Does your dog have a neutering/spaying appointment coming up, or another type of surgery? We know – no dog owner loves the idea of their beloved companion being put under anesthesia and getting surgery. But, the reality is that most pet owners will have to go through that experience at one time or another, especially considering the fact that neutering or spaying a domesticated pet is incredibly standard.
Fortunately, dogs generally tolerate common types of surgery just fine. Still, you want to support them the best you can to make the actual procedure and the recovery process go as smoothly as possible. We’re here to help with some helpful tips for what you can do to make your canine as comfortable as possible.
Neutering/Spaying: What Does It Mean?
Neutering or spaying a dog means surgically removing their reproductive organs, with neutering referring to a male dog’s testicles, and spaying referring to a female dog’s ovaries, and most often her uterus as well. This is an important procedure that is a big part of being a responsible pet owner.
- For starters, many animal lovers will argue that it’s irresponsible to allow a pet to reproduce, as shelters are already filled with animals deserving of a home.
- Secondly, a dog who is actively capable of reproducing can have behavioral problems, and female dogs will menstruate, which is, at the very least, unpleasant to deal with in your home.
- In most cases, having your dog fixed will end their breeding behaviors, and allow them to live a more peaceful life.
- Having your dog spayed or neutered may also allow them to live longer, and enjoy a healthier life. Reproductive diseases, including reproductive cancers, are relatively common in dogs, and by fixing them, the risk is diminished. The same goes for infections of reproductive organs, which can occur otherwise.
When Do You Spay or Neuter a Dog?
Typically, a veterinarian will recommend spaying or neutering a dog between the ages of 4-6 months. Some shelters, however, have the procedure done at as young as 2 months. We urge you to talk to your vet and figure out when would be the ideal time for your canine, as factors like their health, behavior, and breed may all influence the proper age to undergo this kind of procedure.
If you’ve adopted both a male and female puppy, then you will need to undergo the procedure earlier, under the guidance of a veterinarian. How come? Well, because if the female goes into heat early, she may reproduce with the male.
Ideally, you will spay a female dog before she goes into heat for the first time. This typically occurs when she is between 5 to 10 months old. Male dogs are usually neutered around 6 months, with the proper time being determined by their adult size. Larger breeds often get neutered a bit later, and smaller breeds earlier, based on their rate of growth.
What is the Procedure Like?
The procedure will, of course, be different depending on whether you’re spaying a female dog or neutering a male dog.
- First, you need to make sure that your dog sees the veterinarian before setting up the procedure. Tell them about your dog’s current health, along with whether or not they are taking any medications, as these things can influence when the appropriate time to schedule the surgery would be.
- Your pet will be put under general anesthesia for the procedure, and your vet will run tests to make sure that their body can tolerate it, as this will likely be the first time it’s ever administered to them. The actual procedure is quite short – usually 15-30 minutes at most.
- Then, your pet will likely stay overnight, so that they can recover and be monitored by the veterinarian.
How Come Surgery Can Be Tough on Your Canine?
Whether your pet is getting spayed/neutered, or undergoing any kind of surgery, it’s understandable that they will need time to recover. Anesthesia is necessary to allow a pet to get the procedure that they need, but it’s also very taxing, due to its powerful effects on the nervous system. Of course, the surgery itself is also taxing, and most often requires that an incision is made, which will need time to heal.
After surgery, the body needs time to regain its sense of homeostasis. With spaying and neutering, a major organ of the body is removed, which can throw their hormones out of whack temporarily. Of course, if your dog is showing signs of doing poorly during the recovery stage, or is demonstrating a potential infection at the incision site, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible.
What is the Recovery Process Like?
The recovery process begins immediately after the procedure is completed. It can last for days to weeks depending on the nature of the surgery. As mentioned earlier, your veternairan will likely keep your pet overnight to monitor them and treat them when they wake up from their anesthesia. They will also provide you with thorough care instructions, telling you what to expect as they recover, and what they will need from you to support the process of recovering.
Because an incision was made, your dog will almost certainly need to wear a medical cone. The cone is to prevent your dog from being able to lick their incision, which is what they’ll instinctively want to do. The goal is to prevent any kind of infection, which could lead to serious problems. Support them by making sure they can get around easily while they have the cone on them. If you have multiple dogs, you’ll need to supervise, and potentially separate them, as the other dog may attempt to bite at your dog’s stitches.
Also, of course, keep an eye on the incision site for signs of infection. If the area gets red, warm to the touch, or generally looks different than how it did when the surgery was first completed, please take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Otherwise, you’ll need to prepare for the stages of recovery. The anesthesia may still affect your dog for the first couple of days following the procedure, and that’s normal. They may be groggy, imbalanced, uninterested in food, and lethargic. If these symptoms get worse, or they develop new symptoms, it’s time to take them to the vet.
