Spay and Neuter 101

Spaying and neutering are the surgeries that are responsible for removing the reproductive organs of female and male animals.

A spay procedure is for our female patients; most often cats and dogs. Spays are preferably done around 5 ½ -6 months of age. There are 2 procedures that are routinely done on females. An ovariohysterectomy is the complete removal of the uterus and ovaries while an ovariectomy removes the ovaries only. Both procedures are effective in the sterilization of female animals. While an ovariectomy is considered a less invasive and quicker procedure, the uterus is left in the body. Although rare, it could cause possible issues in the future. A spay procedure may take 30 minutes to an hour for a surgeon to perform. There are many benefits that come with spaying your pet including a decreased risk of mammary tumours and pyometra and elimination of ovarian or uterine cancer. It will also eliminate a heat cycle which can be the cause of some unwanted behaviours like spraying, aggression and attracting unwanted males. Did you know that male dogs can smell an intact female from miles away!

A neuter procedure is also known as castration and is for our male patients. During a neuter the surgeon will remove the reproductive organ of the male which are the testicles. Neutering is also done in dogs and cats preferably between 5 ½ – 6 months of age. A cat neuter may only take 5 minutes depending on age and size of the animal while a dog neuter may take 15-30 minutes. Neutering your dog or cat has many benefits such as the decreased risk of prostate cancer in dogs, elimination of testicular cancer, decreased unwanted behaviours such as spraying, roaming and aggression.

If you have any questions regarding spaying and neutering, please speak with one of our staff members.

Laura Scharf, RVT