Puppy and Kitten Spaying

Puppy and kitten spaying is a topic that you should discuss with your veterinarian. It involves the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. There are many advantages of spaying. Spaying will eliminate the possibility of going into heat every 7 months. A heat involves a swollen vulva with a bloody discharge. Males are typically attracted to the female and the often the odor produce is not the most pleasant. Spaying will also eliminate the possibility of an unwanted litter. Conditions associated with intact females include pyometras and mammary cancer. Pyometras can be a life threatening infection of the uterus This is a common disease of intact female dogs, approximately 1 in 4 dogs at the age of 10 will develop the disease. Treatment can be difficult and usually results in spaying. In addition to pyometras, spaying will help reduce chances of mammary cancers. The chances of mammary cancer increase after the first and second heat. The hormones produced by the ovaries can also lead to progression of the cancer, and typically a recommendation at the time of diagnosis is spaying.

A good time to spay is generally at 6 months of age. But please discuss this with your veterinarian.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”question” wrap=”i”] So what is involved from start to finish?

At Apple Creek Animal Hospital, we perform a pre-surgical examination 1 week prior to your scheduled surgery date. We will assess for things such as congenital hernias, and retained puppy and kitten teeth, and also discuss pre-anesthetic blood work with you. Spay surgeries are a day procedure, no need for an overnight stay. However, because we do perform a full general anesthetic, we take every precaution to make it as safe as possible and comfortable for your pet. To start, we give an initial sedative and pain medication. We always place all patient on intravenous fluids prior to any anesthetic and have an attending veterinarian watching at all times. We use the best monitoring devices available to assess vital at all times. The spay surgery is done in a sterile manner and involves a small 2-3 cm incision just below the belly button. From this incision the ovaries and uterus are removed. All major blood vessels are securely clamped. The incision is then closed with absorbable suture material under the skin, such that there are no exposed sutures. Once out of surgery and in recovery additional pain medication is given to keep her comfortable, and pain medication is also sent home for 5 days. At home you may notice some swelling, bruising, and redness around the incision. She may be somewhat quiet for the evening, but will likely bounce back the next day. It is important to keep her quiet for the first week. The recovery period usually approximately 10-14 days after surgery.