Spaying and neutering cats and dogs early in their life reduces their risk of infections and cancer, helps prevent sex hormone-related behavioural problems, and reduces the suffering associated with pet overpopulation. Spay and neuter surgeries are routine and have very low risks compared with the benefits. We perform pre-surgery bloodwork before all spays and neuters to ensure that your pet is healthy enough for surgery, and can safely go under general anaesthesia.
Why is it important for female cats and dogs to be spayed?
Spay surgeries are performed on female cats or dogs and involve removing both the ovaries and uterus (or just the ovaries, for dogs having a laparoscopic spay). We recommend that all female pets are spayed when they are young, as it decreases their risk of mammary cancer and uterine infections later in life – especially if they are spayed before their first heat cycle. Spaying also prevents them from being impregnated by unintended contact with an unneutered male and having unplanned litters of kittens and puppies. This helps to reduce pet overpopulation and prevents the health risks associated with pregnancy and giving birth.
What happens during a cat or dog spay surgery?
During a traditional spay, the surgeon makes an incision into your pet’s abdomen, removes their ovaries and uterus, and then closes the abdomen using two layers of sutures below your pet’s skin, which will gradually dissolve. While routine, a spay is still a major abdominal surgery, and pets need to remain quiet and calm until their post-surgery recheck 10 to 14 days later, to avoid causing complications.
A minimally-invasive alternative for dogs over 5kg is a laparoscopic spay that removes only the ovaries, using a camera and special instruments that are inserted into the abdomen through two tiny keyhole incisions. This results in less trauma and bleeding, less pain, and a faster recovery than a traditional spay surgery. Roncy Village Veterinary Clinic’s veterinarians are among the most experienced in Ontario at performing this specialty surgery.
What happens during a cat or dog neuter surgery?
Neutering is performed on male cats and dogs and involves removal of the testicles. This prevents them from impregnating a female, decreases the risk of prostate infection and cancer, and eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer. Neutering is a relatively minor surgery with a rapid recovery, compared to spaying a female. For cats, a small incision is made in the scrotum and the testicles are removed. For dogs, the procedure takes slightly longer, and an incision is made just in front of the scrotum, which is closed after surgery using sutures under the skin. The incisions heal quickly for both dogs and cats.
At what age should pets be neutered and spayed?
We recommend that all pets be neutered or spayed early in life – although it’s never too late, and even senior pets will benefit medically from being spayed or neutered. Typically though, spaying or neutering is done by 6 months of age for cats and smaller dogs, with the aim of preventing females from going through even one heat cycle, since that significantly increases their cancer risk. For some dog breeds however, our veterinarians recommend waiting until as late as 14 months old, or even up to 24 months old for certain extra-large breeds. This is an important topic to discuss with the veterinarian at one of your puppy’s exam and vaccine visits.