Question on Spaying

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Kitkat9301
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Question on Spaying

Post by Kitkat9301 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:06 pm

Hi

I posted a fostering question a little over a week ago and thanks for the advice. I am hanging onto the kittens until they get adopted.

One question. The mom cat that I just finished adopting, went into heat while she's still lactating(although the kittens have been weaned) so I assume her milk was drying up anyway. But it was a surprise to me. So the shelter vet said to bring her in to have her spayed. They can do it while the animal is in a heat cycle, although it is a little riskier.

So she's home and a zombie and in hiding. No surprise. I am keeping her apart from the kittens right now. But does anyone know how long the recovery time is normally. They said 7 to 14 days, but that seems longer than I remember. Ok it's been years since I have had a female kitten spayed so my mind is a blank. Also, do they normally keep the animals overnight? The shelter does spaying's on a daily basis and they sent her home the same day. I am just a tad worried because she's again very lethargic probably recovering from the anesthetic and pain meds they gave her.

Also, they did not send any pain meds home with me. They didn't believe she'd need them. Seems odd to me, but again it's been ages since I have had a kitten or cat have surgery. My last kitty had the PU surgery. he was home in a day but they did send home pain meds with him - 2 days worth.

Thanks-Kathy

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Lilith
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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Lilith » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:33 am

Hi - there's no hard and fast rule. I've had healthy kittenless young cats who, like yours, have been very miserable, poor things, straight after spaying. It is normal to send them home the same day although it's not usual to spay them while they're in heat - but, as your vet said, it can be done. I believe some vets give painkillers post op, some don't. I've never had to administer them.

I think I mentioned my Emily in your other thread, who was a feral who'd moved in with her five kittens. The CP had had their eye on that colony for ages, and offered to spay her and others, and take the kittens. So I had to let Em go and be spayed the minute the kittens went. In my opinion this was far too soon; I would have liked her to recover after nursing her litter (while keeping her indoors of course.) But no. They were obviously afraid of my letting her out and her getting pregnant again (I was a bit cross, because I definitely wouldn't have let her do that, but off she went.) She didn't seem too bad after the operation, but it took her ages to recover. She spent weeks lying on my bed, perfectly content and eating and drinking normally, but seemingly tired out. Eventually she started to take an interest in normal cat-life, playing and running about again. But she seemed to need a very long convalescence. Just before, I, or rather the CP, had had her aunt and cousin (who also joined me) spayed. The aunt had given up her kittens a month before and I'm surprised the CP let her remain unspayed, even for that short while, but she didn't come into heat, she had had time to recuperate after nursing kittens and she and the niece (an older kitten) sailed through the op. The problem was to prevent those two from being too active! They weren't having kittens but I was!

But they are all so different ...

I hope your girl's feeling better this morning - their powers of recuperation are marvellous; how would we be in that state? Any swelling or redness or wetness about the operation site, or off her food or not drinking, best contact your vet (but you'll know that.) And to give her a light meal, fish or chicken, and tempt her a bit with her favourite foods. But I hope she's come out of hiding and is yelling for her breakfast.

Hopefully other people will be along with more info and advice, but hope this is a bit of a guide meanwhile.

All the best with her - please keep updating.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Mollycat » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:34 am

I have no experience with cat pregnancy or kittens just a general observation or two. Recovery is individual but also depends on the spay and the anaesthetic used. Years ago we used to do the open flank cut and a midline cut was considered more complicated and was reserved for show cats to avoid possible spoiling of the coat. Now midline is much more common and keyhole surgery is also more common. The last time I had a cat spayed in 1988 she was a small girl and it's possible the vet may have used a bit too much anaesthetic, we thought - may have in fact been normal as she was eating within the day. She was in heat when spayed too and our vet said it might be a harder recovery because of it.

There are two parts to surgery - the anaesthetic and the wound. Post anaesthesia she should be groggy at least the rest of the day and maybe a bit quiet for a couple of days. Post op check on the stitches if needed and stitches out if they have to come out in 7-10 days and I would certainly expect her to be well over the anaesthetic by then.

I've never heard of keeping them in overnight for a spay as long as the operation went well and there are no obvious complications. Unlike us they don't stay in unless the vet needs to keep an eye on them or they are on a drip or something, they are better home in their familiar hiding places with the freedom to pick up their normal routine when they are ready, which they won't do in a cage at the vets. As for pain meds on the one hand I wonder if there's some cost cutting involved and on the other hand I wonder if the vet feels that's not needed for her, but do ask if you feel she needs something. With humans they monitor your responses in the recovery room and I believe pain meds are given on the basis of that, not sure if vets do that too.

Really pleased the kittens are staying with you until they have forever homes to go to.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by fjm » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:43 am

I agree with the other replies. Mine have always come home a few hours after the op, and in my experience the first day is very much sleeping off the anaesthetic. These days I believe they give them long lasting pain relief during the op, but are wary of overdoing it - if the cat feels nothing they may be too active too soon. I would expect her to perk up within 24 hours, but to be convalescent for at least a few days. Small delicious meals, plenty of water, a tray within easy reach and a quiet comfortable bed will help, but if you have any concerns contact your vet. They will probably have already told you what to watch out for, but it can be nearly impossible to take it all in at the time - too much stress.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by booktigger » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:01 pm

I've only had one spayed in season (I thought she had finished) and she seemed to take it harder than the others. Never had them sent home with pain meds

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Kitkat9301 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:41 pm

Thanks for all the feedback

Mom wanted to be with the kittens. And they have pretty much left her alone knowing she is not feeling well. It's been almost 24 hours and she's more alert but still obviously recovering. I am guessing the pain shot had side effects also.

