Spays and Neuters
By having your pet spayed or neutered, you can help reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens in animal shelters.
Spaying or Neutering your pet is one of the most beneficial decisions you can make for his or her health. This routine surgical procedure surgically sterilizes your pet, thereby preventing unwanted pregnancies.
In male cats and dogs, the procedure is called neutering, and involves the surgical removal of the testicles. In females, the process is called spaying, and similarly, involves the removal of the ovaries and/or uterus. All of the doctors here at our hospital routinely preform these surgeries.
Typically, it is recommended that pets be spayed or neutered between the ages of 6 and 12 months. During a physical examination, your veterinarian will assess your pet’s general health and level of development. Together, you and your doctor can determine when your pet is ready for their spay or neuter.
As with any surgical procedure during which the patient will be placed under general anesthesia, the first step towards performing the spay or neuter is to run a panel of preoperative blood work.. This blood test will check several different aspects of your pet’s health, to ensure that they are healthy enough to undergo the anesthesia required for the procedure.
Some of the things the blood work panel will test for include:
- A CBC (Complete Blood Count), which will check for any underlying, hidden infections.
- Clotting Times, which will ensure that it is safe to cut into your pet’s body.
- Liver and Kidney functions, since these are the primary organs through which the anesthesia will be processed.
Once the patient is declared healthy enough for the surgery, you and your doctor can set up the actual procedure appointment date.
In females, a spay requires that the doctor cut into the body and surgically removes the ovaries and/or the uterus. Once the procedure is complete, the incision is closed with sutures, skin staples or skin-bonding material. Usually, the recovery time for a spay is about 10 to 14 days.
In males, a neuter requires that the doctor surgically remove both testicles of the cat or dog. As with a spay, the incisions are then closed using sutures, skin staples or skin-bonding material…and the recovery time is anywhere from 10 to 14 days.
Did you know that besides helping to limit the number of unwanted puppies and kittens, spaying or neutering your pet can help reduce their risk of developing certain diseases and cancers?
Female cat and dogs usually begin their first heat cycle around the age of 6 months. If you have your pet spayed before this first cycle occurs, her chance of developing breast cancer later in life is reduced by as much as 95%. Because this benefit decreases each time your pet comes into a heat cycle, it is recommended that pets be spayed earlier in their lives. Additionally, having your pet spayed can help reduce the risks of uterine infection, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer.
In male dogs, neutering can help prevent a number of infectious diseases, as well as the enlargement of the prostate gland. This is an age-related problem which can eventually cause pain or difficulty when your pet urinates. Additionally, having your pet neutered removes the danger of the development of testicular cancer. Both spaying and neutering decreases the influence of hormones on behavior, thereby making your pet less likely to roam or be aggressive. It can also help avoid inappropriate marking or spraying.
If you have any questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet, schedule an appointment to discuss the decision with your veterinarian today!