What is neutering?
Provided by the AVMA - American Veterinary Medical Association
Neutering is the sterilization of an animal; it is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs. In males the testicles are removed (castration, neutering) and in females the ovaries, uterus, and uterine horns are removed (spaying).
Should I spay/neuter my pet?
We highly recommend that all pets are spayed/neutered, unless you are planning to breed your pet. Spaying/neutering your pet has health benefits, behavioral benefits, and helps fight the pet overpopulation.
In females, spaying early reduces the risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian and uterine cancer and prevents life threatening uterine infections "Pyometra".
In males, early neutering reduces the risk of certain adenocarcinomas (cancer), testicular cancer and decreases incidence of prostate disease and certainly some behavioral issues.
When should I neuter/spay my pet?
We recommend that your pet is neutered/spayed around around 1 year of age.
What is involved in these procedures?
- Neutering is a surgical removing of the testicles and spaying is the surgical removal of the uterus, uterine horns and the ovaries.
- Both procedures require the animal to be anesthetized to perform the operation.
- The pet is dropped off at our hospital the morning of the scheduled surgery between 8:00am and 8:30am and picked up the same evening.
- You will be directed to withhold food from the pet 12hrs prior (8:00pm the night before) and water 2 hours before (6am the morning of) surgery.
- A preoperative exam is performed and we also recommend a pre-anesthesia blood screening prior to the surgery to reduce the anesthesia risk.
- The technicians monitor your pet during and after surgery until your pet is ready to go home that evening.
- That evening you will need to continue to monitor your pet at home.
- For the next two weeks, your pet will need stay less active, can not be groomed/bathed and and you will need to watch the incision. The incision needs to be kept dry and your pet should not lick, bite, or scratch at it.
- If we feel, or you feel, that your pet might lick, bite, or scratch at the incision we will provide you an elizabethen collar to keep them from doing so. If directed to use, the collar should be worm until the incision has heeled and the stitches are removed.
- We will want to see your pet back in two weeks to recheck the incision and make sure everything healed properly, if it has, we will then remove the stitches.
Are their risks involved?
Any surgical procedure has risks involved. However, the anesthesias used today are very safe and although this is considered a major surgery it is done routinely with much success and few problems. We monitor your pet prior, during and after surgery and with a pre-anesthesia blood screening we can even further reduce the risk.
How much will this surgery cost?
The cost of a spay or neuter will vary depending on the species, sex, age, weight of the patient and if the female patient is in heat. It will also vary if you decide to have a pre-anesthesia blood test done, have pain medication given and are provided with an Elizabethan collar.
For those with a financial constraint there are low cost neuter/spay programs available.
You can find one of these programs at the aspca's website.
Learn more from these resources