The most common surgeries performed at Animal Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas are the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats. It is commonly an elective surgery performed on dogs and cats younger than a year old. This means that the surgery is done on a healthy animal. Below you will find information on the individual surgeries and important reasons to consider spaying or neutering your dog.
WHAT IS A DOG SPAY?
A dog spay is performed on a female dog. During a dog spay, or ovariohystorectomy, the veterinarian removes the ovaries and uterus usually
for the purpose of preventing pregnancy. Once the dog is anesthetized, an incision is made through the abdominal wall to expose the abdominal organs. The ovaries and the uterus are identified. Each ovary is removed first by excising the attachments and ligating the blood vessels with absorbable suture. Then the uterus is removed by making an incision through the uterine body wall near the cervix. This area is heavily sutured to prevent bleeding. Once all the reproductive organs are removed the muscles of the abdomen, subcutaneous tissue and the skin are sutured closed. A dog spay is invasive but also considered a routine surgery. Most dog’s undergoing a spay are healthy and recover quickly. The veterinary surgeons at Animal Medical Center usually take approximately 30-45 minutes to perform this procedure in uncomplicated cases. It may take longer when the dog is in heat, pregnant or over weight.
A dog neuter is the surgical removal of the testicles of a male dog normally for the purpose of breeding prevention. A dog neuter is also called a castration. In contrast to the dog spay, a neuter only requires a skin incision. The testicles are exposed through this incision made between the prepuce and scrotum. The vessels and ducts associated with the testicles are excised and absorbable suture is used to prevent bleeding. The skin incision is sutured with absorbable suture in the tissue just under the skin. There are no sutures visible once the dog neuter is complete. This helps decrease irritation so the dog will be less likely to lick the incision. Dog neuters are a routine procedure at Animal Medical Center and usually only take 20-30 minutes. The dog’s usually heal quickly if post operative instructions are followed.
WHY SPAY OR NEUTER MY DOG?
Below you will find an explanation of the many important reasons to consider spaying or neutering your dog.
- Overpopulation- When dogs are spayed and neutered, unwanted pregnancies are prevented. The overpopulation of animals is made evident by the many shelters and city pounds found throughout the country. This overpopulation leads to millions of animals being euthanized every year. According to AmericanHumane.org, 3.7 million animals are euthanized yearly. There are simply not enough pet owners to care for these animals. You may think pregnancy won’t happen to your dog. You may have a secure yard or your dog is mainly inside. Be forewarned, the dogs will find a way!! With our experience at Animal Medical Center, we have seen many times where responsible pet owners deal with unwanted pregnancies because they under estimate the power and lure of a dog in heat! In contrast, purebred owners may believe that purebred litters don’t contribute to the millions of animals euthanized each year. This is far from the truth. AmericanHumane.org reports that 25% of animals at shelters in the United States are purebred animals. By spaying or neutering your dog, you can do your part to help decrease the overpopulation of animals in this country and subsequent euthanasia.
- Disease prevention-It has been proven that spaying a female dog, especially before the first heat cycle, decreases the incident of certain types of cancers. In addition, a common and potentially fatal disease called pyometra is prevented by spaying. Pyometra is build up of purulent discharge in the uterus in response to hormone shifts. This disease makes the dog acutely and severly ill. The only treatment is to spay the sickly dog to try and safe her life. In males, testicular cancer is prevented by neutering. Also, prostate issues in older dogs sometimes develop when the dog is not neutered. These dogs are painful and have trouble urinating. The best treatment for these dogs is to neuter. Like the dogs with pyometra, we are forced to perform surgery on often older and ill dogs to save them. The veterinarians at Animal Medical Center would rather perform these procedures on younger, healthy dogs to prevent these problems.
- Behavioral advantages- Often certain behavioral problems can be prevented or lessened by performing these surgeries before the dogs reached sexual maturity. Female dogs start having heat cycles any time after 6 months of age. They usually bleed during these cycles for 2-3 weeks. The dogs can be depressed/ lethargic during these times. It is not uncommon for the females to develop the tendency to roam and break out of their yards in search of male dogs. Unneutered dogs are notorious for roaming as well. This unfortunately increases the risk of trauma and visits to the city pound. These dogs develop marking habits and sometimes start urinating in the house. Intact female and male dogs that have a tendency for aggression will at times worsen once the reproductive hormones rise. Aggression between dogs in the house will often worsen, resulting in fights and emergency visits to the veterinarian. Please keep in mind not all dogs will have the same behavioral improvement and benefits with spaying and neutering. In addition, once behavioral problems start, performing these surgeries doesn’t not always improve the problem.
AT WHAT AGE DO I SPAY OR NEUTER MY DOG?
While these surgeries can be done at any age, it is preferred to schedule them when the dog is between 6-12 months. The exact time depends on the size and breed of the dog. Larger breed dogs tend to have the surgery done at an older age. Your veterinarian at Animal Medical Center can recommend the best age for the surgery
WHAT CARE WILL BE NEEDED AFTER SURGERY?
With either surgery, the dog needs to be kept calm for 10-14 days. The dog needs to be restricted in his/her activity during this time. The incision needs to be checked daily for bleeding, discharge, redness, swelling and missing sutures. The dog can not lick the incision. Often times, an elizibethian collar will be sent home to prevent licking. If sutures are to be removed, this is usually done between 10-14 days. No baths are allowed until the sutures are removed. Please monitor for appetite changes, vomiting and diarrhea. Please call your veterinarian with any questions and if any problems arise.
HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY?
These surgeries are an outpatient procedure. We perform them Monday through Friday. The dogs are dropped off in the morning for the surgery. The dogs are usually ready to go home between 4-5pm. An appointment must be made for these surgeries.
Please call 806-794-4118 for a surgery appointment and pre-operative instructions.