Every year millions of stray and unwanted animals are euthanized in shelters across the United States. Many of these deaths are the avoidable result of owners failing to spay and neuter their pets. Even if you keep a close watch on your pet, accidents happen, and unexpected offspring means more animals that won’t be given the chance at full, happy lives.

Spaying and neutering can help end this cycle, and both procedures can have health benefits for pets. By the way: there’s no truth to the myths that altered pets are less intelligent or will get fat as a result of being sterilized, and females do not need to have a litter—or even go into heat—before they are spayed.

Spaying

Spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is a common surgical procedure performed on female cats and dogs and involves removing the patient’s uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, rendering the animal incapable of reproduction. Goshen Animal Clinic veterinarians can perform surgical sterilization on pets as young as eight weeks old, provided they weigh at least two pounds and are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Older pets can still undergo the procedure, they simply take a little longer for the healing process than younger pets.

Benefits:

  • Prevents unwanted pregnancies
  • Eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine tumors
  • Remove the possibility of uterine infections

What to expect after surgery

Spaying is a major surgery requiring 7-10 days of recovery time. Recovery may also include pain medication and lethargy is common for the first couple days following the procedure. A small, green tattoo is applied post-surgery that signifies that the animal is spayed should she ever get lost or taken to a shelter.

Neutering

Neutering is performed on male cats and dogs. This process castrates the animal, removing their testicles and making them unable to impregnate females. Like spaying, neutering can be done as early as eight weeks, but can be performed on older animals as well.

Benefits

  • Placates the animal, reducing aggressive behavior and decreasing dominant tendencies
  • Reduces roaming and spraying (territory marking)
  • Eliminates the risk of testicular and prostate tumors

What to expect after surgery

Although less invasive than spaying, neutering is still a major medical procedure that requires some recovery time. Recovery may also include pain medication and lethargy is common for the first couple days following the procedure. It’s extremely important that you monitor your pet to prevent the animal from licking or biting the incision to reduce the risk of infection.

To learn more about spaying and neutering, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 502-996-8466.