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Our dog was spayed today. I guess I just don't remember 17 years ago when we had our last dog spayed, but I am a bit surprised by her needing to wear a collar for 12 days!

Since we brought her home 4 hours ago we haven't had the collar on, but have been watching her. A few times she bent over to lick something (might have been her vulva rather the wound, but not sure) but stopped when we shouted "no".

One website recommended bitter apple on the wound. Is that a reasonable thing to do, along with watching her? Or maybe we should just stick the collar on and let her get used to it for 12 days?

Any advice will be appreciated. Well, I mean constructive advice.
 

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Bitter apple never worked on mine. I used the collar for mine, as I couldn't watch her all the time and she kept trying to get to her sutures. Some dogs don't care, but she's always grooming herself and wouldn't leave the things alone and I didn't want to risk it. She hated it and it was a pretty bad week (it was Summer, needless to say that my legs were horribly scratched after 2 weeks of being hit by that collar).

They do make softer collars apparently so I'd definitely look into those.
 

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I imagine the bitter apple spray would burn. I wouldn't put it on there. Just keep the collar on. It's annoying for the dog, but its better than ripped sutures. She'll be fine. Most likely, she may even leave the wound alone after a few days and she won't need the collar very long.
 

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I wouldn't recommend putting ANYTHING on the incision. Use the collar - there is a reason for it. Find a soft pillow version if you prefer, but it's for her own good. Maybe 12 days is a long time, but I'd definitely keep it on for the first three or four and see how it goes.
 

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I've never had to use an Elizabethan collar on a dog (or cat, for that matter) after a spay. Unless they are really going after the incision, it seems like more of a CYA for the vet these days, since so many people are happy to blame the vet for any little thing that does wrong, even if it was the owner's fault. If you use Bitter Apple, put a dab NEXT TO the incision, not directly on it, especially if she is stitched and not glued.
 

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I wouldn't put bitter apple spray on a wound. It just doesn't sound like a good idea.

For Pepper we bought a collar, but never used it. We just did what you're doing - watched her carefully and stopped her when she tried to lick the area. She healed nicely.

If you can't watch her all the time, you could use the collar for those time.
 

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A second 'problem' with bitter apple is that the dog has to lick and then swallow it to taste the bitter flavor, so she may lick a while before being discouraged ...
 
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