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Surgery can be a touchy subject for pet owners, especially when their companion is still in their puppy or kitten stage. However, spay and neuter surgeries are an important part of keeping pets healthy. Spay and neuter surgeries are some of the most frequently performed procedures in veterinary medicine. Not only do they prevent unwanted pregnancies, but they also prevent a number of problematic health and behavioral issues.
The Benefits of Spay and Neuter Surgery
Male and female cats and dogs can all benefit in the long term from being spayed or neutered. Some of the health and behavioral issues eliminated by this procedure include:
- Eliminates the heat cycle and spotting in females
- Reduces the risk of mammary tumors in females
- Prevents uterine infections and cancers in females
- Reduces roaming tendencies in males and females
- Reduces aggressive behavior in males
- Eliminates or reduces mounting and marking/spray behaviors in males
- Prevents testicular tumors in males
- Reduces the risk of prostate problems in males
Spaying and Neutering Reduces Overpopulation
Some owners are initially uncomfortable with the idea of taking away their pet’s ability to breed. However, spaying and neutering is not only a healthier option, but it also helps other animals stand a chance at adoption. Most unplanned pet pregnancies result in puppies or kittens whose owners are unwilling or unable to care for them. These animals usually end up in shelters or on the street as strays. In fact, the ASPCA estimates that approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. pet shelters each year. Sadly, a large number of these pets will never find a forever home. By preventing your pets from unexpectedly breeding, you can reduce the number of pets going into shelters, thereby increasing the odds of adoption for current shelter residents.
What to Expect
We recommend spaying and neutering pets when they are roughly six months old, though it can vary pet by pet. When you bring your new puppy or kitten in for their first wellness exam or consultation, we will examine them, discuss your options, and plan accordingly.
If your pet is ready to undergo their spay/neuter, we will need to perform a pre-surgical exam and run blood work to make sure they’re healthy enough for anesthesia. If we detect problems, we can delay the procedure until the issue can be remedied. We follow the same protocols during spay and neuter procedures as we do with any pet surgery.
While your pet is under anesthesia, they will receive IV fluids for hydration and blood pressure support. Additionally, they will be kept warm with Bair Huggers and will have their vital signs monitored throughout the procedure. Once they are out of surgery and wake up safely from their anesthesia, they can be released into your care.
Remember, it’s important to keep your pet as calm and contained as possible following their procedure so they can heal properly. We also ask that you notify us immediately if your pet is having any problems.
Other Surgeries Provided
At Poway Animal Hospital, we go above and beyond to ensure our patients’ safety and give their owners peace of mind. Our team practices strict safety protocols before, during, and after surgery for every pet. Additionally, we have the resources of board-certified surgeons, and our entire technical staff is fully trained to handle a wide variety of surgical procedures. At Poway Animal Hospital, our veterinarians can perform various soft tissue and basic orthopedic surgeries on cats and dogs. We also work closely with an orthopedic specialist surgeon who can perform more complex procedures when needed. Our in-house surgeries include:
- Spay and neuter
- Mass removal
- Exploratory surgery
- Foreign body removal
- TPLO (knee stabilization through correction of the tibia bone’s slope)
- TTA (knee stabilization through tendon repositioning)
- Patellar luxation (kneecap realignment)
- Minor fracture repair
Poway Animal Hospital is pleased to offer the latest in minimally invasive surgery, the Aesculight CO2 Laser. This state-of-the-art technology uses a high-power beam of light to precisely cut and remove tissues, from single layers of cells to large tumors.
Laser surgery improves precision for surgeons and reduces bleeding, pain, recovery time, and risk of infection for patients. This innovative technology is becoming more popular in soft tissue surgery and is most commonly used by our doctors for spay and neuter and mass removal surgeries. Ask if your pet is a candidate for laser surgery and for more information when you schedule their procedure.
Before any surgery, we take a number of steps to ensure that our patients are safe and comfortable. Your pet will receive complete pre-anesthetic blood work to make sure they’re completely healthy. Underlying health issues can be hazardous and may require that we delay surgery until they can be safely resolved.
Additionally, a technician will be standing by to monitor your pet’s vitals, including blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and oxygen saturation throughout the procedure. All pets are also kept on IV fluid support during their surgery.
Furthermore, pets under anesthesia will have a lower body temperature. We use Bair Hugger warming blankets to stabilize pets’ body temperatures and keep them comfortable while in surgery.
After your pet’s surgery, we will continue to monitor them until they wake up and the effects of the anesthesia wear off. When they are stable and ready to go home, our doctors will provide instructions for follow-up care and medication.
Generally, pets need to be monitored after surgery to make sure they stay calm. Additionally, it is important to make sure they don’t lick or scratch at their incision site.
We offer medical boarding for patients who need extra supervision or medication in the days following surgery. While in our care, pets will have the opportunity to get appropriate levels of exercise while under our observation. They will also be given all their necessary medications and post-surgical care to ensure the best possible recovery.