Dix Hills Animal Hospital recommends spay and neuter surgery for dogs and cats once they reach a certain age. For large breed dogs, we recommend waiting until around 12 months of age, so they can finish growing. Spaying and neutering can yield a variety of benefits, both physical and behavioral. By performing these procedures when your pet is young, we can help them avoid some serious diseases and destructive behaviors later in life.
What Does Spaying and Neutering Entail?
A spay procedure is a complete ovariohysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and uterus) in females.
A neuter procedure is the complete removal of both testicles in males.
When undergoing these procedures, all dogs and cats are placed under general anesthesia. We recommend pre-anesthetic blood work for all dogs and cats undergoing a spay or neuter procedure.
Health Benefits of Spay and Neuter Surgeries
There are a number of health-related and behavioral benefits of spaying and neutering your pets.
What to Expect from Your Pet’s Surgery
Prior to your pet’s surgery, we recommend pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure minimal risk from anesthesia. Throughout the procedure, your pet will be monitored closely by our technicians, assessing their heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen levels. Your pet will also receive IV fluids during and after the procedure to maintain normal blood pressure during surgery and recovery.
Some puppies may still have some of their baby teeth (called deciduous teeth) at the time of the procedure. The veterinarian will extract any deciduous teeth that are remaining, as retained baby teeth can often cause issues for the emerging adult teeth.
Your pet will receive a customized pain management plan, including take-home pain medication, to ease their recovery at home. Any specific pain medications and detailed discharge instructions will be written out for you and reviewed before you and your pet leave our office.
During the surgery
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.
after the surgery
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.