What Should My Dog’s Neuter Incision Look Like?

Neutering is a common surgical procedure performed on male dogs to remove their testicles, making them unable to reproduce. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to monitor your dog’s incision site after the procedure to ensure proper healing and prevent any complications. Here’s a guide to help you understand what your dog’s neuter incision should look like during the recovery process.

1. The incision size: The size of the incision can vary depending on the dog’s size, breed, and the veterinarian’s technique. Typically, it is a small, horizontal incision in the scrotal area.

2. Redness and swelling: Some redness and mild swelling around the incision site are normal during the first few days. However, if it persists or worsens, it may indicate an infection and should be examined by a veterinarian.

3. Discharge: A small amount of clear or slightly bloody fluid may be present immediately after the surgery. However, any excessive discharge, pus, or foul odor should be promptly addressed by a vet.

4. Stitches: Most neuter incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures or surgical glue. If stitches are used, they may be visible but should not be loose or coming apart.

5. Scabs: The incision may form a small scab as part of the healing process. It is important not to pick at or disturb the scab, as it can slow down healing or cause infection.

6. Hair loss: In some cases, a small area of hair around the incision site may be shaved or fall out. This is normal and will typically grow back within a few weeks.

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7. Irritation or itching: It is natural for your dog to feel some discomfort or itchiness around the incision site as it heals. However, excessive scratching or licking should be discouraged to prevent infection or reopening of the wound.

8. Swollen testicles: After neutering, your dog’s testicles will gradually shrink and may appear slightly swollen initially. This should resolve within a few weeks.

9. Activity levels: Your dog’s activity should be restricted during the recovery period to allow proper healing. Excessive running, jumping, or rough play can put strain on the incision site and delay the healing process.

10. Follow-up appointment: Your veterinarian will usually schedule a follow-up appointment to check the incision site, remove any stitches if necessary, and ensure proper healing.

11. Contacting your vet: If you notice any concerning signs such as excessive bleeding, severe swelling, discharge, or if your dog seems extremely uncomfortable, it is important to contact your veterinarian for guidance and advice.


1. How long does it take for a neuter incision to heal?
Neuter incisions typically take around 10-14 days to heal. However, complete internal healing may take several weeks.

2. Can I bathe my dog after neutering?
It is generally recommended to avoid bathing your dog for at least 10 days after neutering to prevent infection. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions.

3. Is it normal for my dog to be lethargic after neutering?
Some dogs may experience lethargy or decreased energy levels for a day or two after the surgery. If it persists longer or worsens, consult your vet.

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4. Can my dog go for walks during the recovery period?
Short, controlled walks are usually allowed after a few days, but strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least two weeks to allow proper healing.

5. How can I prevent my dog from licking the incision site?
To prevent licking, your vet may provide an Elizabethan collar or suggest alternative methods like specialized clothing or bitter-tasting sprays.

6. Can my dog eat and drink normally after neutering?
Most dogs can resume their regular diet and water intake after surgery. However, your vet may recommend a restricted diet or temporary dietary changes.

7. When should I remove the Elizabethan collar?
The Elizabethan collar should be worn until your vet advises it can be safely removed, usually after the incision has fully healed and your dog has stopped licking.

8. Can my dog get an infection from the incision?
While rare, infections can occur. Watch for signs such as increased redness, swelling, discharge, or if your dog is excessively licking or scratching the area.

9. What pain management options are available after neutering?
Your vet may prescribe pain medication for your dog’s comfort during the recovery period. Follow the recommended dosage and instructions carefully.

10. Should I clean the incision site?
Most veterinarians do not recommend cleaning the incision site unless specifically instructed to do so. Always consult your vet for proper post-operative care.

11. Can my dog have any complications after neutering?
Complications are rare but can include infection, excessive bleeding, incisional hernia, or reactions to anesthesia. Contact your vet if you notice any concerning symptoms.

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Remember, every dog’s recovery may vary slightly, so it’s essential to closely observe your dog’s incision site and behavior. If you have any concerns or questions during the healing process, consult your veterinarian for appropriate guidance and care.