It is important these instructions are followed closely. Contact us if you have any questions or if any unusual changes occur with your pet’s condition after surgery. If an emergency occurs outside of our office hours, then you should use the emergency contact information (below) to get help.

Pre-Op Instructions

  • Adult cats and dogs should be fasted prior to surgery. Nothing to eat after midnight the night before surgery. Only very small amounts of water.
  • Kittens and puppies less than sixteen weeks old may have a small snack (1 tsp or less) before 6am on the morning of surgery. Only very small amounts of water.
  • Please walk dogs as usual the morning of surgery.
  • Leave dogs in your car while you check in at Planned PEThood.
  • Cats should arrive in a secure carrier or trap. Only one cat per carrier, please! If you do not have a carrier, we have cardboard carriers available for $10 – these are for owned cats only; feral cats MUST go home in their own secure trap. Please do not carry your cat in without a secure carrier – it’s not safe!

Post-Op Instructions

  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming or other strenuous activity for 7 to 10 days. Keep your pet quiet.
  • Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry and warm. No baths during the recovery period. Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats kept indoors.
  • Don’t feed a full meal on the evening after surgery, as your pet may vomit. Feed a half of a meal around dinner time. Return to regular feeding portions the following day.
  • Unless you are notified otherwise, all suture used is dissolvable. You will not need to return to have stitches removed.
  • Check the incision site twice daily. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal. Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. An Elizabethan collar (cone) is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to prevent this.
  • A tattoo was applied near the incision; this is not an additional incision; it is light scoring of the skin with a small amount of green ink and surgical glue applied. Skin glue may have a purple to brown hue.
  • Appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Lethargy lasting for more than 24 hours post-op, diarrhea, or vomiting are not normal and your pet should be taken to your regular veterinarian. Dogs may have a slight cough for a few days after surgery.
  • Do not change your pet’s diet at this time. Do not give junk food, table scraps, milk or any other people food during the recovery period. This could mask post-surgical complications.
  • We recommend your pet receive a post-operative examination with your regular veterinarian 7 to 10 days after surgery to have the incision checked for complete healing and to discuss additional needs, follow-up care and vaccination boosters. Be sure to take all post-operative paperwork with you.

For Dogs

  • Dogs presenting for surgery while currently in heat must be kept separate from unneutered males for 30 days.

For Cats

  • Use a pellet-type litter such as Feline Pine or Yesterday’s News, or shredded paper, in your cat’s litter box for 4 days.

For Feral Cats

  • Hold male cats at least 24 hours, females at least 48 hours, before releasing.
  • Keep feral cats confined to a covered trap or small area during recovery.
  • If your cat received a three-day pain injection, he/she will need to be held for 72 hours before releasing.

After Hours Emergencies

North Georgia Veterinary Specialists

1328 Buford Highway NE
Buford, GA 30518


Shepherd Animal Hospital

3990 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Suite 200
Berkeley Lake, GA 30096


Planned PEThood cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, or for contagious diseases for which the animal was not previously properly vaccinated. We will treat at our clinic, at minimal cost, any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-op instructions are followed in full. Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery.