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Spay & Neuter FAQs

What is the recommended age to spay or neuter a dog or cat?

Most dogs and cats can undergo sterilization once they reach 12 weeks (or 3 months) of age. While some veterinarians may suggest waiting until 6 months or a bit later for larger dog breeds, it is generally advised to have the procedure done while they are still young. For female pets, it is recommended to spay them before their first heat cycle. Please consult your veterinarian about the best age to spay or neuter your dog or cat. 

Is there a specific age considered "too old" to spay/neuter a dog or cat?

While it is generally preferred to perform sterilization procedures when dogs and cats are younger, some clinics may have age limits due to the potential risks associated with surgery in older animals. However, in healthy cats and dogs, sterilization can typically be done well into their senior years. For unspayed female dogs aged 8 years or older, there is an increased risk of cancer (which grows with each heat cycle that doesn't result in pregnancy). In such cases, a veterinarian might request additional blood work before proceeding with a spay.  Please consult your veterinarian about the upper age limit to spay or neuter your dog or cat. 

What are the indications that a cat or dog is in heat, and can they undergo spaying during this time?

Signs of a cat or dog being in heat include behaviors such as increased vocalization, restlessness, and seeking attention from male animals. While it is possible to spay them while they are in heat, it's important to note that there may be additional fees involved, and there is a heightened risk of bleeding due to engorged blood vessels.

It's essential to understand that spaying a female pet while she is in heat will not immediately eliminate the behaviors associated with being in heat. Therefore, it is crucial to keep them separated from male animals until the heat cycle has subsided, even after the surgery has been performed. Please consult your veterinarian about whether your dog or cat is in heat. 

Is it possible to spay a pregnant dog or cat?

Yes, it is possible to spay both dogs and cats while they are pregnant. However, it's important to note that there may be additional fees associated with the procedure due to the complexity of the surgery and the need for a larger incision. This larger incision can lead to increased discomfort during the post-operative period.

While many veterinarians are willing to perform spaying on pregnant animals, it's crucial to be aware that some pregnant dogs or cats may still exhibit behaviors such as lactating or nesting even after the spay procedure has been completed. Please consult your veterinarian about how your animal's pregnancy might affect their surgical procedure

What is the recommended waiting period for spaying a dog or cat after giving birth?

As a general guideline, it is advisable to wait approximately two weeks after the puppies or kittens have been weaned before proceeding with the spaying procedure. This waiting period allows the mother to recover from the birthing process and ensures that the young ones have transitioned to independent feeding.

In total, for most dogs and cats, the waiting period from giving birth to spaying can range from 3 to 4 months, considering the time required for weaning and the subsequent recovery period for the mother. Please consult your veterinarian about the waiting period to spay or neuter your dog or cat after giving birth. 

What are the risks of getting spayed/neutered?

* Infection

* Complications due to anesthetic

* Self-inflicted complications

* Wound that hasn’t healed up correctly

* Scrotal cruising/swelling (males)

* Incontinence

* Hernias (females)

* Internal bleeding

* Ovarian remnants (females)

* Death (rare, only in extreme cases)

(Please consult your veterinarian about the possible risks of this surgical procedure.)

Thankful Calico Cat
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