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At Fullerton Animal Hospital in Baltimore, we strongly believe in spaying all of our female patients except purebreds owned for breeding purposes. Shelters and pounds in the U.S. destroy millions of animals each year, simply because they're unwanted. As a responsible pet owner, the best thing you can do to help this problem is to have your female dog or cat spayed. Pet owners bringing their furry friends in to be spayed naturally have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common we get:
Like with all other surgeries, animals recover better from spaying when they are young. Our veterinarian commonly performs the procedure on animals at eight or ten weeks, as long as the dog or cat weighs at least two pounds. That's not to say that older pets shouldn't be spayed. It's possible to safely spay dogs and cats at any age.
The most obvious reason for spaying is to prevent unwanted litters. Even the best-behaved dog or cat can escape and roam the neighborhood when they're in heat, and spaying prevents that problem. Other health reasons for spaying include the elimination of danger from ovarian and uterine cancer and removals of danger from breast cancer in most cases.
Spaying can cause behavioral changes due to a hormonal shift in your pet's body. It will be less aggressive, less likely to roam and more content to stay home. This may mean you'll have to encourage your pet to exercise more, but it's a myth that spaying automatically means your pet will put on weight.
We will anesthetize your pet to eliminate pain and complications during the procedure. Our vet will make an incision into the abdomen, right below the belly button. She'll completely remove both ovaries plus the uterus through this incision. The vet will put in two layers of dissolving sutures underneath the skin, then close the skin with skin glue or sutures.
A female can be spayed in 15 to 20 minutes, while a dog procedure can take anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes, depending on the size and breed of the dog.
Recovery from anesthesia can take up to 30 minutes before you can take your pet home. After that, it should recover fully in just a couple of days when the stitches heal.
Just like with surgery on humans, spay surgery recovery isn't pain-free. You can minimize the discomfort your animal experiences by trying to keep it calm and relaxed in the first few days after the procedure is done, and not letting it lick or scratch at the stitches.
At Fullerton Animal Hospital, we're open six days a week to care for your pets. When you're ready to have your dog or cat spayed, call our Baltimore office at 410-665-6996. We'll make an appointment to consult with our veterinarian staff and schedule the procedure after that.