How to Clean a Dog After Neutering

Medium
10 - 20 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Neutering a dog requires an incision be made in your dog’s scrotum to remove the testicles and tie off ducts and blood supply. Your veterinarian will then close the incision, usually with dissolving stitches. Most veterinarians recommend that you not bathe your dog for 7 to 10 days after neutering, as water can compromise the stitches used to close incisions and introduce contaminants. 

What do you do to clean the area around the incision if required, or to clean your dog if he manages to get soiled in the meantime?  It is not uncommon for dogs recovering from anesthesia to pee or poop on themselves, or to vomit during recovery. What if your dog needs a cleaning after neutering, what can you do to address hygiene without compromising his incision?  There are several methods you can use to clean up your recently... err... altered companion!

Dog's Perspective

Hopefully, your canine companion is too young when neutered to know what just happened to him, but regardless, he is going to be a bit sore and recovery from anesthetic can make him feel under the weather. Your veterinarian will instruct you to keep your recently neutered pet quiet for several days, but even so, young dogs especially can find a way to get dirty, or may be sick on themselves when recovering from the anesthetic. You will want to clean up your dog so he doesn't spread mess in your house.  Be careful to take your cues from your recovering dog, however, as he may not be feeling like himself and may be uncomfortable moving. When cleaning your newly neutered pup, be gentle, take it slow, and watch for signs of agitation that will require you to adjust your method.

The Spot Cleaning Method

Effective
0 Votes
Spray
Slicker Brush
Towel
Step
1
Use pet wipes
Use commercial pet wipes to spot clean your dog. Avoid the incision. Wipe away from incision if working in this area.
Step
2
Spray clean
Spray your dog with warm water, avoiding the incision area. Wipe soiled areas that have been wet down with a clean cloth or gauze to remove dirt.
Step
3
Spot clean
Soak a clean cloth or gauze in warm water or saline solution or use a mild surgical scrub available from your veterinarian and spot clean soiled areas.
Step
4
Brush regularly
Brush your dog daily to remove dead hair and dirt, taking care to avoid the scrotum area.
Step
5
Use dry shampoo
Make a dry shampoo with baking soda and cornstarch and apply to soiled areas. Rub in gently and brush out.
Recommend grooming method?

The Incision Care Method

Effective
0 Votes
Towel
Step
1
Prepare saline
Usually, incision care is not necessary for a simple neuter, but if you have a mature male dog or if discharge is present, you may need to clean the area carefully. Fill a syringe with saline made with warm water and salt or saline that is available from a pharmacy.
Step
2
Irrigate with syringe
Gently irrigate the incision using low pressure to apply saline to the area.
Step
3
Wipe area
Use sterile gauze to wipe away excess saline used for irrigation and any discharge from the incision area. Do not wipe the incision directly.
Step
4
Check for issues
Inspect the incision for signs of redness, swelling or inappropriate discharge. Get veterinary attention if signs of compromise or infection are present.
Step
5
Pat dry
Gently pat dry the area around the incision with a clean dry cloth or sterile gauze.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Avoid getting incision areas wet. Work around the incision.
  • Do not manually interfere with incision area.  Pat dry or clean around the incision, not directly on it, except when necessary by irrigating with saline.
  • Watch for signs of infection of hemorrhage and get medical assistance if required.
  • Use clean hands and clean materials when working on your recently neutered dog, to keep the surgical site clean and uncontaminated.

Conclusion

Your neutered dog has had quite enough tampering with, thank you very much--just ask him! If you need to clean urine, feces or vomit off him after surgery, spot clean him and keep his scrotal area dry. If it is necessary to clean the incision area, do so by irrigating with saline and cleaning the surrounding area very gently, wiping in a direction away from the incision. You will also want to discourage your dog from cleaning himself and licking this area, and you may need to use an Elizabethan collar for this if required. 

The less cleaning and interference at the surgical site the better. Bathing should wait until at least a week after surgery as it is important to avoid getting his surgical incision wet, which could compromise and loosen stitches and introduce contaminants to the surgical site. Usually, neutering is a straightforward procedure and little cleaning is required other than necessary spot cleaning.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd