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SPAY AND NEUTER QUESTIONS
Benefits of spaying your female pet:
When to have the procedure done? 5 – 12 months of age.
What happens during the spay procedure? Spaying involves surgical removal of the ovaries and/or uterus. The pet is placed and maintained under general anesthesia. The surgical site is aseptically prepared. An incision is made into the abdomen. The ovaries and/or uterus are located, ligated (tied-off) and removed. The abdomen is checked for bleeding and sutures are placed to close the abdomen.
Should I get my pet spayed before or after her first heat cycle? Female cats and small breed dogs can be spayed at any time after 4 months of age without any problems. However, recently published studies indicate that large breed dogs spayed before 9-12 months of age (before growth plate closure) have a minimum 15% increase in the incidence of orthopedic and cancerous disease. However, dogs spayed after their first heat cycle have a 7% increase in mammary cancer and 25% increase after their second heat cycle. You need to decide what is best for your pet.
Are there alternatives to spaying? Yes, please see Spay and Neuter Alternatives.
Benefits of neutering your male pet:
When to have the procedure done: 5 – 12 months of age.
What happens during the neuter procedure: Neutering involves surgical removal of the testicles. The pet is placed and maintained under general anesthesia. The surgical site is aseptically prepared. An incision is made in the scrotal region. The testicles are located, ligated (tied-off) and removed. The site is checked for bleeding and then the skin closed.
What if my pet has retained testicles? A pet with retained testicles is said to be a cryptorchid and neutering is especially important. Retained testicles are considered to be pre-cancerous and should be removed as soon as possible. Neutering a cryptorchid pet is more difficult as the testicle must be locate in the inguinal region or inside the abdomen which increases procedure time and difficulty. Retained testicles are hereditary and these males should not be bred.
Are there alternatives to neutering? Yes, please see Spay and Neuter Alternatives.