Is it Normal for a Spay Incision to be Lumpy or Open?


Hi Dr. I have a question for you about our female cat that got fixed last week.

The incision looked a little lumpy/uneven. It has been one week. The cat has an e-collar on still and we have sprayed her incision so she is not licking.

However, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of the incision is not healing together…as in a gap between the two edges of skin.

It does not look infected…no pink streaking from site.

I did call the clinic and they have not called back yet.


We will be cleaning the site, neosporin on it, and probably take her in tom. or the next day.

Is there something that would be good to increase the healing or will need dissolvable stitches or something?

Thank you.


Traditional, non-laparoscopic spaying a cat or dog involves incising through into the abdomen to remove the uterus and ovaries. To access the abdomen, the veterinarian must cut through several layers of tissue. The skin is incised first. Next, the vet cuts through fatty tissue underneath the skin (called subcutaneous tissue). Finally, a tough muscle layer is cut. At that point the abdomen is open.

To close the abdomen, the surgeon sutures each of the three layers separately and in sequence. The muscle layer is the most important, and most vets take car to use strong sutures in a tight pattern when closing this layer.

As a result, bunched up tissue or knots of suture may be visible as lumps underneath the incision. These lumps generally are not a cause for concern.

The most common complication of spay surgeries is minor incision opening. There usually isn’t a need to worry if a small portion of the skin incision opens slightly, because the underlying suture layers probably are intact. Very slightly open incisions usually heal well. Topical treatments generally don’t help much with healing in these instances, so I don’t usually recommend them.

However, any time a pet’s incision looks questionable the best bet is to have a veterinarian check the site as soon as possible. Holly, your cat will probably be fine. But you should have your vet look at her as soon as possible to be sure.

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