Pre-Op and Post-Op Care

We are happy to serve you and your pet at the AWS Community Veterinary Clinic. Please read through these pre-op and post-op instructions for your pet’s spay or neuter surgery.

Before your pet’s surgery:

It is okay to feed your pet about ¼ of their normal serving amount of food the morning of surgery and normal water is fine. If your pet does not normally eat in the morning, that is fine. They can have their normal meal the night before.

Please drop off your pet on the day of your appointment, no earlier than 8am and no later than 8:30am.


  • Please bring your cat in a carrier labeled with their name.
  • Please bring your dog leashed on a flat leash – No retractable leashes, please.
  • Drop off for dogs and cats is between 8 am – 8:30 am.
  • If you cannot make your appointment, please call us in advance to reschedule.
  • Please note, we are able to spay cats that are in heat. If your dog is currently in heat close to the appointment date, we will need to reschedule.


After your pet’s surgery:

Your pet will be ready to go home in the afternoon. Dogs should be picked up at 3 pm. Cats should be picked up at 4 pm.


  • Discourage exercise or other strenuous activity for the next 10 days to allow the tissue time to heal, and to avoid causing the incision to open. Cats should stay indoors. All dogs should go out on a leash to urinate/defecate and then return inside to rest. Keep your pet quiet and indoors where they can stay clean, dry and warm. No baths during the recovery period.
  • Check the incision site twice daily. Females should have no drainage; redness and swelling should be minimal. The incision for male dogs is directly over the scrotum and is left PARTIALLY open to allow for drainage. Small amounts of drainage/discharge are normal for up to three days. Too much activity causes increased drainage and swelling, so activity restriction is very important. Male dogs may have a bandage on the scrotum to prevent swelling; it MUST be gently removed after 24 hours.
  • We use surgical skin glue that may cause a purple or blue coloring at the incision site. A small green tattoo has been applied near the incision – this will indicate that your animal has been altered.
  • Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, an Elizabethan collar MUST be applied to prevent it. Collars are available for purchase at vet clinics and most pet stores. You can also purchase one here at the AWS Clinic.
  • Offer a small amount of food and water in the next few hours. Younger animals are more affected by low blood sugar levels, so we want them to eat sooner. Some pets may be nauseous after surgery and may not eat at first. Appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery.
  • Do not change your pet’s diet at this time and do not give table scraps, milk or any other people food during the recovery period.
  • Lethargy or lack of appetite lasting for more than 24 hours, or profuse diarrhea or vomiting is not normal. If this occurs, please contact AWS or your family veterinarian.
  • Do NOT give your pet aspirin or Tylenol – these can be toxic or fatal. Your pet has been given an injection of pain medications that will last 24 hours.


If there are any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please contact the clinic at (207) 292-2424 or [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible. If you have an emergency situation, please contact your regular veterinarian or Maine Veterinary Medical Center in Scarborough at (207) 885-1290. We will treat at our clinic, for minimal cost, any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-op instructions are followed in full. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, or for contagious diseases for which the animal was not properly vaccinated.