Spaying Your Dog or Cat

Spaying your dog or cat is still by far the best way to prevent the frustrations and inconvenience of unwanted heat cycles, and help control the explosion of stray or unwanted pets.

At the Rannals Small Animal Hospital, we like to wait to spay or neuter your pet until they are six months old.  Contrary to common belief, they do not need to experience their first heat cycle to have the surgery.  After an appointment has been made, be sure to remove all food and water by bedtime the night before surgery. This helps prevent vomiting during anesthesia which can be dangerous. Allow us to “check in” the patient by 8:30 AM the morning of surgery. After a physical exam, your pet is given a general anesthetic, the type depending upon whether it’s a dog or cat, and it’s overall condition and size. Most of the drugs we use for anesthesia are very similar or even the same that are used in human medicine.  Then a monitoring device is attached to monitor heart rate and oxygen saturation in the blood. Surgery involves making an incision into the abdomen. The arteries supplying blood to the ovaries and uterus are isolated, ligated (tied off), then these structures are excised. The internal muscle is sutured with an absorbable suture product. Then, the skin is closed. Antibiotics are given as a precaution. We keep the patient overnight in the hospital to “sleep off” the sedation and anesthetic. The next day, the incision is rechecked, and the patient is discharged. After your pet returns home from the hospital, be careful to keep the pet from gulping too much water at first. This helps prevent upset stomach brought on by the excitement of returning home. Check the incision daily to see that the sutures are in place and there is no swelling or drainage. During this time, please try to keep the incision dry (no swimming or bathing). Ten to fourteen days after surgery, we will remove the sutures at no cost to you. Simply call and make an appointment. If you have any questions, please fell free to call at 903-839-7235. One phone call can often prevent worry and can stop a problem before it starts.