When to See the Vet
Many pet owners wonder when it is the right time to take their pet to the vet and when they may be ...
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Spaying-What you Should Know

Spaying is a routine surgery that not only provides a way to control the unwanted pet population but also can ensure a happier, healthier life for your pet. While the two are often confused, spaying is a surgery that is performed on female dogs and cats. It involves removing both ovaries and the uterus so that the animal can no longer produce offspring.

Before having your pet spayed you should understand that it is a major surgery. While this has become a routine surgery and is basically very safe, pet owners should understand there are some risks involved.

If you are concerned regarding myths you may have heard regarding having your pet spayed it is best to set those fears aside and understand the truth regarding spaying. The two most common misconceptions regarding having your pet spayed involves whether your pet should have a heat cycle first or even have a litter before being spayed. Ideally, it is actually better to have your pet spayed before she has her first heat cycle. This actually reduces the chances of your pet developing mammary cancer by as much as 97%. The risk of developing other types of reproductive cancers such as ovarian and uterine cancer is also reduced. This is not to say that spaying won’t reduce your pet’s chances of developing certain cancers over their lifetime if you wait until later to have them spayed but the risk reduction is greater if the surgery is performed before this time.

Be aware that your vet will typically want to perform some pre-surgery blood work on your pet before performing the surgery. This allows the vet to assess your pet’s kidney and liver function before your pet undergoes anesthesia. If your pet’s kidneys and liver are not functioning properly this could impact the way your pet handles anesthesia.

Because spaying does involve invasive surgery your pet will need to be sedated. This will prevent your pet from feeling any pain during the procedure. Rest assured your vet will monitor your pet’s breathing and heart rate during the surgery. After your pet is under sedation, the vet will make a small incision slightly above her cervix. At this point tissues and vessels will be tied off so bleeding is lessened. The ovaries and uterus will then be removed and the incision will be closed. Depending on your vet, skin staples, absorbable sutures or stitches may be used. Your vet will inform you when you should bring your pet back in to have them removed. This may be anywhere from 10 to 14 days after the procedure.

Practices regarding when you can take your pet home vary from one vet to the next and may also depend on your pet. Some vets allow you to take your pet home the same day as the procedure while other vets may prefer to keep her overnight. Either way, you need to make sure you kept your pet is kept quiet and relatively activity free right after she is first brought home.

Generally, you can expect for your pet to recovery from the procedure fairly quickly. Many may rest for a day or so and then return back to normal. While normally active pets may wish to return to their active lifestyles right away it is a good idea to make sure they do not become too active too soon as this could cause complications such as bleeding. If you notice any problems after bringing your pet home, do be sure to check with your vet immediately; particularly if you notice bleeding or if your pet seems to be in any undue amount of pain.
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