Spay and Neuter Procedures
Spaying and neutering your furry family members is an important way to help keep them happy and healthy. Not only can spaying and neutering prevent behavior problems such as marking, aggression, or wandering, it can also prevent many serious medical conditions. Some of the most concerning diseases/disorders that can come from leaving animals intact are: pyometras, mammary cancer, prostate enlargement/infection, and prostate cancer. Spaying and Neutering can be performed at almost any primary care clinic, but it is recommended you book in advance as spaces fill up fast (especially with all of the COVID puppies).
What You Can Expect the Day of the Procedure:
- Drop-off is between 8am-9am, pick up is between 4pm-5pm
- Surgery is performed in the morning and we will give you a call once they recover from surgery to let you know how they are doing
- All of their sutures are internal and absorbable (stitches do not need to be removed)
- They should be monitored closely the night after surgery as they may have trouble going up and down stairs, jumping on furniture, etc.
- They might also be nauseous the night after surgery, so please feed them a small amount of food that evening. If they vomit, that is normal, wait until the morning to try feeding them again. If they are still vomiting in the morning, it is important to contact us.
- Recovery time is usually 10-14 days depending on how the incision heals
- We strongly suggest that your pet wear a cone for the full 14 days while they are healing
- If you have a large male dog, it is recommended that you ice their scrotum 2-3 times per day for 10-15 minutes to help prevent scrotal swelling
- After the 14 days, they can return to their normal schedule
Reasons to Spay:
A pyometra is the infection of your pet's uterus. This generally happens about 6 weeks following a heat cycle. If your dog misses its expected heat cycle, it is very important to contact your vet right away as this could be a sign that a pyometra is starting. 25% of intact female dogs over the age of 10 will develop a pyometra. Unfortunately, once a pyometra has occurred, your pet must undergo an emergency spay procedure to prevent the infection from spreading into the blood stream. This is a very serious condition and must be treated ASAP through an emergency vet, or a primary care vet that has the time immediately. These infections can worsen rapidly and unfortunately if untreated, can lead to the death of your pet. Spaying your pet early on prevents such an infection from occurring as there is no uterus that can get infected.
With each heat cycle a female dog or cat goes through, it greatly increases their chances of developing mammary cancer. This is due to the development of the mammary glands as hormones start flowing through their bodies. After their first heat cycle, there is a 7% chance of developing mammary cancer and after their second heat there is 25% chance. As you can see, the probability raises dramatically with each heat cycle, so it is recommended that they get spayed sooner rather than later. If they are spayed before their first heat, the probability of them developing mammary cancer is near 0%, so it is strongly recommended for your pet's health.
If you would like to have more information on reasons to spay your pet, please follow the link below:
Reasons to Neuter:
Neutering early on can help prevent certain behaviors that can be both troubling to you and your pet. Some of these behaviors can be marking, wandering (escaping from your home or yard frequently), and potential aggression with the increased testosterone. Removing your pet's testicles will prevent the creation of testosterone and therefore reduce the chance of these behaviors occurring. It is recommended that you neuter your pet at around the 6 month mark to help prevent these behaviors from starting. Once they develop it can be hard to eliminate them completely, even after neutering.
As a dog ages, their prostate will gradually get larger if the dog is left unneutered. It can become very uncomfortable over the age of five years as it's size will become very large. The prostate can also become irritated and chance of infection increases. This enlarged prostate can also make it hard for your dog to defecate, therefore it is recommended to neuter your dog before the 5 year mark.
There was a Hoffman study performed in 2013 that has shown evidence of reduced risk of bone cancers in large breed dogs if we wait until 1 year to neuter them. It also shows, however, increased risk of degenerative diseases, trauma (hit by car, dog fights), or infectious diseases. It is commonly recommended now to wait until 1 year of age to neuter your large dog, however, if your pup is showing some behavioral concerns such as wandering or aggression, you may want to consider neutering him sooner.
If you would like more information on the topic, we have a link below discussing in more detail the positives of neutering your pet: