up your pet.

Interaction with other animals

  • Males may still have sperm for as long as 30 days after surgery.  Be aware they can impregnate females during this time.
  • If you female was in heat at the time of surgery, you must keep her away from un-neutered males for at least two weeks.  Accidental mating could cause very serious injury or even death to your pet!

Activity/ Exercise

Excess activity can lead to swelling at the incision or tearing of the sutures and opening of the incision.

  • Female cats should be kept indoors for 14 days and males for 5-7 days.  If there are other animals in the household, no running, jumping, playing is allowed and please do not let the other pets lick the incision!  
  • Dogs should be taken outside for potty breaks on a controlled walk on a leash for the entire time they are healing.  No running, jumping, rough-housing, or running up and down stairs for 14 days.

Contact us immediately if any of the following occur:

Pale Gums                                                              Discharge/bleeding from incision

Depression                                                              Difficulty urinating

Lack of Apetite/Vomiting after 1st night                    Labored or rapid breathing

Diarrhea after 24 hours                                             Excessive pain/discomfort/swelling

If there is a problem after hours, contact your local emergency veterinary hospital:

Central Animal Referral & Emergency Hospital

1301 Central Park Blvd., Fredericksburg, VA  


New Patients

10% OFF your examination for new patients.

Hospital Hours

Monday9:00 am5:00 pm
Tuesday9:00 am5:00 pm
Wednesday9:00 am5:00 pm
Thursday9:00 am5:00 pm
Friday9:00 am5:00 pm
Saturday9:00 am3:00 pm
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am 9:00 am Closed
5:00 pm 5:00 pm 5:00 pm 5:00 pm 5:00 pm 3:00 pm Closed

***Surgery is scheduled by appointment only.

Surgery drop-off time is from 8:30-9:00 am***

A $50 deposit will be collected at the time of scheduling a surgery.  This deposit is refundable with 72 hours notice of cancellation.

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