Spay Neuter Procedures for Fostered Puppies

SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY VISIT AND FINAL DROP-OFF

Puppies are big enough to be spayed or neutered once they reach a weight of four pounds. We will try to predict the timeframe that your fosters will reach two pounds so they can come back to OPHS for their surgery (puppies are usually four pounds when they reach eight weeks of age). However, some puppies may take longer to reach that weight, so surgery will likely be rescheduled if your fosters are taking longer to reach a minimum of four pounds.

Once we have a solid date for spay/neuter surgery, you can drop puppies off at OPHS the evening before or the morning of their surgery date. If you choose to bring them in the morning, a drop-off time is between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

In preparation for their surgery, please take away food first thing in the morning before bringing the puppies to OPHS. The puppies can keep water and a small amount of food overnight before surgery.

Please be sure your puppy is contained inside an enclosed carrying crate and that you do not at any time allow your foster puppy to touch the ground or floor inside or outside on OPHS grounds.

Your foster puppy is ready to go up for adoption after spay/neuter surgery and so will remain at OPHS after surgery until adopted. If you are planning to adopt your foster puppy, please let OPHS staff know when you make your appointment to bring puppy in for spay/neuter surgery.

GENERAL SURGERY DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS

Usually, puppies will stay at OPHS after surgery so they can go up for adoption. However, if you are asked to take the puppies back for a short period of time, or if you are adopting one of your fosters after they get fixed, this section will apply to you. 

The anesthesia from surgery can make animals super sleepy and maybe a little nauseous for the first night.   You can feed your puppies normally, but be prepared if they don’t want to each as much as usual (you can offer canned food to entice them to eat) or if they vomit in their kennel overnight. 

By the next morning, most puppies are acting like nothing ever happened, so if one of your puppies is still acting lethargic, painful, or not eating more than 24 hours after surgery, please let OPHS know right away!

MALE PUPPIES  The puppy neuter procedure is very simple, minimally invasive, and there are no sutures placed in scrotum. There may be a small amount of dried blood present around their scrotal area the night after surgery, but it should NOT be actively bleeding. Usually, their incisions heal very quickly with no complications, so if there is still blood present around the area of their incision more than 24 hours after surgery, let OPHS know as soon as possible. Male puppies have no confinement restrictions after surgery. 

FEMALE PUPPIES  The puppy spay procedure is also relatively simple, but much more invasive than a neuter. Female puppies will have a small incision on their abdomen as well as a green line (tattoo) to signify that they have been spayed. It is suggested that puppies are kept “quiet” after their spay surgery, but staying confined to a kennel sized environment should be enough to diminish any risk of post-surgical complications. There “might” be an external suture on their abdomen, but this will dissolve/fall out in a couple weeks. The majority of the time, the sutures will be buried and will not be seen on the outside of the body.

If puppies are too active after their spay, their incision can get a little bit swollen and red. Puppies are also prone to “suture reactions” where their body reacts to the foreign material and causes redness and/or inflammation and a small bump to form under the incision. Usually, these reactions are nothing to worry about, and they will slowly go away. But if there is noticeable discharge from the incision (either clear fluid, pus, or blood), please let OPHS Bark House know because the puppy might need antibiotics. 

GENERAL INCISION CARE

If you notice that the dog or puppy’s incision is starting to look inflamed or wet, you can apply a small amount of Neosporin over the top of the incision, once a day for 3-5 days.   If the Neosporin does not help the incision to dry up and heal, please let OPHS Bark House know because the puppy may need oral antibiotics. 

Do Not Bathe your pet or allow the incision to get wet for 10 days after surgery.  Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision.  If this becomes a problem, an e-collar can usually be obtained from OPHS during normal business hours.

Monitor the incision daily for redness, swelling, bulging, discharge, or excessive licking.  Mild redness and swelling should be expected for the first few days after surgery.  Any discharge from the incision site is abnormal and if seen, the animal should be brought back in. 

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