Susie the six-month-old Shih Tzu just got spayed. Because she was trying to lick her incision, the veterinarian recommended she wear a cone, also called an e-collar. Now Susie can't lick her incision, or the rest of her body either. This means Susie cannot attend to her usual self-grooming activity. To make matters worse, she peed on herself during recover from anesthesia and vomited after her first meal the evening of her surgery. Susie is a hot mess! Her owner needs to clean her up a bit, but the veterinarian said not to bathe her for at least 10-14 days, as immersing Susie in water could cause her incision to become contaminated with dirty water and cause stitches to loosen and come apart. Cleaning Susie is going to require some creative workarounds so she is not covered in yucky fluids and her incision is not compromised.
Remember, stitches should not be exposed to water, which could loosen them and cause an incision to open. Also, dirty water from bathing can introduce bacteria into an incision. Avoid bathing for one to two weeks after your puppy's spay. Clean using localized methods and be gentle with your girl, she needs some tender loving care!