It has been exactly 7 days since my dog got neutered. I actually took him to the emergency vet on the 3rd or 4th day because I thought he had reopened the incision. I got confirmation from the technician that the wound was not reopening.

However, I’m not sure what the wound SHOULD look like at this point and if it is okay to take the e-collar off like I had planned?

enter image description here

  • Have you tried calling and speaking to your regular vet?
    – Allison C
    Jun 17, 2020 at 14:06
  • If you take the e-collar of you should have a close look at your dog to notice if he lick or bites at the incision. You could give him a womans swim dress to hide the incision from him. This works for the times you could not have a close look. But the incision has to have as much fresh air around as you could manage to give it. Jun 17, 2020 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


Sorry but the picture quality is too bad to see what's going on, but the wound does not look reopened.

If the black substance is a scab, it's ok for the 7th day. However, if the skin itself is turning blue or black, your vet needs to have a look again.

The red edge of the incision looks slightly inflamed, which is no reason to panic. If the red spreads out, please contact your vet again. Keep in mind that fresh, healing skin looks reddish pink as well.

It's not uncommon for blood blisters to form at the incision, even several weeks after the operation when the skin looks like it's already healed. This is usually caused by suture material that doesn't dissolve quick enough (like knots).
Please see related question 1 and related question 2.

The removal of the E-collar depends on how much damage your dog can do to himself. If the stitches need to be removed, the collar should only come off after that is done. If the stitches are resorbed by the body, you can remove the collar, but keep an eye on your dog. If he licks or bites at the wound, you must put the collar back on.

As a general note: I'm surprised the vet didn't shave away more fur around the incision, but the picture could be misleading.

  • +1 I have almost zero rep here, but I am a physician (F&CM, EM) and I agree with your answer. However, studies on incisions/laceration repairs have shown that shaving more hair than is needed to visualize the field is unnecessary even in that area. We used to shave hairy skin to incise or repair lacs, thinking it cut down on infection rates, which has been shown to be unnecessary in humans. I am definitely not a vet, but I'm not surprised at the hair there. Also, absorbable sutures are more irritating than non-, resulting in a bit more inflammation/redness (which is why/how they get resorbed.) Jul 17, 2020 at 20:28
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    @anongoodnurse Thank you very much for your comment. Unfortunately, it's real medical knowledge and experience that our community seems to lack most, so your experience with humans can be very valuable here. I didn't know that absorbable surtures cause inflammation but hair doesn't.
    – Elmy
    Jul 18, 2020 at 7:54
  • Thanks for taking the comment in the spirit it was offered. :) You covered everything correctly, even if maybe not knowing the exact physiological mechanisms at work. I upvoted a good, helpful, and accurate answer. My comment was quite incidental, so I'm glad you didn't think I was nit-picking at your answer! Also, dogs and humans are very much alike, having shared the last 50,000 years of evolution together (we share a great many diseases in common, too.) I'd be lost on most other animals except for the very basics. A fish or reptile owner knows much more about their animals tan I ever will! Jul 18, 2020 at 10:55

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