The decision to have your pet sterilized can be a difficult one for some owners. To help alleviate your concerns, our veterinarians have organized this information explaining the benefits, risks, and the surgical procedure itself. We understand that you are placing the safety and health of your pet in our hands. We accept this responsibility and want to provide the best care available for your furry family members.
An ovariectomy is the complete surgical removal both ovaries, sometimes the uterus is removed as well, (ovariohysterectomy). If your pet has not been seen by one of our doctors in the past six months, a pre-anesthetic exam is required before surgery can begin. After arrival, pets are given a “pre-med” injection of sedatives and other medications to help relieve anxiety and stress, make recovery more smooth and reduce pain after the procedure. One or both front legs may have the hair shaved to make IV injections or catheter placement less traumatic. Pets are put under general anesthesia and an endotracheal tube is placed in the airway to protect it and to maintain gas anesthesia, exactly as is done in a human hospital. Hair is clipped from
the belly and the pet is moved into the surgery suite. There, the surgery site is sterilely scrubbed and prepped. An ECG is set up to monitor your pet's heart and devices are used to measure blood oxygen and CO2 to monitor lung function. After being placed on a thermal support pad, an incision is made into the skin on her abdomen, just below the belly button. The ovaries are then located inside the abdomen, tied off with suture to prevent bleeding, and removed. A long acting local anesthetic is applied to the excision site to help with post operative pain management. The incision is closed with absorbable suture in three separate layers and a small amount of dye is placed on the skin to identify that she has been spayed. Pain medications are administered and a bandage is applied over her incision site. You will be called once she is moved into recovery and is awake enough for her endotracheal tube to be removed. She will recover in an ICU cage and be monitored closely. You will be able to pick her up when she is fully recovered from anesthesia, usually mid to late afternoon.
There are many benefits to having your cat or dog spayed. We recommend that all pets be spayed if you are not planning on breeding them. Benefits of surgery include:
1. No heat cycle - You will not have to isolate your pet for a period of time during her heat cycle. Your dog will not require “panties” to minimize the mess caused by bleeding during the heat cycle. In addition, you and your pet will not have to endure behavior changes typically accompanying the heat cycle. This can be especially severe in cats.
2. No unplanned pregnancy - Many intact females, even those kept inside, will often be bred accidently. Complications and expenses arising from unplanned pregnancy can be avoided entirely. There will also be no “false pregnancies” with associated behavioral changes and development of mammary tissue and milk.
3. Decreased risk of mammary cancer - We do see breast cancer in our pets. The risk of this disease is eliminated almost entirely if your pet is spayed prior to the first heat cycle and significantly decreased if the surgery is done before the third heat cycle.
4. Eliminated risk of ovarian/uterine disease - The ovaries are removed during surgery, therefore eliminating the risk of ovarian cysts or cancer. Spaying also significantly decreases the risk of developing a pyometra, which is an infected uterus which can be life-threatening and requires immediate and involved treatment.
Although spay/neuter surgeries are considered routine, they are still major surgery. As with any surgery and anesthesia episode, there are risks involved. At the Interstate Animal Clinic, we use the latest in drug protocols, anesthesia monitoring, and surgical technique to minimize the risks. Risks associated with the surgery include:
1. Anesthesia complications - Although most pets undergoing sterilization surgery are young, we still recommend pre-anesthetic blood work to identify any underlying medical condition that would increase the risk of anesthesia and surgery. We also recommend an IV catheter and fluids to provide us access to the bloodstream and help maintain blood pressure should a problem occur.
2. Infection - An ovario/hysterectomy requires that the abdominal cavity be opened. This introduces the risk of infection. We only perform this surgery under strict sterile surgical conditions to reduce this risk.
3. Bleeding - Bleeding can occur during and after the procedure for a number of reasons. We offer, as part of the preanesthetic blood work options, a test to help assess clotting ability. Additionally, we monitor the pet closely during and after surgery for any bleeding. You will be contacted immediately should a problem arise.
