Spaying and Neutering
If you have a pet that needs to be spayed or neutered, you have many clinics to choose from. Spaying or neutering is the most common surgery that any veterinarian will do but you will still want to get the very best care for your pet. This is a major surgery that is done under a general anesthetic.
If you are considering having your cat or dog spayed or neutered we recommend asking your spay and neuter clinic these questions:
- Does your clinic place an indwelling catheter before surgery?
- Will you give my pet pre- and post-operative pain medications?
- Does your veterinarian use a new sterile pack for each patient or use the same one over and over?
- Do you always intubate the patient? (place a tube in the airway)
- How do you maintain body temperature of the patient during surgery?
- Do you use a surgical laser?
- How do you monitor the patient?
- Will I receive written instructions at the time of discharge?
The Importance of Spaying and Neutering your Pet
Most pet owners understand that their pet should be spayed or neutered at some time. What isn’t understood fully is why it is so important.
Dogs and Cats in Heat
When we encounter an owner that has not spayed their pet, they invariably do not realize that they are putting their pet at risk. Each time a dog or cat is in heat, the risk of mammary cancer goes up. This is why we encourage all owners to have their pet spayed before the first heat. Usually we will schedule the surgery when the patient is 6-7 months of age. Additionally, an infection of the uterus, known as a pyometra, is very common in our intact pets and is life threatening.
Neutering a Cat
Neutering of male cats is essential to prevent spraying of the strong smelling urine that develops after 6 months of age, as well to prohibit their strong desire to escape outdoors. Once outdoors, they are susceptible to serious infections such as Feline Leukemia, FIV, and FIP. Additionally, they may be attacked by other male cats as well as dogs or may be hit by a car. Life outdoors is extremely dangerous.
Neutering a Dog
Male dogs that are not neutered may also be inclined to mark territory indoors by spraying urine on furniture. Often, there may be problems between other male dogs in the household. Dogs that are not neutered are much more likely to want to get out of the small backyard space and roam the neighborhood often leading to being hit by a car.
I hope this gives you a glimpse into the pride and care we take with all of our patients at Animal & Bird Hospital of Clearwater.
Katherine Murphy, DVM