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When can I take my dog for a walk after being spayed? Betty is going in next week for her operation but, being a Border Collie, she loves her walks… as do I! How long will she have to be restricted?

Alison Logan advises…

The skin incision will be fully healed after about 14 days, but the inner wall of Betty’s abdomen will still be healing beneath the skin, so you do need to continue keeping her quiet if you can. I generally recommend no exercise at all for the first two weeks, then lead exercise only for the next two weeks. I do remember being horrified to see my dog kicking up her heels and running round and round the garden within days of being spayed, so you will need to watch Betty at all times, and potentially take her in to the garden on a lead as well.

It is so important to remember that Betty will also be healing inside. She will be given pain relief to take for the first few days after the operation. She should therefore be feeling quite well and will not necessarily want to rest. It can be quite a challenge, but rest is the key to Betty having an uneventful recovery.

If, at any point, you have concerns in the post-operative period then contact your veterinary practice without delay for advice and attention. Spaying is a routine operation, but it is still a major surgical procedure and Betty will take time to recover fully.

Do also remember that Betty’s metabolism will slow up after spaying, meaning that she may need as much as 25 per cent fewer calories than before the operation to maintain her bodyweight. Put another way, if you do not reduce the amount of energy fed after spaying, she will gain weight, which will, by the same token, be hard to lose.

Do accept any invitation to a post-neutering check if received from your veterinary practice, or else make a point to call in at the practice to weigh her a month after being spayed. Weaning her over to a lower-calorie food is a wise step to take before she is neutered.

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