If you have owned an animal, or if you know anyone who has, chances are you have heard of the terms spay and neuter. Spaying is a term that describes an ovariohysterectomy, or the removal of portions of the reproductive system of a female dog. Neutering is a term that describes castration, or the removal of the testicles of a male dog. Veterinarians perform these surgical procedures, which render dogs incapable of reproducing.
Over the past several decades, our veterinary team has performed spay and neuter procedures on countless male and female dogs of all breeds and ages. While we do not consider spay and neuter procedures to be "routine," and while all general anesthesia procedures have a risk of complications, spay and neuter procedures are considered safe and are strongly recommended by all major veterinary organizations, including the ASPCA and the Animal Humane Society.
We believe in compassionate dog care and are therefore adamant about educating people on why spay and neuter procedures are integral components of responsible dog ownership. We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions here to help you learn more about this very important service.
A Responsible And Caring Spay And Neuter Clinic
For most people, the thought of their puppy undergoing a surgical procedure under sedation can be frightening. We understand that this can be scary for caring dog owners and want to assure you that your puppy will be cared for by the most capable and caring medical professionals.
From the time your puppy enters our doors, it will be treated with compassion and concern for its comfort. Our nurses will treat your puppy as their own. All puppies will receive pain medications before the procedure begins. Our anesthesia and patient care protocols will be tailored to your puppy's breed and size. While your puppy is under anesthesia, our veterinary staff will monitor a number of vital signs, including body temperature, blood pressure, oxygenation, and anesthesia depth. The surgery will be performed by our veterinarians, who have many years of surgical experience.
Postoperative nursing care and pain management medications will be administered to your puppy to ensure that his or her recovery is painless, and your puppy will remain closely monitored until we feel it is safe to send him or her home. Our veterinary staff will review postoperative instructions with you at that time so you can feel comfortable bringing your puppy home to complete his or her recovery.
Reasons For Spaying And Neutering
The primary reason to spay or neuter your dog is to PREVENT reproductive diseases such as ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, mammary cancer, fatal uterine infections called pyometras, prostatic enlargemetn to name a few.
There are also ethical reasons to spay and neuter your dog. According to AmericanHumane.org, approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized at shelters annually due to the sheer fact that there are not enough willing adopters. Spay and neuter procedures ensure that you are not adding to this number.
Additionally, behavioral concerns such as aggression, roamong, urine marking , etc. may be eliminated or improved through neutering and spaying.
Neutering A Dog
The generally accepted age for neutering a dog is at 6 months.
Recently, clinical evidence has suggested that male dogs of certain large breeds may benefit from waiting to neuter until the dog has reached 9-12 months of age. There has been some evidence that this can reduce the risk of some types of cancer in certain large breeds. However, there are a number of other factors, such as aggressiveness, potty training, and reproduction, that must also be taken into consideration. While these updated guidelines have given us cause to extend the acceptable age for neutering some large breeds of dogs, the recommendation to eventually neuter the dog remains.
Neutering a dog consists of the following surgical steps:
- A preoperative exam will be completed with the owner prior to the day of surgery, blood work taken, and all procedure discussed.
- A preoperative exam will be completed again on the morning of surgery
- Then, pain medication is administered.
- Our staff will induce your dog into a safe state of general anesthesia.
- We will monitor vital signs including breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, state of anesthesia, oxygenation levels, and body temperature.
- The surgeon makes a small incision in front of the scrotum.
- Each testicle is removed, and the blood supply and vas deferens (spermatic cord) are tied off.
- The veterinarian closes the incision with surgical glue or sutures.
- Postoperative medications are given, and postoperative care continues until your dog completely recovers from the anesthesia.
- We will keep your dog hospitalized until he completely recovers and is safe to send home with after-care instructions.
- Your dog will be formally discharged with pain medications and further instructions for home care.
Home Care Instructions For Recovering From Neutering Procedures
Our veterinary staff will also provide post-operative instructions for you to follow at home. This home care includes continuation of pain management to minimize post-op discomfort. Some of the steps you can take at home to help facilitate a safe and comfortable recovery include:
- Providing your dog with a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals.
- Administering pain medications.
- Preventing your dog from running and jumping for 7-10 days following surgery.
- Preventing your dog from licking the incision site, which may cause infection, by utilizing the Elizabethan collar provided.
- Avoiding bathing your dog for at least 7 days after surgery.
- Checking the incision site daily to confirm proper healing.
- Looking for any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision is open, contacting your veterinarian.
- Call us if your dog is lethargic, has a decreased appetite, is vomiting, has diarrhea, or if you have any other concerns following surgery.
Spaying A Dog
The generally accepted age for spaying a dog is between at 6 months.
Spaying a dog consists of the following surgical steps:
- A preoperative exam takes place days earlier with the owner to exam the dog, draw blood samples, and to discuss the upcoming surgery.
- On the morning of surgery, a second Pre-anesthetic exam will be performed.
- Pain medications are administered.
- Our veterinary team will induce your dog into a safe state of general anesthesia.
- The attending staff monitors breathing and heart rate, blood pressure, anesthetic plane of anesthesia, oxygenation levels, and body temperature.
- The surgeon makes a small incision near the umbilicus on the abdomen.
- The ovaries and uterus are removed.
- The veterinarian closes the incision with suture material.
- Post-operative medications are given, and post-operative care continues until your dog completely recovers from the anesthesia.
- We will keep your dog hospitalized until she completely recovers and is safe to send home with after-care instructions.
- Your dog will be formally dicharged with pain medications and further home care instructions.
Home Care Instructions For Recovering From Spaying Procedures
Our veterinary staff will also provide post-operative instructions for you to follow at home.
Make Your Appointment To Spay Or Neuter Your Dog Today
Scheduling an appointment with our veterinary team for spay and neuter procedures is as easy as picking up the phone, or sending us an email. Our experienced veterinary staff is here to help you answer any questions or address any concerns you might have, as well as to help schedule a surgical appointment for your canine companion at our spay and neuter clinic.