The benefits of spaying your dog far outweigh the risks. A spayed dog is often better behaved, there will be no unexpected puppies, and it is protected against a variety of health conditions that are common in intact female dogs. Although the procedure is routine and relatively low risk, there are some things you will need to watch for during recovery, as the following list details.

Loose stitches

Loose stitches can lead to scarring, slow healing, or an infection. The most common cause is that your dog is messing with them. Dogs are naturally drawn to lick their wounds, but this can prematurely loosen or pull out stitches. This is the simplest issue to avoid. Simply place a cone collar on your dog so they won't be able to reach the wound.


Generally, if you keep the wound site clean and prevent licking, then infection won't be an issue. This means monitoring your dog when they need to go outside to make sure they don't lie down in the dirt. Of course, sometimes infections still occur. An infection will first show as bumps along the wound site, which will then become red, irritated, or pus filled. If the site looks infected, it probably is, and you should contact your vet right away.


A severe risk, although rare, is a hernia at the incision site. A hernia is when fat tissue or an organ, such as the intestines, slips through a tear or wound in the abdominal wall. The cause is usually a dog that is too active in the first couple of days after the surgery, which is why it's vital that you avoid jumping, running, climbing, and rough housing. Signs of herniation include bulging at the incision site, visible distress, no bowel movements, or refusal to eat. Immediate vet care is needed to repair the hernia.

Internal infection

Occasionally a dog may develop a secondary infection inside, which won't be visible at the wound site. Your dog may seem lethargic, refuse to eat, or develop a fever. Although some lethargy and reduced appetite is expected the first day or two after surgery, it should improve daily. If it doesn't, take your dog into the vet to make sure there is no infection or other concern causing the trouble. A dose of antibiotics can usually take care of any internal infection.

For more help, contact a vet or spaying clinic like Southwest Animal Hospital in your area.