What is surgical altering?
During surgical altering, a veterinarian removes certain reproductive organs. If your cat or dog is a female, the veterinarian will remove her ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. The medical name for this operation is an ovariohysterectomy, although it is commonly called “spaying.” If your pet is a male, the testicles are removed and the operation is called an orchiectomy, or “neutering.”

While both spaying and neutering are major surgical procedures, they are also the most common surgeries performed by veterinarians on cats and dogs. Before the operation, your pet will be given a thorough physical examination to ensure that your pet is in good health. General anesthesia will be administered before the surgery making the procedure non-painful. Additional bloodwork may be recommended. After the operation, you will be asked to keep your pet calm and quiet for a few days until the incision begins to heal.

Why should I have my pet neutered?
Animal shelters, both public and private, are faced with an incredible burden: What to do with the overpopulation of dogs and cats that they cannot find homes for? The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that between 6 and 8 MILLION pets enter animal shelters each year. Of these pets, the HSUS believes that at least half – 3 to 4 million- are euthanized, due to the sheer fact that there are not enough willing adopters. Many of these animals are young and healthy. Having your pet spayed or neutered ensures that you will not be adding to this tremendous burden.

What are some of the health and behavioral benefits?
Through spaying or neutering, you can help your dog or cat live a happier, healthier, longer life. Spaying eliminates the constant crying and nervous pacing of a female cat in heat. Spaying a female dog also eliminates the messiness associated with the heat cycle. Neutering of male dogs and cats can prevent certain undesirable sexual behaviors, such as urine marking, humping, male aggression and the urge to roam. If you have more than one pet in your household, all the pets will generally get along better if they are neutered. A long-term benefit of spaying and neutering is improved health for both cats and dogs. Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle nearly eliminates the risk of breast cancer and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer. Neutering males prevents testicular cancer and greatly reduces their risk for perianal tumors.

What is the best age to spay or neuter my pet?
A dog or cat can be surgically altered at almost any age. Our veterinarians at Animal Medical Center can advise you on the most appropriate time for your particular pet based upon its age and physical condition.

Will the surgery affect my pet’s disposition or metabolism?
The procedure has no effect on a pet’s intelligence or ability to learn, play, work or hunt. Most pets tend to be better behaved following the operation, making them more desirable companions. Contrary to popular belief, the surgery will not make your pet fat. A balanced diet and exercise will keep your pet from experiencing the health risks associated with obesity. Ask our staff at AMC to advise you on the best diet and exercise plan for your pet for each stage of his or her life.

Is the expense for the surgery really worth it?
Yes! This is a one-time expense that can dramatically improve your pet’s quality of life. If you are still uncertain whether or not to proceed with the surgery, consider the expense to society of collecting and caring for all the unwanted, abused, or abandoned animals being housed in shelters, most with little chance of finding permanent homes.

Having your pet spayed or neutered is a part of responsible pet ownership and an important investment in your pet’s long-term good health.

Let’s do our part to reduce unwanted litters and shelter pets in Lee County. We have dramatically decreased our pricing for Neuters and Spays to help our community and you. Give us a call at (239)369-0555 for more information and to make an appointment to have your pet spayed or neutered.