The Benefits of Spaying Your Female Pet

Spaying entails removal of the uterus and ovaries (“ovariohysterectomy”). Your pet’s abdomen will be shaved and scrubbed. An incision is made, and the three points where the ovaries and uterus attach are tied off and cut. The abdomen is checked for bleeding and two or three layers of stitches are placed to close the incision.

  • Spaying stops female cats and dogs going into heat, which is messy, causes behavioral changes, and attracts males.
  • Spayed females cannot become pregnant.
  • Spaying reduces the risk of breast cancer and eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer.
  • Spayed dogs are much less expensive to license than unspayed (intact; unfixed) dogs – spay and you’ll save $76 EACH AND EVERY YEAR!
  • Spaying helps ease the problem of pet over-population.
  • Spaying eliminates the possibility of pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus. A uterus with pyometra is full of pus and bacteria. The treatment is emergency spay, which must be done quickly if the pet is to be saved. Symptoms of pyometra include loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, and vaginal discharge.

We recommend that all dogs be spayed before their first heat cycle, as if this is done their chances of developing mammary cancer later in life are approximately zero. After the first heat cycle this increases to 7% and after the second heat 25%! Hence, early spay can almost completely prevent mammary cancer, which is otherwise difficult and expensive to treat. (One treatment of mammary cancer is spaying.) Ideally, pets are spayed as soon as possible after five months old.

If a dog or cat is spayed during a heat cycle, the surgery can take longer as the uterus is swollen. Extra charges of $25-$100 apply, to reflect the extra work required.

What to Expect

On the day before the surgery:

  • We’ll call you to remind you of the appointment.
  • Do not give your pet anything to eat or drink after about 10 pm that night.

On the day of the surgery:

  • Drop your pet off between 8 am and 8:15 am. (If you’re running late, please call to let us know.)
  • We’ll call you when the surgery is done to let you know a time after which you can pick your pet up. Pets do not stay overnight, so the pick-up time will be in the mid-afternoon, although we don’t close until 6 pm so you have until then to pick up.
  • When you come, we’ll give you after-care instructions and answer any questions you may have.
  • For payment we accept cash and all major credit/debit cards, but not checks.

In the days after the surgery:

  • Follow the take-home instructions that we give you when you pick up.
  • Make sure your pet does not run, jump or lick at the incision for at least 10 days.
  • Do not bathe your pet or let her go swimming for at least 10 days.
  • Give the pain medicine we give you as prescribed.
  • You don’t have to come back to have the sutures removed (unless we tell you), but if the incision looks strange or you’re worried for any reason, call us right away. Incision rechecks are free!

Safety Precautions

Before getting your pet fixed, make sure the facility they use take all of these very important safety precautions. Many low cost facilities do not, to save time and money.

  • Pre-surgical exam by experienced veterinarian.
  • Modern anesthetic protocols.
  • IV catheter INCLUDED – essential in the event of emergency.
  • IV fluids INCLUDED – to ensure proper hydration throughout the procedure.
  • Proper intubation – essential to maintain an airway.
  • Sterilized equipment that is NOT re-used between patients!
  • Sophisticated monitoring equipment: pulse, temperature, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and EKG are all recorded.
  • Antibiotic injection INCLUDED.
  • Pain medication INCLUDED.
  • Recovery from anesthesia actively monitored.

Note: to reduce the risk of contagious disease, all pets must be up-to-date on their vaccines. We can administer booster vaccines after surgery, but we will not spay pets that have never been vaccinated.