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Dog Spaying and Neutering - What to Know About Dog Spaying and Neutering

What is the difference between dog spaying and neutering?

Dog spaying is something that we do to our female dogs. Another word for spaying would be an ovariohysterectomy—the surgical procedure that we perform. Male dogs get neutered, or castrated would be the other term for that.


Dr. Cason McInturff
Berry Farms Animal Hospital - Cupola Animal Hospitals

How does dog spaying or neutering impact the health and wellbeing of my pet?

We know that if our dogs are not going to be used for reproductive purposes long term, it is best to go ahead and get them spayed or neutered. There are some slight variations in that, depending on the breed or type of dog, but generally speaking, if our dogs are not going to be reproductive, it is best to go ahead and get them spayed or neutered.

How soon should I bring my pet in to see you to get my dog spayed or neutered?

Typically, what we'll do is talk about the best timing for your pet, again, depending on the type, the breed, when you come in for puppy vaccines. We vaccinate our dogs over a series of times early on to help build their immune system, and during that time period, we'll come up with the best timing for getting the spay or neuter procedure done. Some smaller breed dogs may be earlier on; some larger breed dogs we might wait up to even two years in some situations before we get them spayed or neutered.

What are some possible conditions that can be helped by spaying or neutering my dog?

That's a critical question. We know that in our female dogs, for those that are going to get spayed, their chances of getting certain cancers later in life increase dramatically based on them being intact or spayed. We know that when female dogs go through one heat cycle, their possibilities of getting certain mammary tumors later increase a little bit, but once they go through two heat cycles, it increases dramatically or exponentially. We want to help prevent those mammary cancers. We also know that our older intact female dogs, those that haven't been fixed, are prone to getting severe life-threatening infections in their reproductive tract as well. In terms of our male dogs, certain cancers can be prevented by neutering them.

Again, we know that every situation is a little bit different in terms of that timing, but we'll work with you to come up with the best plan for your pet.

What will my vet need to know about my dog before spaying or neutering?

Before we spay or neuter our pets, we tend to get pre-anesthetic blood work because general anesthesia is required when we do spay and neuter. A spay is an invasive surgery, as well as a neuter. We get pre-anesthetic blood work to make sure that all their organs are functioning appropriately and handle the anesthesia like we want them to.

How long will it take for my dog to recover from being spayed or neutered?

Typically, our dogs bounce back pretty quickly. Our male dogs tend to bounce back right after this outpatient procedure, so you drop them off at the hospital in the morning, and then they go home with you later that evening. Sometimes they're a little bit sleepy that night after being under anesthesia, but they tend to have pretty good energy the next day and are feeling good again. Now, we ask that you minimize certain activities and overexertion because there is tissue healing occurring during those first two weeks after the procedure. During the first two weeks, the tissues start to heal back together, so that's the most critical period. The biggest job for you as a pet owner is to keep an eye on that surgical incision to make sure that it doesn't look irritated, that the dog isn’t excessively irritating the surgical site, and also to make sure they're not jumping up on the couch to watch TV with you and affecting that surgical area. Generally, it's a pretty quick recovery, though.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 224-7776, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

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