What does spay and neuter mean?
A spay, or an ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus from a female dog or cat. This makes her unable to reproduce and eliminates her heat cycle and breeding instinct-related behavior.
On the other hand, neutering, or castration, is the surgical removal of the testicles from a male dog or cat. This makes him unable to reproduce and reduces or eliminates male breeding behaviors.
What are the benefits of spaying and neutering?
In addition to preventing unwanted litters and helping reduce pet overpopulation, spaying your female dog or cat eliminates heat cycles and generally reduces the unwanted behaviors that may lead to owner frustration. Neutering your male dog or cat, reduces the breeding instinct, making them less inclined to roam and more content to stay at home.
Early spaying of female dogs and cats can help protect them from some serious health problems later in life such as uterine infections and breast cancer. Neutering your male pet can also lessen its risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland) and testicular cancer.
Will spaying or neutering my pet change their personality?
Spaying or neutering has no effect on a pet’s intelligence or ability to learn, play, work or hunt. Some pets tend to be better behaved following surgical removal of their ovaries or testes, making them more desirable companions.
What are the risks of spaying and Neutering?
Despite being the most common surgery performed by veterinarians, Spaying and neutering are major surgical procedures; Like any surgical procedure, it is associated with some anesthetic and surgical risk, but the overall incidence of complications is very low. Spaying and neutering removes the reproductive hormones and this can result in increased risk of health problems, including urinary incontinence and in rare instances, some types of cancer.
Talk to your veterinarian about the benefits and risks of these procedure so you can make an informed decision.
What happens the day of the procedure?
Before the procedure, your pet will be given a thorough physical examination to ensure that he/she is in good health. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork will be recommended; This is performed in our in-house laboratory. General anesthesia will be administered to perform the surgery and medications are given to minimize pain. You will be asked to keep your pet calm and quiet for a few days after surgery as the incision begins to heal. You will be given written instructions when your pet is discharged.
When should I spay or neuter my pet?
During a routine wellness visit, we will discuss with you when the most appropriate time to spay or neuter your pet is. Some factors that will help determine this are breed, age, and physical condition. Contrary to popular belief, it may NOT be best to wait until your female dog or cat has gone through her first heat cycle.