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What to expect after Surgery

  • After 6pm the evening of surgery, offer your pet a small amount of food and water. If vomiting occurs, remove the food and try feeding once again late at night, or early the next morning. Food amount should be in small amounts. Your pet will still have anesthesia in their system.

  • The full recovery period is approximately 12-14 days. Because we use dissolvable sutures it is very important that your pet stays dry during this time; no bathing, swimming, licking etc…

  • Restrict your pet’s activity and check their incision(s) at least twice a day. Watch for redness and swelling around the incision site. Excessive activity during the healing period may result in injury to your pet requiring medical attention at your expense.

  • Each pet has received a small, green tattoo near their incision. This serves as an easy confirmation that your pet is fixed.

  • We highly recommend a cone collar to prevent licking. If you do not elect to purchase one from us, the day of surgery you can find them at almost any pet store such as Petsmart and PetCo. The collar should extend past the nose to be effective. Cone collars should be worn for two weeks after surgery.

  • Male pets are capable of impregnating unsterilized females for 1 to 2 weeks after their surgery. We highly recommend keeping your male pet separated from any unaltered females during this time.

  • Most pets have a firm “bump” under their incision site, as well as some bruising. This is normal and will go away with time. Please notify Altered Tails if the “bump” appears to be getting larger in size, feels fluid-filled, or seems painful to your pet.

Please call us if you have any concerns during your pet’s recovery.

Recheck appointments, if needed, must be scheduled by calling our clinics during normal business hours - 7:30am to 5pm, Tuesday - Friday.


ALTERED TAILS IS NOT A 24 HOUR FACILITY AND DOES NOT HAVE EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT. If you believe you have an emergency situation the following clinics are recommendations for emergency facilities near our clinics. Altered Tails does not cover any expenses incurred at these locations.


Phoenix Veterinary Referral/Emergency

4015 E Cactus Rd

Phoenix, AZ  85032



1st Pet Veterinary Center

5404 E Southern Ave  

Mesa, AZ  85206



If your pet is 4 months or older, they will receive an injection of meloxicam on their day of surgery. Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that will provide pain control for your pet and help decrease swelling. Do not give your pet any medications that have not  been prescribed or reviewed by an Altered Tails Veterinarian. If your pet is seen at another clinic within the next 7 days, it is important to inform them that your pet has received meloxicam. Possible side-effects of meloxicam include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, dark stools, and/or decreased activity. If you see any of these side-effects, contact Altered Tails. If it is outside our regular hours of operation, contact your regular, full-service veterinarian. 

Vaccine reactions: if your pet received a vaccine today, they may experience a slight fever, lethargy, and/or soreness at the injection site. Intranasal vaccines (Bordetella) may cause a slightly runny nose. If your pet experiences more serious side-effects such as itchy bumps (hives), repeated vomiting, difficulty breathing, facial swelling or severe weakness or collapse, go immediately to an emergency clinic.  Please also be advised: If you selected multiple vaccines for your pet this morning, it is at the veterinarian’s discretion whether or not all will be administered based on your pet’s breed/size.

Our veterinarians highly recommend establishing a wellness plan for your pet with your regular, full-service veterinarian for all follow-up vaccinations, flea/tick and heartworm preventative.

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