Post-Operative Instructions

If you brought in a feral cat, please disregard these instructions and go to our ferals page instead.

No playing, running, rough-housing, swimming, or bathing is allowed for 7-10 days. Keep animals clean, dry, and indoors. Keep your pet separated from other animals in the household for 7-10 days to avoid any play that could affect the incision. You will need to leash walk dogs to go to the bathroom over the next 7-10 days, with no long walks for this time period.

When you get your animal home, please feed them half of the amount you would regularly feed them. We ask you to do this so that they do not gorge and then vomit. If they keep this small meal down, you can feed them another small meal before bed. Starting the day after surgery, feed your cat or dog their regular food for 7-10 days – no table scraps, and do not change their diet for this time period.

Check the incision when you get home, and check it twice a day for the next 7-10 days. Make sure any redness and swelling is minimal and that it is getting better each day. Make sure there is no drainage or bleeding from the incision, this is not normal – call us right away. Our after-hours emergency line is located on the yellow post-surgical instruction sheet you receive when you pick your pet up from surgery. Please use this number ONLY if there is a surgical emergency. For general questions, please email us at

If your animal is having diarrhea, vomiting, or is lethargic, call us right away.

Do not allow the animal to lick the incision. The first time you observe this behavior, you need to purchase an Elizabethan collar (e-collar). This is the only way to stop the licking. We have e-collars here at our clinic; pet stores carry them and some veterinary offices. You must take the animal with you to get it fitted properly. If an e-collar is not worn, the licking will continue and your animal will infect the incision, and get sick from ingesting the blood/pus that will inevitably come out of it.

All female and some male animals are given a tattoo – this is a small green mark on their abdomen. This is so that anyone who examines them in the future will know that they have been fixed, and won't have to do an exploratory surgery to check.

All stitches are internal and dissolvable; they do not need to be removed.

After your pet’s surgery, if there are any questions, please email us. If you have questions regarding your animal after surgery, and you need an immediate response, you can call the emergency after-hours phone number located on the yellow post-operation instruction sheet. You must speak to our clinic to make arrangements for the animal to be brought here. If you go see your own vet or go to an emergency clinic, we will not be able to reimburse you for any charges that are incurred.

Shelter Outreach Services of Ohio
3500 E Livingston Ave, Columbus OH 43227
(614) 396-8707
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