Post-Operative Instructions

Thank you for having your pet spayed/neutered at the San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS). This operation helps decrease the number of unwanted pets in our city as well as improves your pet’s chances for a longer, healthier life. We strongly recommend that you establish a relationship with a full-service veterinary clinic to ensure your pet gets continued healthcare, including vaccine boosters, deworming, and all health issues NOT directly related to this surgery.

  • Your pet may be unsteady, groggy, or sleepy tonight. This is normal after having anesthesia. Please do not allow your pet to jump on/off of furniture, windowsills, etc., as injuries can occur. Please do not leave your pet alone for the next 12-24 hours, until the anesthesia wears off. If you must leave them for a short period, we recommend confining them to a small room or crate if crate trained.

  • Introduce food slowly tonight. Offer only ¼ of your pet’s normal amount of food. If no vomiting occurs after 1 hour, you may offer another ¼ of food. Please do not allow your pet to free feed after anesthesia, as this causes vomiting.

  • An injection for pain was given after your pet’s surgery. This injection will only last 24 hours. If you feel your pet is painful after 24 hours, please call us for a recheck. DO NOT GIVE TYLENOL OR IBUPROFEN-THEY ARE DEADLY TO PETS.

  • NO BATHS OR SWIMMING for 7 days. Wetness (from bathing or licking) will cause the sutures to dissolve and promote infection of the surgery site. Please keep the incision clean and dry. You may clean gently around the incision with hydrogen peroxide, pat dry with a paper towel, and apply Neosporin at home.

  • We HIGHLY recommend purchasing an e-collar from SAHS, your vet, or a pet supply store. The collar should extend 2 inches beyond your pet’s nose to prevent licking, and be snug enough to stay put but be loose enough for breathing and swallowing. If you purchase an e-collar from us, we will ensure that it fits properly.

  • Complications can occur (seromas, incision opening, swelling, bleeding) if your pet is TOO ACTIVE. All outside time (potty, walks, etc) should be kept short for the next 7 days. Dogs should be taken out on a leash only for the next 7 days. Cats should be kept inside for a MINIMUM of 3-5 days, 7 is ideal, if they normally go outdoors. Feral cats are the ONLY exception to this rule.

  • Look at the incision daily for the next 7 days. If you see more than a few drops of bright red blood, green or yellow discharge, or severe swelling or redness, please come in for a free surgery recheck. If antibiotics or additional medications are required, you are responsible for any extra charges.

  • Unless you are told otherwise, sutures are absorbable and do NOT need to be removed. If your pet did need staples, you will be informed. Staples will need to be removed 1 week from the surgery date during recheck hours.

  • A PERMANENT GREEN TATTOO LINE was placed on your pet’s skin near the incision, as per SAHS policy. It will be prominent for several days. This is a PERMANENT sign that your pet has been spayed/neutered, should he/she get lost. Feral cats receive a tattoo and have their left ears “tipped”.

  • One episode of vomiting or diarrhea can be normal after anesthesia. Multiple episodes of vomit/diarrhea with or without blood are NOT normal and usually NOT caused by the anesthesia. We recommend you see your regular veterinarian (or emergency clinic if after hours) for any severe episodes of vomiting and/or diarrhea.

  • The nearest ER to the shelter is Animal ER 4315 Fredericksburg Rd (210) 737-7380. We DO NOT refund any veterinary clinic or emergency clinic visits.

8:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Saturday (no appointment necessary)
Limited rechecks available on Sundays
Main telephone line (210) 226-7461 is only answered during shelter hours (12p-7p)

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