What is a spay or neuter?
Spay: Most people probably
do not realize what a spay involves. A spay is actually called an ovariohysterectomy because the ovaries and uterus are removed
from a female pet. This prevents unwanted pregnancies, helps prevent mammary cancer, prevents uterine and ovarian cancer,
and prevents uterine infections.
The pet is given an injection of anesthesia to make her sleepy enough to intubate. Then
an endotracheal tube is placed in her “windpipe." The patient is maintained under general anesthesia with an extremely safe
gas anesthetic (isoflurane or sevoflurane). She is monitored closely with a pulse oximeter. This keeps track of heart rate,
respiratory rate, percent oxygenation of the blood, EKG, and body temperature. An incision is made into the abdomen and the
two ovaries and both horns of the uterus are located, ligated (tied off) and removed. This is much easier in young, thin,
After the reproductive tract is removed and the patient is checked for bleeding, she is “closed." This
involves placing two layers of dissolvable sutures in the body wall and one layer of non-absorbable sutures in the skin.
The patient preparation for a neuter and the anesthetic protocol is exactly the same as for a spay. When a male pet is neutered,
an incision is made just in front of his scrotum. The testicles are removed and the cords are tied with suture. Dissolvable
suture is used under the skin, and non-absorbable suture is used for the skin. Neutering helps curb behavior problems as
well as help prevent prostate and testicular disease.
What do I have to do at home??
First, if your pet is being
discharged the night of the surgery, do not feed or give him/her water until the next morning. If he/she seems real thirsty,
give a few ice cubes to lick. Normal diet is OK the day after surgery.
No bathing until suture removal. The sutures come
out in 10-14 days. You must make an appointment for this. (Don’t worry, it’s free.)
Vomiting and loss of appetite are
normal for a day or two after surgery. If this occurs, you can feed a bland diet of boiled chicken or boiled beef and cooked
white rice, or meat baby food.
If your pet licks at the incision incessantly, come in for an Elizabethan collar or “lampshade”
as we like to call it! See a pet modeling hers below!
Try to keep your pet quiet until suture removal (no ball playing
A small amount of redness, swelling or bloody discharge is normal. Excessive amounts require a recheck.
is completely normal for your pet to be a little “under the weather” for a few days after the surgery, if he/she seems extremely
lethargic let us know.