Possible complications after sterilization of dogs


In most cases, sterilization does not lead to any negative consequences. However, this is abdominal surgery performed under deep anesthesia, which carries certain risks. In addition, complications after sterilization of dogs can occur due to a surgeon’s error, improper postoperative care, the individual characteristics of the body, or due to insufficient preparation for surgery.

First day

Unfortunately, in practice it is impossible to predict how the body will react to the introduction of anesthesia. As a rule, most pets normally tolerate anesthesia, and during the procedure there are no peak situations.

Exceptions: acute intolerance, acute allergic reactions, impaired cardiac and respiratory functions. In such cases, it all depends on the qualifications of the doctors. But when sterilizing dogs, complications associated with deep anesthesia can also appear at home, when the owner feels that the worst is over.

While the pet is asleep and during the period until she recovers from anesthesia, it is important to monitor three indicators – temperature, pulse and breathing. Possible complications – pulmonary edema, cardiopulmonary insufficiency, and others. Interruptions in the work of the lungs and heart.

It is necessary to consult a doctor if the pulse is threadlike, weak, intermittent, intermittent breathing, wheezing in the chest is heard, the pet breathes with its mouth open. The condition of the dog after sterilization is unsatisfactory if the mucous eyelids, lips are very pale or bluish.

The temperature can be reduced by 1 degree during the period while the dog is sleeping. With regaining consciousness, the temperature returns to normal or rises half a degree above the norm – this is how it should be.

Rehabilitation period

As mentioned above, most pets normally tolerate anesthesia (more than 90% of dogs, including the chronically ill, but properly trained). More often, problems arise later, on the following day or several days after surgery.

Inflammation of the stitches – redness, swelling, itching, rash, ulcers, crusts, scratching. Treatment – local treatment, sometimes a course of antibiotics. The reason may be incorrect postoperative treatment, negligence of the veterinarian, failure to comply with basic standards of sanitation.

If a dog has oral problems (stone, plaque, caries, etc.), it can cause an infection itself, licking the stitch. So that the dog does not nibble the “sore” after sterilization in order to protect the seam from contamination and mechanical damage, be sure to put a blanket on your darling.

The gap (divergence) of the seams can occur due to the fault of the surgeon (non-compliance with the technology) or the owner (they overlooked the dog). Favorite can crack the stitches, the seam can burst due to stretching (active games, stress during bowel movements).

Important! If after the sterilization of the dog’s discharge from the wound (purulent, bloody, incomprehensible gray-yellowish or transparent – any), be sure to call the surgeon who operated on the cattery.

Surgical infection – high temperature and rapid pulse or low temperature and weak pulse. Apathy, thirst, poor appetite, vomiting. An urgent treatment with antibiotics is needed, symptomatic therapy, in some cases repeated surgery to disinfect the source of infection.

The infection may develop slowly: the dog is constantly sluggish after sterilization, the temperature is slightly elevated, the appetite is not very good, the pet sleeps more than usual, etc.

The cause of the infection is the presence of bacteria that could get inside due to non-compliance with the rules of asepsis and antisepsis during surgery. In some cases, despite the accuracy of the surgeon, the infection develops due to aggravating factors (pyometra, endometritis and other infections of the uterus and / or ovaries).

Internal bleeding – low pressure, temperature drop, pale mucous membranes, frequent or weak breathing, rapid pulse. After sterilization, the dog does not eat, does not want to move, sleeps a lot, its gait is wobbly. This is a condition that requires immediate medical attention!

The reasons are many, from the negligence of the surgeon to the mistakes of the owner. For example, the bleeding may open due to the heating of the seam, and many owners like to put a heating pad under the dog or to put a pet on the battery, which is absolutely impossible to do. If immediately after sterilization of the dog blood discharge from the vulva, you should also immediately consult a doctor.

Postoperative hernia is a prolapse of internal organs in the subcutaneous layer, which occurs due to the divergence of internal sutures. What the owner sees: the outer seam is intact, the threads are not torn, but somewhere on the side there is a “bump”. Not purulent “bag”, but just a kind of bulge without signs of inflammation. The reasons are too rapid resorption of the suture material (the threads have already disappeared, and the incision has not yet lasted), non-compliance with the suturing technique. In most cases, reoperation is required.

Long-term effects

The result of an incorrectly performed operation, quite unexpected for the owner, is the heat after sterilization in dogs. Of course, we are talking about the castration of a bitch, when both ovaries are removed together with the uterus (with tubal occlusion, the dog loses its ability to reproduce, but estrus persists).

The causes of estrus after the removal of internal genital organs can be two:

  • the doctor did not find one of the ovaries and did not bother to inform the owner of this;
  • The doctor left a fragment of the ovary (low qualification, negligence, etc.), which eventually recovered and began to function. Restoration of the ovary from the fragment is more often observed in very young dogs (early sterilization at 3-4 months).

Unfortunately, the problem can be fixed only by repeated operation. The surgeon will carefully examine the abdominal cavity, find the left fragment (or the whole ovary) and remove it.

Sometimes, even if both ovaries and uterus are completely removed, the level of sex hormones remains high due to excessive activity of the pituitary and adrenal glands. In this case, the cause of estrus after sterilization in dogs is eliminated with medication, surgery is not required.

But before agreeing to re-operation or a course of hormones, you must carefully examine your darling, and preferably in an independent clinic. The surgeon can be confident that the procedure was successful, and does not even think to look for the left fragment. And vice versa – many surgeons immediately re-cut, not working to eliminate other causes.

In about 10% of dogs, urinary incontinence develops after sterilization. Usually, after the procedure, it takes about six months, and then the pet begins to “break in” or leave puddles. At risk are large dogs and very excitable pets, regardless of size. The fact that after the sterilization of the dog is written, there is no one’s fault – this is a feature of physiology. As a rule, there is a gradual decrease in the tone of the sphincters, which leads to incontinence.

Sometimes, especially if the dog is young and generally healthy, the problem disappears by itself. In mild cases, when incontinence occurs only during stress or excessive excitation, and urine is excreted in portions (droplets, not puddles), preparations that increase the sphincter tone can help.

If after sterilization the dog is written constantly (leaves puddles or urine constantly flows out, that is, it is practically not retained), then a course of treatment with hormones is carried out. Such tools are effective, but can adversely affect the general health of the pet, so many doctors prefer the surgical method of solving the problem.

To minimize risks, carefully choose a clinic and a surgeon to whom you entrust the health of the dog. Follow all the instructions of the doctor, even if they seem meaningless to you.


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