“Ovariohysterectomy,” or "spay," is the process of surgically removing both the uterus and ovaries from a female pet.
What is Neutering?
A neuter, or “Castration,” is the surgical removal of a male pet’s testicles.
Why Spay or Neuter?
For Your Pet’s Health
- Spaying prevents UTI’s and breast cancer, which are fatal in 50% of dogs and 90% of cats
- Neutering prevents testicular cancer and prostate problems
For Your Pet’s Behavior
- Spaying prevents heat – a hormonal process that lasts 4 or 5 days every 3 weeks during breeding season. Heat involves hormonal aggression, increased yowling or barking, and increased inappropriate urination
- Neutering prevents roaming – which is a common reason male cats end up lost, injured, or abducted
- Neutering prevents hormonal aggression, mounting, and territory marking by urine spraying
For Your Wallet
- Spaying and Neutering have associated costs, but cost much less than caring for a pregnant female, an unwanted litter, or the cost of treatment for health issues that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
For Your Community
- Spaying and Neutering are the most effective way to decrease stray pet populations
- Stray animals cause serious ecological issues by preying on local wildlife or attracting predators to urban areas
- Stray animals increase car accidents
- Stray animals can become aggressive and frighten or harm small children or elderly persons.
For the Homeless Animals
- Millions of pets end up homeless every year, many for reasons outside of their control. The majority of these pets are euthanized despite being perfectly healthy and well behaved. By having planned or unplanned litters, you are contributing to pet overpopulation.
When to Spay or Neuter?
We recommend Spaying and Neutering between 5 and 6 months old.
- Spaying or neutering too early can increase surgical risks.
- Spaying or neutering should happen 3-5 weeks after your pet’s last booster vaccines, to ensure their immune systems are strong before surgery
- Spaying or neutering after puberty can increase the chances of behavioral problems becoming habits
- Spaying or neutering after puberty can decrease the effectiveness of spaying/neutering preventing health problems
- Spaying or neutering after puberty can incur mature and/or in-heat charges
What Procedures Does a Spay/Neuter Involve?
We offer a variety of treatment options that help your pet to have a safe, comfortable surgical experience, without breaking the bank!
Core Treatments: These are non-optional to ensure your pet’s health and safety.
- Exam - Your pet will receive multiple exams during the day procedure, but we include them in one exam fee.
- Surgery - This is the castration or ovariohysterectomy procedure.
- Anesthesia - This includes the pre-medication, induction, maintenance gas, and monitoring while your pet is asleep for the procedure.
- IV Fluids - The IV helps to maintain blood pressure and provides emergency access to your pet’s vein.
- Pain Injection - Administered before your pet wakes up, to ensure they are not in pain after their surgery. This injection lasts between 12-24 hours, but we recommend giving oral pain medication at home for up to 5 days after the surgery.
Non-Core Treatments: These are other items that can help decrease risk of complications and ensure a safe surgery, but are not necessarily required for every pet. We can discuss whether or not your pet needs these treatments on a case-by-case basis depending on age, gender, and past health records.
- Blood Work - We have three pre-anesthesia blood panels. To find out more about them, check out our pre-anesthesia blood work page.
- E-Collar - This is the cone that prevents your pet from licking their wounds. This is required unless you already have one because this is one of the best tools to prevent post-op complications such as infection, opening of the wound, and tearing/removal of the sutures.
- Oral Pain Medication - This is additional pain medication and is required for most spays and most canine neuters. If you are concerned about this medication, we can discuss your options before the operation.
- Microchip - Microchips are the most reliable permanent-identification method for pets, and can be done while your pet is under anesthesia. You get $5 off your microchip if you add it onto a surgical procedure!
Check out our Surgical Home Care page for information on pre-operative and post-operative care.