Why Neuter or Spay your Pet?
Spaying or neutering helps your pet live a longer, healthier life, minimizes behavior problems, and helps control the population of unwanted pets.
• Health – Neutering male pets decreases their chances of developing prostatic enlargement and disease and eliminates the risk of testicular cancer. Spaying female pets eliminates the risk of pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus. If your pet is spayed before her first heat cycle, her chances of developing breast cancer drop dramatically as well.
• Behavior – Behavior problems are the primary reason pet owners take their pets to shelters, and pets that haven’t been spayed or neutered are more likely to exhibit undesirable behaviors. For example, female cats can be very disruptive and vocal during their heat cycle, and male pets may roam, mark, sexually mount and become aggressive. By neutering your puppy or kitten at six months or younger, you’ve taken the first step toward preventing aggression.
• Birth control – The drive to reproduce is strong in dogs and cats that haven’t been spayed or neutered and can lead to unwanted reproduction. By spaying or neutering your pet when you have decided not to raise puppies or kittens (a very big job), you can do your part to limit the chances of pet overpopulation and avoid dealing with a surprise pregnancy.
When to Neuter or Spay?
At River Run Animal Hospital, we like to give your pet time to grow and become a healthy young member of the family before spaying or neutering, and we recommend that your pet be fully vaccinated. Our veterinary team generally recommends surgery when the pet is between 4 and 9 months old. We recommend spaying or neutering before nine months of age because pets that are older, in heat, or overweight are at higher risk.
However, the timing can depend on the breed and size of your pet.
If you participate in the Prevention Health Plans for puppies and kittens, we automatically plan the surgery at the best time for your pet. If you want to breed or show your pet, you may want to delay spaying or neutering. If that’s the case, we can help you decide when the time is right and even help you raise a litter.
How do we do it?
We’ll examine your pet from nose to tail before surgery, upon recovering from anesthesia, and two weeks after the operation to be sure your pet is in good health going in to the procedure and healing properly afterward.
Our lab analysis includes an internal organ function screen and a complete blood count, which help us find any preexisting conditions that could cause complications during anesthesia, surgery or recovery.
We use the newest anesthetic agents approved for veterinary care, isoflurane and propofol. Together, they provide your pet with the safest anesthesia that leads to a shorter recovery. These are also the most common anesthetic agents used in human surgeries, which means we’re giving your pet the kind of care you would expect for anyone in your family.
An intravenous catheter allows safe, easy administration of any necessary medications or fluids.An IV catheter is placed in either the front or hind limb. Intravenous fluid therapy helps ensure your pet’s blood pressure remains within its normal range during anesthesia.
Sterile instruments, drapes and surgical gowns, masks, and caps. Careful attention to sterility limits the possibility of infection during the procedure. Continual cardiac and blood oxygen monitoring; during surgery and recovery, these monitoring devices help detect potential problems before they become serious.
Pain, Antibiotic, and Anti-emetic treatment speeds recovery and keeps your pet as comfortable as possible during this stressful time.
During your pets' all-day stay, the hospital team monitors your pet’s recovery, performs postoperative exams and removes the catheter.
Your pet will be sent home wearing an E-Collar, with some oral antibiotics and pain medication.
What to expect after surgery?
Your pet may be sore the first night home and possibly over the next few days. While some degree of discomfort is expected, if you are concerned about your pet’s behavior, please contact us as soon as possible. If we are is closed, please contact your local emergency veterinary hospital.
Someone will have to be home with your pet tonight. Your pet will have some redness of the skin where surgery was performed. Your doctor may have used visible external sutures or dissolvable internal sutures that you cannot see, depending on the surgical technique and personal preferences. It is normal for your pet to be sleepy, less coordinated, and drool for 12-24 hours after surgery. Your pet should be responsive and able to walk, but will most likely want to sleep when home.