Pet parents with new puppies or kittens in their Santa Clarita homes may often wonder if they should have their companion neutered or spayed.Request Appointment
What does spaying and neutering mean?
Neutering and spaying both refer to the surgical sterilization of an animal while they are under general anesthesia.
The surgical process for female animals is referred to as spaying. The technical name for this procedure is actually an ovariohysterectomy. Spaying removes a female's reproductive organs.
Neutering, also known as orchiectomy, is the removal of the testicles from male pets and is generally considered a simpler surgery than a spay. The term neutering is also often used as a catch-all term to describe the desexing of either gender of pet.
Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Cats
There are 6 main benefits when considering spaying or neutering your cat:
- It may decrease the risk of mammary (breast) cancer.
- Neutered cats are less likely to stray from home.
- It curbs naughty behaviors, like spraying to mark territory.
- Your cat may become more affectionate.
- It reduces the risk of your cat contracting certain diseases.
- It decreases the risk of uterine infection in female cats.
Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Dogs
There are 5 main benefits to consider when thinking about neutering or spaying your dog:
- It reduces the mating urge.
- It reduces marking and spraying issues.
- It stabilizes the mood of the dog.
- It can reduce sexualized behaviors.
- It reduces the risk of prostate and other cancers.
Spaying & Neutering FAQs
- When should I have my pet spayed? What age?
Pet owners should make sure they speak to their vet to determine the best age to neuter or spay their dog or cat. There is some research, which indicates that it may best for your dog's long term health to wait until they finish puberty to spay or neuter them.
Often, veterinary professionals will recommend that female animals be spayed before their first heat, which can occur as young as at 5 months. However, there is increasing evidence that this is too young as the animals have not been allowed to fully develop and grow.
- What should I know about the recovery process for my pet?
SPAYING After a spay surgery, some clinics will want to keep your dog or cat overnight for monitoring. Others, however, may let her go home with you.
A good general rule for post-operative care is to restrict your pet's movement after a spay for 7-10 days.
NEUTERING After a neutering procedure, unless there any complications, your dog or cat will be able to go home with your the same day. Make sure you restrict their activity for a couple of days afterward.
For both procedures, we may send your pet home with a protective collar to keep it from licking the incision.
We typically book a follow-up visit to check on how well your pet has healed and to remove the stitches.
- Will my pet feel anything during the procedure?
No. Your pet will be under general anesthesia and won't feel anything over the course of the procedure.
- Will my pet gain weight after the procedure?
Your puppy or kitten's growth will not be changed after their spay or neuter. They will naturally gain some weight as they reach their full adult weight, but is not caused by the procedure.