Spay & Neuter
One of pet owners’ most critical decisions is whether to spay or neuter their pets. While many owners are hesitant due to costs or medical concerns, these simple procedures benefit your pet, your wallet and the overall dog and cat population.
Spaying is an ovariohysterectomy that removes a female cat or dog’s uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. The procedure prevents pregnancy. Neutering removes the testicles to prevent your male pet from impregnating other cats or dogs.
At Mason Animal Hospital, we offer spay and neuter services for cats and dogs of any breed and size. We encourage you to schedule an appointment for your pet!
Why Are Spaying and Neutering Important?
Spaying or neutering your cat or dog is an excellent way to reduce the number of stray animals on the streets and in shelters. Spaying and neutering also cost less than caring for a pregnant pet and their litter — or multiple. Spaying or neutering has other medical and behavioral benefits for:
- Female cats and dogs: Female pets who undergo a spaying procedure live longer and healthier lives. Beyond preventing pregnancy, spaying helps to prevent uterine infection and decreases the risk of reproductive cancers in cats and dogs.
- Male cats and dogs: Neutering also has medical benefits for your male pet. When you neuter dogs or cats as soon as possible, you can prevent testicular cancer and eliminate the risk of many common prostate issues.
Spaying and neutering also provide behavioral benefits, such as eliminating the risk of your female pet going into heat. Heats often cause animals to act more aggressively and roam, putting them at risk. Dogs and cats that undergo spaying or neutering are less likely to mark their territory or show aggression toward other pets and people.
What You Should Know Before Spay and Neuter Surgeries
Despite how common spaying and neutering are and the many benefits these procedures provide, there are still some misconceptions surrounding these surgeries:
- Your pet can maintain a healthy weight after spaying or neutering: Many people associate weight gain with spaying and neutering because it decreases your cat or dog’s metabolism. As long as you exercise your pet and provide a healthy, balanced diet, they will remain at a healthy weight.
- Your pet may still have behavior issues: While neutering can reduce aggression, roaming or other problems, there is no guarantee that your pet’s behavior will improve after the neutering process. Neutering will also not eliminate learned or habitual behaviors, and the procedure’s effects largely depend on your dog’s temperament and history.
- It’s best to choose a veterinary clinic for spaying and neutering: Many owners often look for a low-cost facility to provide their pet’s spaying or neutering. When you bring your pet to a full-service veterinary clinic like Mason Animal Hospital, you will have access to our expert team and pre and post-surgery care.
When Should You Spay or Neuter Your Pet?
The exact timeframe for spaying or neutering your pet will vary depending on your pet’s breed and other factors. We recommend discussing spaying or neutering with one of our veterinarians for advice tailored to your dog or cat. However, these general recommendations can help you plan for the procedure.
In most cases, your cats and dogs should undergo spaying or neutering at 6 months of age. However, there are benefits in waiting until larger breed dogs are around 1 year of age to avoid orthopedic concerns. Please schedule a consultation to discuss with a veterinarian what would be best for your pet and lifestyle.
If you adopt an animal from a shelter, they should be spayed or neutered before adoption. Stray or community animals can be altered anytime after 6 or 8 weeks of age, depending on state laws.
Having your pet undergo the neutering or spaying process as soon as possible benefits your pets and any animals and humans around them. For example, an unspayed or unneutered cat or dog may have a higher desire to roam, causing them to fight with other animals, receive an injury or infection or wander into the road.
What to Expect Before and After Surgery
Before surgery, our team will discuss the procedure with you and provide advice. Generally, it’s best to avoid having your pet eat any food any time after midnight the night before their surgery, as eating beforehand is an aspiration risk.
It is important to us that your pet is comfortable, and you have a good home experience after surgery. We administer injectable pain and anti-inflammatory medications to promote healing and a smooth recovery. Our doctors use special techniques and closure methods to minimize the need for your pet to wear an Elizabethan collar, also known as the “cone of shame”. After surgery, you will receive a post-operative call explaining how the procedure went and schedule a time to review discharge instructions. Here are some top tips for you to use at home to better ensure your pet has a safe and comfortable recovery:
- Inspect the incision site daily. Confirm that the incision is healing, and the stitches are intact.
- Ensure your pet has a comfortable indoor place to recover. This space should be away from other pets that may interfere with their recovery.
- Monitor your pet and discourage licking of the incision. You should also refrain from giving your pet a bath for at least 10 days.
- Monitor your pet’s behavior. We recommend keeping them from jumping and running for about two weeks after surgery for the best recovery.
- Do not hesitate to call if there are any concerns or if you have additional questions. We are here to help.
Spaying is a major surgery, generally requiring two weeks for female dogs and cats to fully recover. Even though neutering is a less invasive procedure, your pet still requires about the same amount of time to heal.
When to Call Your Vet
Contact our team if you notice the incision open or see issues like discharge, swelling and redness, as these could be signs of infection. You should also call us if your pet stops eating or drinking, experiences vomiting or diarrhea or appears lethargic.
Keep Your Pet Healthy With Mason Animal Hospital
Spaying or neutering your pet is the best way to keep your dog or cat and those around them safe. To learn more about our pet neutering services in Mason or to schedule an appointment, we encourage you to contact our team at (513) 398-3070 today!