Spay & Neuter
At Woodland Springs Veterinary Hospital, we recommend all pets be spayed or neutered unless there are specific plans to breed them. Spaying, also known as ovariohysterectomy, is the process of surgically removing the uterus and both ovaries in female dogs and cats. Neutering, on the other hand, involves surgically removing both testicles in male pets. We typically spay or neuter pets when they are approximately six months old and have completed their puppy or kitten vaccination series. We recommend having these procedures carried out at the earliest convenience because female dogs and cats can begin their heat cycles as early as seven months of age.
The primary purpose of spaying and neutering dogs and cats is to prevent the ability to breed. These procedures eliminate the risk of unplanned breeding, pregnancies and litters. Spaying dogs and cats also stops estrous, also known as heat, cycling and estrus behaviors in female pets. Spaying or neutering a dog or cat also removes the hormones responsible for breeding urges. Many unaltered animals have an increased propensity to roam or escape from their enclosures to find a mate. Female dogs that have been spayed before their first heat cycle have a decreased lifelong risk of developing mammary tumors, while those that are spayed after their second heat cycle have a 25% chance of developing these tumors. Dogs and cats that have not been spayed also run a higher risk of developing uterine infections or pyometra. This is a life-threatening condition that can occur at any time but often develops several weeks following the last heat cycle. During the heat cycle, bacteria can enter a pet’s uterus and get trapped inside once the cervix closes after the heat cycle and cause an infection that requires emergency surgery. Unneutered male pets are at an increased risk of developing prostatic issues such as benign prostatic hypertrophy, prostatic abscesses and infections. Cats and dogs that have been spayed or neutered prior to puberty are less prone to exhibit behavioral issues like urine-marking, increased territorial aggression and mounting.
Before scheduling your pet’s spay or neuter procedure, we will want to perform an thorough examination and evaluate his or her vaccination history. Please view our requirements regarding necessary items prior to surgery. You should not give your pet anything to eat after 10 pm the night before his or her surgery. Do not feed him or her the morning of surgery, either. Be sure to leave out only small amounts of water for your pet to drink prior to surgery. On the morning of the spay or neuter procedure, you will drop your pet off and pick him or her up later in the day once we have contacted you to let you know surgery has completed.
One of our veterinarians will examine your pet prior to surgery and design an anesthesia plan customized to meet your pet’s needs. We will also evaluate pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure there aren’t any underlying issues that could interfere with anesthesia. One of our veterinary technicians will fit your pet with an intravenous catheter to administer anesthetics and IV fluids throughout the procedure. Our doctors and veterinary technicians monitor all patients’ anesthetic depth, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, oxygen saturation and carbon dioxide levels throughout the entire spaying or neutering procedure.
At Woodland Springs Veterinary Hospital, we are proud to offer the use of a surgical laser for all spay and neuter procedures. We use this laser in place of the traditional scalpel to make incisions. It is beneficial for us to use this surgical laser because it coagulates as its cuts, which decreases bleeding and post-op swelling and inflammation.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding our spaying and neutering procedures, do not hesitate to contact our clinic for more information!