Spay and Neuter

Extensive Spay and Neuter Surgeries

We routinely perform spays and neuters. We recommend that this should be performed when the puppies and kittens are 6-7 months old but can be done at any age. We do not do this procedure when an animal is “in heat.” A “spay” is a complete ovariohysterectomy. We make an abdominal incision large enough to visualize and ligate vessels in order to remove the ovaries and uterus. The abdomen is closed, and the skin is closed with a subcuticular pattern—which is the use of dissolvable sutures within the skin, so there are no visible sutures, the animals are unable to bite them out, and you don’t have to come back to have the sutures removed.

A “neuter” is the complete removal of both testicles. There is a small incision made in the skin just in front of the scrotum. The testicles are removed and the vessels ligated. The skin is closed with a subcuticular pattern as described above. We recommend pre-anesthetic blood work for all dogs and cats undergoing a spay or neuter (see preoperative blood work).

We monitor all animals’ heart, respiratory rate, and oxygen level with the use of a monitor. We have a nurse on staff to directly monitor these parameters. All animals also receive IV fluids to maintain normal blood pressure during surgery.

Some puppies have “deciduous” (baby) teeth at the time of their surgery. These teeth should have fallen out, and prevent other adult teeth from growing in correctly. We will extract these teeth after their surgery while they are still anesthetized.

All animals receive pre and postoperative pain medication. They are monitored while waking up from surgery—vitals are taken every 5 minutes until they are sitting up. We recover all patients with a heat pad or heat lamp, so they are warm when they wake up from anesthesia (which drops their body temperature). For small or petite puppies, we perform postoperative blood sugar monitoring to prevent against hypoglycemia. We also give them oral dextrose (sugar) once they are awake and sitting up.

We usually discharge all spays and neuters the same day so they can be home comfortable with their owners. We often give pain alleviating medicines for the pets that the owners can carry in case the pets need it at home. We will have detailed discharge instructions written out for you and a staff member will review them with you.

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. If there are any problems or concerns when they go home, we are always available to answer questions.