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more surgery faq's

Will the surgery affect my pet’s personality?

Although it can help with certain behavioral problems, in most cases, the surgery has little effect on the pet’s overall temperament. Do not expect it to “calm down” a hyper dog, or make a mean dog nice.

Will my dog get fat & lazy if I do the surgery?

It is true that spaying and neutering will cause some pets’ metabolism to slow down, which can lead to obesity if their diets are not adjusted. This simply means watching your pet’s weight and cutting back on food if they start to get heavy. Most pets that are spayed and neutered are just as active and playful after the procedure as they were before.

I may want to breed my dog. Can I have the surgery done later?

Yes. Middle-aged, healthy dogs, are not too old to be spayed or neutered. However, make sure you have done the research ahead of time to understand the commitment and responsibility involved in breeding your dog.

What is involved in the surgery?

For females, the surgery is called ovariohysterectomy. This means that the ovaries and uterus are removed through an incision in the belly. Males are castrated, meaning that their testicles are removed through a small incision in front of the scrotum. The dog stays overnight in the hospital, then goes home with you the following day. You need to keep your dog quiet for several days after the surgery to prevent the incision from opening. You will also need to check the incision a few times daily. You will be given detailed instructions when your pet is discharged.

Does my pet have to be fasted prior to the surgery?

Yes, dogs and cats should be fasted before anesthetic procedures. We recommend that food be withheld after 6:00 pm and water after 11:00pm the night prior. Food does not need to be withheld for small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils, chinchillas, ferrets and reptiles. These pets have higher metabolic rates and are unable to vomit, thus food and water should be available at all times.

Isn’t the surgery risky?

Although there is a small amount of risk with any surgery, only a very small percentage of dogs have any complications associated with the surgery. The vast majority of dogs tolerate the anesthetic and surgery very well and are back to normal within 1-2 days. We recommend performing a blood test prior to surgery to detect any internal problems, such as kidney or liver disease. An intravenous catheter and intravenous fluids are administered to maintain your pet’s blood pressure during the procedure. Anesthetic monitoring devices aid the Licensed Veterinary Technician in monitoring your pet during the procedure.

Why should I put my pet through it?

Female dogs that are not spayed have a 50% chance of developing mammary (breast) cancer. Some of them can be cured with surgery, but about half cannot. In addition, every time your female goes into heat, she is at risk of developing a life-threatening infection in her uterus called pyometra. Another risk is that of unwanted puppies; even females who never leave the yard can be impregnated by a persistent neighborhood dog that jumps the fence. All it takes is a few minutes! Male dogs that are not neutered can have a tendency to develop undesirable “male” behaviors such as urine marking in the house, and roaming. A dog that roams is more likely to be hit by a car, contract infectious diseases, or be stolen. Un-neutered males are at risk of developing an enlarged prostate, which may become infected, and cancerous tumors in the anal area.