4. Dehiscence - (opening of the incision) Because the abdomen is opened during the procedure, it is extremely important that the pet remain quiet during her recuperation and not be allowed to chew or lick at the incision site. If the incision closure is overly stressed with chewing or licking or exercise, it can open up. This is a life-threatening situation and requires immediate attention.
A successful surgery, with no complications, requires the cooperation of both the veterinary staff and the owner. Our clinic strives to provide the best care available before, during, and after surgery for your pet. We do need your help to provide this level of care. Instructions for your pet will include:
1. Do not feed your pet after 9:00 p.m. the night before surgery. She can continue to have water throughout the night.
2. Have your pet at our office no later than 8:30 the morning of surgery. We do our surgeries early to allow us to monitor their recovery all day.
3. Thoroughly consider our surgical options - pre-anesthetic blood work, blood clotting profile, laser surgery, and fluids.
4. Thoroughly complete the surgical check-in form, including leaving us a phone number where you can be reached throughout the day.
5. Keep your pet warm and dry after surgery. It is recommended that all pets be kept inside for a minimum of 24 hours after surgery.
6. Do not allow your pet to lick, chew, run, jump, or otherwise put stress of the abdominal incision. She may need to be crated or wear a cone collar to prevent this. Outside activity should be restricted to leash walking. Caution should be exercised for 1 week after surgery.
Our doctors and staff have organized this site to answer any questions you may have concerning your pet’s surgery. However, if you have other questions, please call.
Thank you for entrusting the doctors and staff of the Interstate Animal Clinic with the well-being of your pet.
Minimum Standard included in all Spay surgeries to provide immediate access for fluids or response to ansesthetic emergencies.
using state of the art equipment and gas anesthesia
Sometimes the uterus will be removed as well if there is any question regarding it's current or future health.
To ensure that each pet recovers smoothly from surgery and anesthesia.
Pain control is started with a long acting local anesthetic during surgery then continued afterwards using a combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents and primary pain medication completing a comprehensive "multi-modal" pain management protocol.
A comprehensive physical exam in required to ensure that your pet has no overt evidence of underlying problems that might jeoporadize their heath during the anesthesia, surgical or post surgical period.
Includes Pre-Anesthetic Bloodwork, Anesthetic Fluids, and Laser Surgery - save 15% when you bundle all three together!
Help reduce the risk of anesthetic complications by checking "under the hood". Blood work helps us evaluate your pet's liver, kidneys, electrolytes, as well as check for diabetes, anemia and underlying infections prior to subjecting them to anesthesia and surgery.
Maintaing your pet on fluids during the procedure helps stabalize their blood pressure, flush anesthetic drugs from the system and provides a more rapid response time if anesthetic complications develop.
CO2 laser surgery helps seal vessels and nerve endings as they are cut helping to reduce bleeding and post operative pain.
Assessing your pet's blood clotting function can help reduce the risk of post operative bleeding from inherited bleeding disorders since many pets being spayed are young dogs who are having surgery for the first time.
Save 20% by having your pet microchipped while under anesthesia. We strongly recommend microchiping your pet as it is the best tool for getting your pet home if it is ever lost. Microchips cannot be lost like collars or tags. Using a handheld scanner, chips can be read and identified by shelter or veterinary personnel to retrieve an individualized number which can be registered and traced back to you. We do offer a discount for doing microchips while patients are under anesthesia so while it is best to get your pet chipped before you take them home, waiting till they get spayed or neutered will save a few dollars.
Is your pet anxious by having their nails trimmed? Take advantage of having them trimmed while under anesthesia and save $25%.
While already under anesthesia for surgery, your pet may be able to have a declaw procedure done saving $50 as a package discount off of the combined price of the two procedures.
While already under anesthesia for surgery, your pet may be able to have a dental done (typically pets three years of age or older). This will add $60 - $120 depending on the severity of your pet's teeth. Dental radiographs and extractions are not included in that price and will be discussed by the doctor with you if needed.