I'm working hard to get the shelter, who right now is overloaded with cats(Spring/summer), to get the kittens listed on the website, facebook page, and to include them in an event for National Adoption weekend at PetSmart here in the states. They are adorable but the time has come for them to venture out with a new family. And the longer they stay the harder it will be for them to move on. I'm nit equipped to keep them longer term.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Kitkat9301 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:47 pm

So an update. She's still sleeping non stop almost. But she has eaten and used the litter box. But then sleeping endlessly is not new for cats. They did not send her home with an e-collar or cone, so my neighbor lent me one. She seems so knocked out, it doesn't really even seem to bother her.
Last edited by Kitkat9301 on Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Catotum » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:13 pm

Making sure she has plenty of whatever she wants to drink might help. Fluids passing through will help remove traces of the drugs. Poor her & poor you! Is she a thin cat? Thin cats can take longer to recover. Fat can absorb the drugs & allow them to be broken down or excreted more slowly. Thin kitties get it all at once.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by booktigger » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:19 pm

If she wasn't sent home with a collar, she might not need one, very few vets use traditional stitches for spaying now, some use dissolvable, and some use glue, neither of which require a collar.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Kitkat9301 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:15 pm

They did warn me if she was biting and licking the area too much to put one on. I put one on anyway. Just cautious I guess. She is definitely a licker.

So it's been 2 days and she wants to be active. Should I just let her roam the house and go down the stairs? Not sure how much she would but she's back to her true self. And still watching her almost 10 week old little girls like a hawk. My last 2 kitties were males and I know neutering surgery is not anywhere as intrusive so I am cautious about letting her roam too much.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Mollycat » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:09 pm

When my kitten was spayed the vet said cats' skin is extremely loose and it's very unusual for stitches to tear, which is the big concern about keeping activity level down. But cats will be cats. Like when you're supposed to give soft food after 6 extractions and she comes home goes straight to her biscuits and crunch them up. Or when you should keep them in on firework night but he won't let up till you open the door so he can sit on the path watching next door's firework display from 5 yeards away.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by booktigger » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:11 pm

Mollycat wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:09 pm
When my kitten was spayed the vet said cats' skin is extremely loose and it's very unusual for stitches to tear, which is the big concern about keeping activity level down. But cats will be cats. Like when you're supposed to give soft food after 6 extractions and she comes home goes straight to her biscuits and crunch them up. Or when you should keep them in on firework night but he won't let up till you open the door so he can sit on the path watching next door's firework display from 5 yeards away.
I've never known stitches to tear, but I have known cats to take them out, if it's within the first few days, then it requires attention, and I have known cats need staples rather than stitches, but I have had cats take them out 5+ days later and then it's gelled enough to be left alone. I'm glad mine use glue, so no cone required, not even when Lucy had part of her hip joint removed - in fact, her scar wasn't much bigger than a spay, which is crazy really.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Kay » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:58 pm

I had a siamese who insisted on shinning up the curtains two days after her spay, and that did delay the healing of the underlying tissues for a bit, but the wound itself did not reopen, and she removed the stitches herslef after five days. I suspect infection is the biggest thing to avoid.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Kitkat9301 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:07 pm

So update after spaying. Emma is not doing well. After 3 days of what seemed like a good recovery she's listless and is moving gingerly today. She won't eat and was growing when I tried to look at her incision. It's obvious she's in pain.

I noticed a lump next to the incision so I called the vet and am bringing her in this AM. Some of these lumps can be a side effect and not painful. But this could be an abcess or a sign that the incision might have opened partially so we'll see. From my perspective the incision looks fine.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Kitkat9301 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:07 pm

So update after spaying. Emma is not doing well. After 3 days of what seemed like a good recovery she's listless and is moving gingerly today. She won't eat and was growing when I tried to look at her incision. It's obvious she's in pain.

I noticed a lump next to the incision so I called the vet and am bringing her in this AM. Some of these lumps can be a side effect and not painful. But this could be an abcess or a sign that the incision might have opened partially so we'll see. From my perspective the incision looks fine. Will update when I have more info

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Lilith » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:14 pm

Hey I'm really sorry to hear this. It sounds very unusual, especially with the good care you've taken. Hope she's back to normal soon, all the very best.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Kitkat9301 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:47 pm

So I don't know. They saw signs she was licking the wound(she had a collar on so) so they prescribed an anti biotic to consume by mouth and some drops to put on the wound. No bleeding and her gums are good. The pain meds were 24 hours. I thought maybe the pain surfaced if she had a 3 day shot = no deal. So I am going to leave her until Monday and let her see if she can work it out. She wasn't eating but I managed to get her to eat some baby food.

Its frustrating not knowing what exactly happened from Friday to Saturday - Friday she was engaged and recovering and now lethargic, grouchy, and sleeping.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Kitkat9301 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:31 pm

So update. The vet called me later yesterday to check in. Emma had a slight fever which confirmed to the vet she has an infection. So she wants to give the antibiotics a chance to work. I also mentioned she was not eating or drinking she suggested subcutaneous fluids which should help with the fever. I had been giving them to my prior kitty for several months before he passed, so I know how to do it. Easy. So she got some fluids. This morning she's actually eating and a tad more active. She also moved to underneath the bed. I don't like that but if she feels more secure and comfortable there that's what's important. I just have to coax her out to give her her daily meds.

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Re: Question on Spaying

Post by Kitkat9301 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:17 pm

So my Emma is feeling close to back to herself today. While she was under the weather I have been letting the kittens have the run of my place. And it's been fun for them. Unfortunately now that mom is better, she's stressing out over them running all over and insists on following them including up and down stairs.(She is taking the stairs softly) So my only option is to keep her and them in the room until her incision is healed. I may try to sneak them out.

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