What is a "spay" surgery ?
A spay procedure, or more accurately, an ovariohysterectomy, is the surgery performed on female pets to
accomplish reproductive sterility. The surgery involves the complete removal of both the ovaries and uterus.
Your pet will no longer experience "heat cycles", nor will she be able to become pregnant. Research also
suggests that spayed females may be less susceptible to mammary (breast) tumors later in life.
What is a "neuter" surgery ?
A neuter procedure, technically know as an orchidectomy, is the surgery performed on male pets to
accomplish reproductive sterility. This surgery involves the complete removal of both testicles. This surgery
renders your male pet incapable of producing a pregnancy and should decrease roaming/aggressive
behaviors if done early in their life. Research has also suggested that neutered males may have decreased
chances for prostate problems later in life.
Why should I get my pet spayed or neutered?
Pet overpopulation is a major problem everywhere. Visit a local animal shelter to view first hand the rampant
problem of reproduction gone wild. The numbers of unwanted puppies and kittens in these facilities is
nothing short of staggering. Spaying and neutering is an effort to decrease the numbers of reproducing
individuals in the general pet population. In reality, it is a larger war that will probably never be won, but
reponsible pet owners can do their part to help in the local battles.
Additionally, there are positive behavioral side effects as well as potential health benefits from spaying and
neutering your pets.
At what age should I get my pet spayed or neutered ?
These surgeries can be performed on pets of any age. For new puppy or kitten owners, we suggest spaying
and neutering at about 10 weeks of age.
Are there any risks I should know about ?
Any anesthesia or surgical procedure carries with it some degree of risk of complications, or in rare instances,
even death. We strive to minimize the risks associated with these procedures. These surgeries are the most
common procedures we perform, and our experience has shown that the risk for complications is low. For
more information regarding anesthesia at the Alpine Veterinary Clinic, please click here.
I heard it was good to let a female have a heat cycle before you get her spayed?
No, there is no scientific evidence to support that claim. In fact, research has suggested that if a female goes
through a heat cycle, she may be more prone to mammary tumors later in life.
My pet is scheduled for surgery, what do I need to do?
Don't forget to withhold food the night before your pets scheduled surgery, (and) no food the morning of
surgery either. Your pet may continue to drink water. Drop off your pet at the clinic before 9:00 AM if possible,
because all surgeries are performed late mornings at our clinic.
When can I pick up my pet after surgery?
In general, all dog neuters will go home late afternoon, the day of surgery. Dog spays and all cat surgeries
will stay overnight with us, and be discharged the following day.