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It Pays to Spay…and Neuter!

Spaying or neutering is one of the best things you can do for your pet’s health. At Vet Mobile Plus, we will discuss our specific recommendations for your pet. In general, we recommend spaying or neutering all pets who won’t be bred, but we appreciate that it can be a big decision for a pet owner.


Here are some things you should know about spaying and neutering that might help make the decision a bit easier.
The difference between spay and neuter

Spaying involves removing the uterus and ovaries of a female pet. Neutering involves removing a male pet’s testicles. In both cases, the purpose of these procedures is to sterilize pets so they can no longer reproduce.


Benefits of spaying and neutering

The biggest advantage to spaying/neutering your pet is that it reduces the risk of many health and behavioural issues.


Spaying will stop females from going into heat, having discharge, suffering from hormonal fluctuations that can cause medical and behavioural problems, and becoming pregnant. As a result, they avoid associated health complications, some of which can be life-threatening.


Neutering may help prevent aggression and reduce or eliminate undesirable behaviours such as fighting, mounting, marking (spraying urine), and escape attempts to find mates.


Risks of not spaying/neutering your pet

Dogs and cats that aren’t spayed or neutered are at higher risk for certain cancers. Removal of reproductive organs eliminates the risk of ovarian or testicular cancer, and dramatically lowers the risk of breast (mammary gland), and uterine cancer.


Intact (not spayed) female dogs and cats can also get pyometra, a life-threatening bacterial infection of the uterus. The procedure eliminates the chance of developing this potentially deadly condition.


Latest research on spaying/neutering

The veterinarians at Vet Mobile Plus stay aware of the latest research and are cautious about drawing broad conclusions that might oversimplify the considerations surrounding spay/neuter practices. This is why our recommendations are tailored for your specific pet.


If you’ve read this far and decided to spay/neuter your pet, here’s what to expect:


  • Before your cat or dog’s surgery appointment, we’ll tell you what time to start withholding food and water and any other pre-operative preparations.
  • Your pet will be assessed by the veterinarian the morning of their surgery, and if all is well, they will be given an injection that includes a light sedative (to help them relax) and pain medication.
  • Once relaxed, they will be anesthetized. We closely monitor all pets during their procedure to make sure their heart rate and breathing remain normal, and they stay safe and comfortable.
  • Neutering (removal of the testicles) is usually a quick procedure. Spaying takes a bit longer since it’s a more complicated abdominal surgery requiring removal of the uterus and ovaries (both of which are internal organs).
  • Once your pet’s procedure is complete, our veterinary team closely monitors them as they awaken from the anesthesia, to ensure they are safe and comfortable. We send most pets home the same day as their surgery, along with pain medication and clear instructions on how best to care for them as they recover.


Your pet’s first night at home following surgery

Besides keeping a close eye on your pet that first evening and night, here are some tips to help avoid complications and ensure a smooth recovery:

  • If your vet has recommended an Elizabethan collar (or other device designed to prevent your pet from bothering their incision), make sure it stays on. If you must remove the collar so your pet can eat, watch them the entire time to make sure they do not lick or chew the incision area.
  • Limit your pet’s activity as recommended. Some pets (especially female pets and older pets) may need to have their activity restricted for longer. Movement causes friction along the incision, which can slow the healing process and cause fluid swelling, or worse, breakdown (dehiscence) of the incision.
  • Keep your pet from rubbing the incision against furniture, the floor, or other surfaces.
  • Consider switching to a padded or inflatable collar if your pet is having trouble adapting to the Elizabethan collar (E-collar). Be aware that some pets, such as Dachshunds and other pets with long bodies, can physically get around these alternative recovery collars and reach their incisions. Some dogs or cats may also outsmart or chew through soft collars.


Debunking myths about spaying/neutering

While we’re at it, let’s clear up a few myths about spaying and neutering:

  • Spaying/neutering does not make pets fat. A pet’s metabolism may slow a bit after the procedure, but you can adjust for this by continuing to watch your pet’s food intake, cutting calories if needed, and making sure your pet gets enough exercise.
  • Neutering does not make male dogs less masculine.
  • Spaying or neutering will not change your pet’s natural instincts, intelligence, playfulness, or personality.


Spaying/neutering benefits you, your pet, and your community

Spaying or neutering benefits you and your pet by reducing your pet’s risk of certain diseases, reducing the risk of other health complications, and reducing undesirable behaviours. Your dog or cat will not only have a healthier life after the procedure, but they may even live longer!


Another benefit of spaying/neutering is preventing unwanted pets. We have stray pets and community cats in Montreal, so we urge you to do your part by making sure your pet won’t contribute to the homeless pet population.


Schedule an appointment with us today for your pet’s spay or neuter!


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