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Spay / Neuter After-Care for Cats and Dogs

All cats and dogs adopted from OC Animal Care have been spayed or neutered before leaving for their new homes. Although these are routine surgeries, they are still considered major surgery. Because of this, your pet needs special care and attention. Be sure to follow ALL directions below. If you have any questions, please call our Animal Clinic at 714-796-6451 (Monday – Sunday - 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.).

General Post-Surgery Instructions

  • Your new pet may seem sleepy or less active. This is probably a lingering effect of the anesthesia, which wears off at different times for each animal. Confine your pet to a small indoor room. Keep it warm and comfortable. Do not let it rest on cold, hard floors. Provide a blanket to prevent chills.
  • Your pet needs rest and quiet. No running, rough play, or other major activity.
  • Your pet’s strength should start returning the day after surgery. If you do not feel your pet is acting normally by 48 hours after the surgery, please see your veterinarian.
  • Continue to restrict activity for two weeks after surgery.

Food and Water

  • Feed your pet small amounts of food frequently to avoid the pet from gorging.
  • Your pet may not have a normal appetite until 48 hours after surgery.

Sutures (Stitches)

  • Females: the surgeon usually closes the incision with sutures placed under the skin that do not need to be removed. This reduces irritation to the skin and annoyance to your pet.
  • Males: no sutures were used.
  • Occasionally surgical staples will need to be placed in females. Please check your pet’s belly to see if there are staples. If so, they will need to be removed in 10-14 days. This can be done at your regular veterinarian’s hospital.

Accidental Mating After Surgery

  • A female cat or dog can be spayed while she is in heat. After the surgery, she cannot get pregnant. However, the hormones have not disappeared from her body, so she can still attract males for up to two weeks.
  • An accidental mating can cause serious, even life-threatening injury to a female cat or dog.
  • Keep your pet strictly confined indoors and away from cats of the opposite gender for two weeks.

*Reminder – You receive a free health examination from veterinarians who are a member of the Southern California Medical Association (SCVMA). For more information please review your adoption packet.


If you believe your pet is in serious danger, please take it to your local veterinarian immediately. Emergency situations include accidental matings, opening of the incision site, heavy bleeding, loss of consciousness, extreme inactivity, or other indications of shock.

If you have a concern during business hours, please contact our veterinary staff at 714-796-6451.

Please remember that any expenses incurred after adoption are your responsibility. Please call us and let us know if you are in need of emergency services

After-Hours Emergency Veterinary Hospitals

Orange County Emergency Pet Clinic
1471 S. Harbor Boulevard
Fullerton, CA 92835

Animal Urgent Care of South Orange County
28085 Hillcrest
Mission Viejo, Ca 92692

Orange County Emergency Pet Clinic
12750 Garden Grove Boulevard
Garden Grove, CA 92843

All-Care Referral Center
18449 Amistad Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708