It may take days to a couple of weeks for your pet to be fully themselves again. Just allow them to be comfortable by ensuring that they have warm and soft places to sleep, preferably somewhere away from communal areas in the home, so that they can rest without distraction. Continue with their regular routine in terms of feeding, letting them out, and so on, unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise.
Also, take note that your veterinarian may prescribe medications following surgery. If so, please follow the directions explicitly, and don’t stop giving them their medication prematurely just because they’re showing signs of improvement.
What Can You Give Your Dog to Help Them Following Surgery?
Other than medications, you may be wondering if there’s something you can give them to help them recover more quickly, or ensure that the process is as painless as possible. Again, this is something you should ultimately ask your vet, as they will offer the most personalized guidance based on your dog’s needs.
But, it’s worth mentioning that many pet owners are finding that CBD is a great addition to their dog’s daily routine – and not just while recovering from surgery. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the nonintoxicating and nontoxic dominant compound in the hemp plant. It’s a type of compound known as a cannabinoid, which interacts directly with the body’s endocannabinoid system, the control center for our homeostasis.
Dogs can tolerate cannabidiol just as easily as humans, since all mammals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a network of cannabinoid receptors found in all systems of the body, and when the body is fed cannabinoids, they attach to these receptors to enable regulatory effects. Basically, CBD allows physiological processes to be regulated, including pain tolerance, inflammation, immune function, sleep, stress levels, cognitive functions, and more.
By now, studies have been conducted on cannabidiol’s effects on dogs, and there are no concerns for safety. Like we said, a dog’s body also uses cannabinoids like CBD to support the endocannabinoid system. Just keep in mind that for now, only CBD has been tested on dogs. Dogs cannot tolerate psychoactive cannabinoids like THC, which can be dangerous even in small doses for canines.
What Might CBD Be Able to Help with When it Comes to Post-Surgical Recovery?
Well, a few things. For one, CBD has been found to offer positive effects on pain levels, through both anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. Anti-inflammatories can bring down the inflammation that causes swelling, redness, pain, and itching. The tissue of an incision site can become inflamed as part of the body’s immune response, which can interfere with healing. Analgesics, meanwhile, are agents that increase pain threshold through the nervous system, allowing pain receptors to be less sensitive to painful stimuli.
Another important thing to know about CBD is that it can help with other nervous system functions like stress and sleep. Following surgery, it’s normal for a dog to exhibit signs of stress. And, CBD may help them mellow out, by subduing the “fight or flight” mode that all mammals go into when they feel threatened or in distress. At the same time, CBD may help your dog get better sleep as they recover, which can help them heal faster. We know that the pain caused by surgery can be disruptive to sleep during the immediate recovery process.
In the greater sense, cannabidiol can be extremely helpful in a holistic way. CBD generally supports the body’s ability to maintain equilibrium, and even encourages all systems of the body to operate at their highest potential. A dog who’s taking CBD during the recovery process after surgery may find that they have more appetite, better energy levels, and typically show fewer signs of malaise.
But, there is a main thing to consider - whether or not your pet is taking medications. No studies have been done yet to determine potential interactions between CBD and canine medications. But, we know that CBD suppresses the CYP3A4 enzyme that breaks down many medications prescribed to humans. As a result, certain drugs could stay in the blood for longer, and accumulate with each dose, which could, in rare cases, cause overdose.
What You Need to Know About CBD For Dogs
If planning on administering your dog CBD, there are some key things that you need to know, to be sure that you’re giving them an effective product, and ensuring their safety. Not all CBD-based products are equally capable of giving your dog the potential benefits you’re looking for.
Tip #1: Ask Your Veterinarian About Interaction Risks
Like we said earlier, CBD may interact with certain medications. That’s why it’s important to talk to your vet if your pet is on medications following their surgery – or any medications at all, for that matter. Like we said, no information exists about potential interactions, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to your pet’s health.
Tip #2: Start by Researching a Good Brand
Be aware of the fact that some CBD companies out there are making products that aren’t acceptable according to our standards. Never buy a CBD product from a gas station, convenience store, or other type of related business. These locations do not screen for quality or effectiveness, and thus, are interested in selling the cheapest products possible. They may contain ingredients that are harmful to your pet, or simply be ineffective.
Instead, seek out a brand with lots of positive reviews, and make sure to read through their website to learn about their practices. This way, you know that you’re buying a product that other pet owners are proud to give to their dog.
