Spaying Your Pet
The Spay Surgery
The ovariohysterectomy is an abdominal surgery that is performed under general anesthesia. Your pet's belly will be shaved and cleansed, and an incision will be made just below her navel. We use a surgical laser instead of a scalpel to decrease pain and bleeding at the incision site. The veterinarian will remove both ovaries as well as the uterus. Several layers of stitches will close the incision internally and then a final layer of stitches will close the skin. Following spay surgery your pet will no longer go through heat cycles and will be unable to get pregnant.
Although the spay surgery is considered routine, it is still a major abdominal operation. It carries the risks normally associated with general anesthesia and surgery. Your veterinarian takes numerous measures to keep your pet safe, such as checking her heart and lungs before administering anesthesia and monitoring her constantly while she is asleep. We also recommend the additional safety precaution of pre-anesthetic blood tests before the procedure. This helps us foresee how she will handle her anesthesia.
Benefits other than heat cycles and unwanted pregnancy include reduction in risks of reproductive cancers. Unspayed female pets suffer from a higher incidence of mammary tumors, false pregnancies, uterine infections, and reproductive cancers.
Considerations Before Surgery
Consult with your veterinarian about when to schedule your pet's surgery. Usually pets are spayed at around six months of age. If possible, schedule your pet's surgery when she is not in heat. Keep in mind her needed recovery time of up to 2 weeks when planning vacations, hunting, etc. The night before her surgery, remove her food after supper. She should not eat anything during the night or the morning of the procedure. Drinking water is allowed.
Whenever anesthesia is needed, special considerations are taken to help ensure the safety of your pet. Your veterinarian will thoroughly examine your pet to make sure she's healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Depending on your pet's age and general physical condition, your veterinarian may also run blood, urine, and x-ray tests to check for any dangerous heart, kidney, or other conditions.
Though there is some risk associated with any medical procedure, modern anesthesia is usually safe, even for older pets.
During anesthesia, the monitoring of your pet's vital signs (body temperature, heart rate, respiration, and other parameters) is important. This helps us ensure the safety of your pet while undergoing anesthesia.
Considerations After Surgery
Your pet will stay in the hospital overnight. When she is released she may still be somewhat tired. Keep her indoors, in a warm, safe, quiet room away from other pets. During the first week after surgery, restrict her activity level; no running, jumping, or rough play. Mild swelling and soreness are common, but let your veterinarian know if you see any discharge or if the swelling is excessive. It is very important to keep her from licking at her incision.