Dog Before/After Care

BEFORE SURGERY INSTRUCTIONS – the night before your dog’s appointment:

  • Keep your pet safely inside your home.
  • No food after midnight
  • You may allow your pet to have water.
  • No breakfast.


–The recovery period lasts a MINIMUM of 10 – 14 days, Monitor your dog’s healing closely.–

You have picked up your dog on the same day as surgery. For the next 24-48 hours your dog may experience: lethargy (sleepiness), appetite loss, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, whimpering, or minor personality changes (aggressiveness, sensitivity, crankiness). If these symptoms last more than 24-48 hours after surgery please call our clinic.

Check your dog’s incision twice a day for the entire recovery period. There should be no drainage, redness, oozing, odor, or opening of the incision. There are no sutures to remove unless you’ve been told otherwise. Bruising and swelling can occur in the incision area. If you are concerned and we are not in the office with a doctor, please call your own veterinarian.

The incision site must stay dry. Do not put hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial ointment, or any product on the incision site unless directed by a veterinarian. Do not bathe your dog. Do not allow your dog to lay in wet sinks, bathtubs, grass, or snow. This will cause your dog’s incision to open.

RESTRICT YOUR DOG’S ACTIVITY FOR THE ENTIRE RECOVERY PERIOD. Exertion leads to postoperative complications.  No running, playing, walking up stairs, jumping, swimming, or other strenuous activity. Dogs must be leash walked for the recovery period. Keep your dog as calm and quiet as possible – crating them is a good option.

Other animals need to be kept separate from your dog for the full recovery period. Young children should be kept away from your dog for the full recovery period.

Tonight, feed your dog ½ of what you normally feed them. Your dog may not want to eat for the first 24-48 hours. Tomorrow return to their normal feeding. Your dog’s diet should remain unchanged for the recovery period – do not give human food, treats, etc. Give plenty of fresh water at all times. Closely monitor their eating and drinking throughout the recovery period.

Dogs may develop a suture site reaction– a lump at the surgery site due to a reaction to the internal dissolvable sutures. It will go away as the sutures dissolve but it can take up to 6 weeks. If you see a lump and have concerns, please call our clinic for a re-check appointment and leave a message. Male dogs should be monitored for swelling and discharge.  If swelling of the scrotal sack occurs, a cold compress (bag of veggie/icepack) may be applied for 10 minutes three times a day. Do not apply directly to skin.

Your dog received a small green tattoo on their abdomen. This indicates that your dog has been sterilized.

Your dog has received a non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug called Meloxicam, which lasts for 24 hours. This will reduce inflammation which will result in pain relief. Please present your post-op sheet to your full service veterinarian should your pet need to be seen. Do not give your dog human medication like ibuprofen or tylenol – they can be deadly.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you purchase an e-collar and put it on your pet for the entire recovery period of 10-14 days minimum.This prevents your dog from licking at their incision. If this instruction is not followed, the incision can be licked open and become infected. Ensure the e-collar fits your pet properly, extending 2 inches past the tip of their nose. We do not recommend soft e-collars or donut style e-collars.

Should your dog experience a complication directly related to surgery, or you are worried about your dog’s healing process, we are happy to see your dog on the next available surgical date for a free re-check appointment. However, we do not have a doctor in the office every day of the week and only have a doctor available for a limited time on each of our surgical days. You must call or email to set up a recheck appointment. Should your dog require additional medication or sedation during that visit you will be responsible for the cost. If there are any questions or concerns related to the surgery, please call our clinic at 860-620-0325 and leave a message or email

If your dog can’t wait or if there is an emergency after hours (nights/weekends/holidays) and/or on a non-surgical day, contact your full service veterinary hospital or nearest 24-hour emergency animal hospital and call our clinic on the following business day. You are responsible for all charges incurred at any other veterinary office.

New HOPE Clinic cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from a client’s failure to follow these instructions or for contagious diseases for which your dog was not previously vaccinated. Your regular veterinarian must address any illness or injury that is not a direct result of surgery.

Drop-off / Pick-up Instructions