Tip #3: Make Sure the Product is for Dogs
Of course, you want to give your dog a product that is safe for them. So, try to stick to products made specifically for pets. Remember, a lot of CBD products that are made for humans contain ingredients unsafe for dogs, like certain types of flavoring agents or essential oils. Besides that, CBD products for humans may come in strengths too high for your dog based on their weight. Overall, CBD products for dogs are made for a dog’s needs, and typically contain ingredients that appeal to their senses in terms of flavoring.
Tip #4 Read the List of Ingredients
Never buy a CBD-infused product without first checking through every ingredient. Some products, unfortunately, contain ingredients that ultimately aren’t good for your dog, like certain artificial preservatives or flavoring. Besides that, your dog may have a sensitivity or allergy to a specific ingredient, so that is something you’ll want to keep an eye on.
Tip #5: Look for Lab Reports
Another thing that you have to be sure of is that you’re buying a CBD product that has undergone third-party lab-testing. This means that the product has been sent to a third-party, state-authorized laboratory to be tested for quality, purity, potency, safety, and legal compliance. This way, you know that you’re getting the best product out there, according to industry standards, rather than relying on the brand’s own advertising. The lab reports should be easy to find on a company’s website, and if there aren’t any, that’s a bad sign.
Tip #6: Check for Dosing Directions
CBD products should come with dosing directions – in fact, it’s required by law – so make sure that the product you’re buying has good information about how to administer CBD to your dog. Ideally, the dosing directions should be divided into different weight ranges, as dogs’ weight can vary dramatically. For instance, what’s appropriate for a large dog may be far too much for a small dog.
Tip #7: Administer Daily
It’s best to give your dog CBD on a daily basis, because the cannabinoid works cumulatively. In fact, it can take a few daily doses before the effectiveness really kicks in, so to speak. The more consistently you give CBD to your dog, the more notable the potential benefits will be.
Besides that, we can’t read our dog’s minds. Your dog may be in more discomfort than they’re letting on, either physically or mentally, and so giving them a daily dose is a good way to ensure that however they’re feeling that day, you’re doing your best to support them so that they can live their best canine life.
Tip #8: Consider Adjusting if Needed
After about a week, you might want to consider making some adjustments, and that’s okay. Maybe you want to give them a stronger dose, or you want to switch to a different product type. Either way, make adjustments as needed, since CBD is well-tolerated by dogs, and you can generally feel okay playing around with how you administer it to them. If your dog is showing signs of drowsiness when they take CBD, that’s a good indication that you can give them a lower dose.
Tip #9: Monitor Them
Keep an eye on your dog, of course, to be sure that the CBD is working, and that it’s not causing side effects. There are no known major side effects associated with giving a dog cannabidiol, but at the same time, they may experience minor side effects like drowsiness, lethargy, dizziness, changes in appetite, or changes related to the digestive system. Again, cannabidiol is gentle in terms of its interaction with a dog’s body, but you may want to adjust the dosage if you’re finding that some side effects are occurring.
Tip #10: Continue with Other Vet-Approved Treatments
If your veterinarian has recommended other forms of post-operative treatment, don’t give them up in favor of CBD. CBD can complement other treatments, but your vet knows what’s best for your dog. This includes medications, physical therapy, supplements, and special food. Overall, CBD can help support your dog, but depending on the nature of the surgery, more advanced forms of treatment may be required to ensure that your dog fully heals.
Can I Still Give My Dog CBD After They Recover from Surgery?
Once your dog has recovered from their surgery, and the vet has confirmed that they’re in good health, there’s no reason to stop giving them CBD. The bottom line is that CBD is non-addictive, and dogs can consume appropriate doses indefinitely. CBD may continue to offer potential benefits to your dog, and also can generally support their ECS to keep their body in the best shape possible.
Give Chill Paws CBD Products a Try
Chill Paws can become your new go-to company for your dog’s needs. Chill Paws CBD products made exclusively for our furry friends. We’re proud to offer a wide selection of CBD treats and oils that come in a variety of flavors and milligram strengths to accommodate pets of all sizes and needs. We also provide third-party lab reports, and you can find plenty of reviews that show just how many pet owners trust us with their dog’s hemp-related routines.
Our CBD products are made for pets, and even come in dosages that are appropriate for their bodies. We only use ingredients that are proven to be safe for canines and felines, while also utilizing plant-based formulas without additives or filler ingredients. This way, you know that you’re giving your dog the very best that they deserve.
We know how scary it can be when your dog requires surgery, whether it’s a standard neutering/spaying procedure, or something else. We’re here to help by providing you with effective CBD that may be able to aid in relieving some of their post-operative symptoms. We encourage you to explore our product line to find a product that can appeal to your dog, to help them as best as possible while they’re on the road to recovery.