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7 Signs of Infection After Neutering Dog & How to Prevent It

7 Signs of Infection After Neutering Dog

Neutering is a common surgical procedure performed on dogs in Australia. The purpose of neutering is to remove the dog’s reproductive organs so that they cannot reproduce. 

It’s no secret that desexing your male dog comes with a long list of benefits. Not only does it help reduce the number of unwanted puppies born each year, but it can also help your dog live a longer, healthier life. Neutering your dog also eliminates the risk of him developing certain types of cancer.

However, as with any surgery, there is always the risk of infection. Fortunately, there are some signs you can watch out for that will tell you if your dog is suffering from an infection after his neuter surgery. 

If you see any of these signs of infection after neutering your dog, it’s important to take him to the vet right away so he can get treatment. With prompt treatment, most infections are easily resolved and your dog will be back to his old self in no time!

7 Signs of Infection After Neutering Dog 

Neutering your dog can be a difficult decision, but it’s an important one to make for the health of your furry friend. After the surgery, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for any signs of infection. 

Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Excessive licking or biting – The most common sign of infection is excessive licking or biting at the incision site. If you notice your dog is excessively licking or biting at his stitches, it’s important to take him to the vet right away.
  2. Discharge from the incision site As you’d expect, after surgery a small amount of discharge from the incision site is relatively normal. However, if a large or consistent amount of discharge comes from the site, it may be infected. If you’re unsure about whether discharge from an incision site is an indication of infection, speak to your veterinarian.
  3. Bleeding from the incision site – All wounds take time to heal, and bleeding from the incision site is fairly common for dogs after neutering surgery. But if they are bleeding a lot and it’s noticeable through the dressing, they may have opened the wound or pulled out stitches. If this happens, it’s important to speak to your vet immediately.
  4. Swelling at the incision site Localised swelling after neutering surgery is not uncommon and happens frequently in dogs. But if there is a large amount of swelling, if it doesn’t go away quickly or if it spreads to other parts of the body, your dog may have an infection. If that’s the case, you need to visit your vet as soon as possible.
  5. Redness at the incision site – Redness is to be expected after any type of surgery, especially neutering surgery. But if the incision site starts to get hot to the touch, or the redness gets more intense and spreads across your dog’s body, it’s very likely they have an infection.
  6. Pain at the incision site – Your dog shouldn’t be experiencing intense pain after neutering surgery, instead more of a mild discomfort. If your dog is in noticeable intense pain, especially more than a few days after the surgery, speak to your vet, as they may have an infection.
  7. Fever – A fever is a strong and direct sign of infection, especially after a surgery like neutering. If your dog has a fever after a recent neutering surgery, take them to your vet as soon as possible to be treated. 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take your dog to the vet right away. The sooner you catch an infection, the easier it will be to treat. 

How to Prevent Infection After Neutering Your Dog

Neutering surgery is a big deal for your furry friend. It’s a major surgery that will cause some discomfort and will take some time for your dog to recover. 

Here are some tips on how to care for your dog after neutering surgery:

  1. Keep your dog calm and quiet. This means no running, jumping, or playing. Your dog needs to rest and heal, so keep him calm and quiet for at least two weeks after the surgery. This avoids aggravating the wound.
  1. Ensure your dog can’t lick or chew the site. This often involves wearing a cone or e-collar to prevent the dog from contaminating the wound. Licking is the most common cause of infection after neutering surgery. 
  1. Keep an eye on the incision site. Check the incision site daily for any swelling, redness, or discharge. If you see any of these signs, contact your vet immediately.
  1. Keep your dog clean. Avoid bathing your dog to keep water away from the wound, but if accidents happen and a tidy up is needed, you can give your dog a sponge bath. Be sure to avoid the incision site though, as washing the area can introduce bacteria. 

Neutering surgery is a big deal for your furry friend, but with a little care and attention, he’ll be back to his old self in no time! Following these simple tips will help ensure a smooth and speedy recovery for your pup.

Treating an Infection After Neutering Surgery 

If your dog does develop an infection after his neuter surgery, don’t worry – it’s not uncommon and can usually be treated fairly easily with antibiotics. In some cases, your dog may need to have his stitches removed if they are causing irritation. 

In severe cases, your dog may need to be hospitalised so that he can receive IV antibiotics. However, this is rare and usually only happens if the infection is allowed to go untreated for too long. 

For that reason, it’s important to check your dog’s incision daily to ensure it’s healing properly. If you see any concerning signs, contact your vet. 

Other Complications of Neutering Surgery

While neutering is generally safe, there are some rare risks and complications associated with the procedure. 

Below are some other complications to look out for:

  • Haemorrhage: One of the more immediate complications after neutering dogs is a haemorrhage. Haemorrhages can occur when the blood vessels are not correctly ligated during the surgery. This can cause excessive bleeding and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Treatment for a haemorrhage usually involves transfusion of fresh whole blood or plasma.
  • Infection: Another complication after neutering dogs is infection. Infection can occur at the site of the incision or internally if bacteria enter the body through the surgical site. Symptoms of infection include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and increased pain at the incision site. Treatment for infection usually involves antibiotics and may require hospitalisation.
  • Pain: Pain is another common complication after neutering dogs. Dogs may experience pain at the incision site or throughout his bodies due to the surgery. Treatment for pain usually involves pain medication administered by a veterinarian.
  • Urinary Incontinence: Urinary incontinence is another complication that can occur after neutering dogs. This occurs when the urinary sphincter is damaged during surgery and is unable to close properly. This can cause urine leakage and may require treatment with medication or surgery. 

While neutering is generally safe, there are some risks and complications associated with the procedure. If you see any unusual signs or have concerns, always reach out to your vet straight away. 


Neutering your dog comes with a long list of benefits. While male dogs don’t go into heat, they do show some troublesome behaviours when they smell a female during her heat cycle. If the male isn’t properly supervised, he can even cause injury to females with overly enthusiastic mating behaviour. 

As with any surgery, though, there is always the risk of infection, especially if the dog licks or chews the surgical site. Luckily, there are some signs you can watch out for that will tell you if your dog is suffering from an infection after his neuter surgery. 

If you have any concerns about your dog’s recovery, be sure to contact your vet.

Related Questions

How Long Will My Dog Be In Pain After Being Desexed?

The short answer is that your dog will experience some degree of pain and discomfort for approximately two to three weeks after being desexed. During this time, it is important to keep your dog calm and restricted to help minimise the risk of complications. It is also advisable to give your dog pain medication as prescribed by your veterinarian. 

Once your dog has healed from the surgery, they will not experience any long-term effects. In fact, most dogs recover very well and quickly return to his normal activity level. So while the initial recovery period may be a bit difficult, it is important to remember that it is only temporary and that your dog will soon be back to his usual self.

When Can I Wash My Dog After Desexing Surgery?

After the surgery, it is important to follow your vet’s instructions for care, which will usually include keeping the incision clean and dry. Most vets will recommend waiting at least 10 days before giving your dog a bath, to give the incision time to heal. After that, you can begin bathing your dog as usual, taking care not to get soap or water directly on the incision. 


This article is published in good faith, for general informational and educational purposes only. Paws and More Vet Centre does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information. This article should not be used as a substitute for veterinary advice, including for diagnosis or treatment of a pet’s medical condition. Always consult a veterinary professional before making decisions on your pet’s health.