The recommended age to spay/neuter a dog or cat is between 4-6 months of age. It is important to spay before their first heat cycle, which typically occurs between the ages of 8-10 months, although we sometimes see them go into heat as early as 6 months. If we can perform the procedure before their first heat, we can reduce the chance of mammary cancer later in life by approximately 70%. For males, it is important to know if both testicles have descended prior neutering as this can alter our recommendations for a routine neuter.
We strongly recommend pre-anesthetic blood work to evaluate white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and liver/kidney function. We expect these values to be within normal limits for a young puppy or kitten, however, there can be underlying conditions that would change our protocol. We want to be sure that your pet is a good anesthetic candidate and will be able to metabolize the anesthesia. Please schedule an appointment ahead of time to have this blood work performed, or it can be performed the day of the procedure.
Spay/neuter procedures are usually routine, however, these are invasive surgeries and are not without pain and discomfort. We strongly recommend pain medications post operatively so your pet is not uncomfortable at home and can rest during recovery. It will be important to keep your pet quiet and resting 1-2 weeks post op, though most animals are feeling more like themselves after the first 2-3 days after the procedure. It is imperative that they not lick or chew at their incision sites, which can be easily prevented with Elizabethan collars.
Please keep in mind that while your pet is under anesthesia, we can also perform their microchip procedure. If you have further questions or more specific concerns regarding spaying/neutering, please don't hesitate to call us and discuss this with the doctor. It may also be informative to research the laws regarding spaying/neutering your pets in your county.