Dog Scratching Spay Incision With Hind Leg

In the first few days after surgery, your dog may instinctively try to clean the operation site by licking. The incision may become itchy as the wound heals and the fur begins to grow back in. Your dog may respond to this itchiness by licking or chewing.

For indoor use only

If your dog needs this to protect the wound, then go for it. But if he’s well enough to go for a walk with you, please take it off! It crashes into things, its appearance will cause problems with other dogs, and it distorts your dog’s hearing so that when you call he’ll head off in the direction he’s facing – as that’s where the sound seems to be coming from!

There are alternatives. I haven’t tried one, but there are cushion-type collars that are supposed to prevent the dog turning his head round to reach the wound. I guess these could be very effective, depending on the position of the wound, and the elasticity of the dog. For dogs who are able to turn and meet themselves coming back, this probably wouldnt work.

A t-shirt that covers the area may be quite enough. Depending on the size of your dog, you can put a child’s or adult’s t-shirt on him. Tie all the excess material in a knot over his rump, so he can still pee without getting in a mess.

If your dog can’t leave the wound alone, then obviously the bonnet stays firmly on.

Another time when it’s essential is when the wound is on the face or head. A quick scratch with a powerful hind leg can do untold damage in seconds. Dogs never seem to do the minimum scratching necessary to relieve the irritation – they scratch for what seems a pre-determined period, by which time the stitches may all be ripped out. Keep your hat on!

Heres Coco doing his Buzz Lightyear impression …

But I’ve found that often nothing at all is needed. If I’m watching over my dog I can interrupt any interest in the wound site. The techniques good vets use these days mean that the incision is often tiny and can have minimal stitches or staples or glue to hold it together. So you don’t get the pulling and tweaking you can get with lots of stitches.

Years ago a surgeon told me that they had reduced healing time in his wards dramatically by making the bandages impossible for the patient to interfere with – thus letting the healing take place unhindered – and by having a lounge between the different-sex wards where patients could mingle. This added interest gave them something else to focus on!

You can do the same by ensuring your dog can’t get at the wound, and by giving him lots of other things to amuse him, including walks, or play in your garden, if appropriate and advised by your vet. Otherwise you can stick to “brain games” – searching, chewing, unwrapping, etc, or just plain ole companionship.

So try relieving your dog of the burden of the dreadful bonnet! You may find it’s only needed occasionally if at all.

Why Do Female Dogs Scratch At Their Spay Incision?

Dog Scratching Spay Incision With Hind Leg

When your dog gets spayed, it will be put under anesthesia. The vet then makes an incision in the abdomen below the belly button where they can remove the ovaries and uterus.

This is called a spay procedure (ovariohysterectomy) and it is actually very common among female dogs who are at least 6 months old.

While this procedure does come with some risks such as infection or bleeding, it’s still considered to be one of the safest ways for pet owners to prevent unwanted pregnancies in their dogs.

Scratching after surgery is perfectly normal, but it can cause big problems such as undoing the stitches, opening the wound, and getting infected.

Read on to learn the reasons why your dog might scratch at her incision. The following section will discuss the prevention techniques you can employ.

Scratching at the incision may be the first sign that your dog’s body is beginning to grow hair again.

This can often cause itching, which is why it’s common for dogs to scratch their ears or paws after they’ve had surgery.

Spaying is a pretty major procedure for any female dog, especially when you think of what it is going through.

Being put under anesthesia and a knife down your belly is not an experience that even humans can get used to, not to mention a small dog.

When they return, they are probably still groggy and in a state of confusion, and once the effects wear off, your dog will be curious to check out the new incision wound.

I do not recommend that you let your dog out after spay surgery, but if you do, you need to know that the environment might also cause some discomfort to your dog.

As air and possibly dirt get into the wound area, it causes your dog to itch, which means it needs to scratch it!

In a way, dogs often exhibit behavior that is somewhat similar to us humans.

When we get anxious or nervous, we sometimes unwittingly perform a reflex action, like sticking our hands into our pockets, fiddling with a pen, or twirling our hair.

Similarly, dogs can be anxious or nervous after surgery and may perform a reflex action like scratching themselves.

Your dog might also feel pain in the area of the incision wound and begin licking it.

Can I give my dog Benadryl for itching after surgery?

If your dog shows signs of an allergic reaction under anesthesia, the veterinarian will administer appropriate drugs intravenously. Benadryl or another antihistamine could be given for mild reactions. Corticosteroids can also help to reduce swelling and inflammation, and keep airways open.


How do I get my dog to stop scratching after being spayed?

Fortunately, you can apply an anti-itching cream to the wound site. You can pick up ointments and creams from your vet or online and then apply it regularly to the wound site. They will gently dull and numb the wound site, which will reduce the temptation of your dog to scratch.

What can I put on my dog’s incision to stop itching?

Another good option is Zymox Topical Spray with Hydrocortisone 1.0% for Dogs & Cats. This natural and effective spray can reduce swelling and provide itch relief, which will result in a soothing treatment for your dog. It can also help with first aid care for cuts, wounds, hot spots, and mild skin infections.

How do you know if your dog popped a stitch?


An open wound. Appearance of fat, organs or bones if the open wound is large enough. Swelling, redness and discharge if the wound becomes infected. Bleeding.

What should I do of my dog’s spay incision opens?

If a dog’s spay or neuter wound reopens at any point, call a vet immediately.