Spaying and neutering
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Why do I need to spay or neuter my pet?
Spaying and neutering have a number of health and behavioural benefits for your pet, and they can help keep the homeless cat and dog populations at bay. Spaying at a young age has been shown to reduce breast cancer and uterine infections, and it eliminates heat cycles in female pets.
Neutering prevents testicular cancer and may prevent some prostate diseases. Both spaying and neutering may also help prevent aggression, spraying, roaming, and other hormone-driven behaviours.
When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?
For most dogs, spaying and neutering between 6 and 9 months of age is ideal. For large or giant breed dogs, it’s best to wait until they’re a little older so their bones can fully mature.
For cats, both spays and neuters should be performed around 6 months of age.
While it’s possible to spay/neuter too early, it’s never too late. If you have an older pet who isn’t spayed/neutered, we can discuss the best timing at your wellness exam.
What are the risks of spaying or neutering my pet?
Just like any type of surgery, there are small risks. However, spaying and neutering are routine surgeries, with very high safety and success rates. Our veterinarians will also conduct pre-operative tests before the surgery to ensure your pet is healthy and a good candidate for anasthesia.
What can I expect when my pet is spayed or neutered?
Before your pet is spayed or neutered, we’ll see them for a pre-operative appointment to discuss the procedure and check their health. This will include a physical exam plus some bloodwork to make sure your pet is healthy for surgery.
The night before your pet’s surgery, you’ll need to avoid feeding them from midnight onwards, but you can keep providing water until the morning of. Make sure everyone in your household is aware, so no-
one accidentally gives them breakfast!
You’ll drop your pet off with us in the morning and leave them at the clinic until the procedure is complete, and they’ve recovered from the anesthesia. We’ll send you updates throughout the day to let you know when it’s time to pick them up.
How should I care for my pet after their spay or neuter?
Most pets recover relatively quickly from a spay or neuter. A little drowsiness and some post-anesthesia anxiety or fussiness is normal. Some pets may want to play again the same day, but they should be kept calm to help them recover. Dogs should only take short, leashed walks to relieve themselves. Our vets will advise on the exact recovery timeframe for your pet.
If you can, restrict your pet to a quiet room or area where they can’t run or jump. If you’re crating your dog, make sure their bedding is clean and dry to prevent the risk of infection. Cats should have a clean litter tray nearby and you should remove any toys that encourage lots of play. Chew toys and food puzzle toys can be helpful distractions. We may prescribe a medication to help your pet stay calm while they recover.
If necessary, we’ll send your pet home with pain medication to keep them comfortable, and an E-collar (an Elizabethan collar) to prevent them from licking, chewing, or irritating the surgical site.
For any procedures requiring anesthesia, we’ll schedule a complimentary post-op exam within 10-14 days. We want to make sure your pet’s healing well and, if needed, remove their stitches.
Does my pet need a pre-op appointment?
Yes. It’s important for our vets to examine your pet before they undergo surgery. At your pet’s pre-op appointment we’ll do a physical exam, plus some bloodwork to make sure they’re in good health and that it's safe for them to undergo anesthesia.
Is spaying or neutering painful?
Because we use anesthesia, your pet’s surgical procedure will be as pain-free as possible. We also use injectable pain medications and local anesthetic wherever necessary. After your pet’s procedure, we’ll send you home with pain medication to keep them comfortable.
Will my pet stop urine-marking, or be less aggressive if I spay/neuter them?
While spaying and neutering often fix these issues, some pets may still continue to urine-mark or show aggression if these are learned behaviours. Our vets can provide behavioural counselling, teach you how to discourage these behaviours, and recommend a good trainer to help.
Should I wait until my female pet has been in heat to spay her?
For small dogs and cats, there’s no evidence that waiting for a heat cycle has any benefit. For larger dogs, it’s best to wait until they’re older so they can grow and develop properly.
Can I spay my female pet while she’s in heat?
For dogs, we recommend holding off for two months after they finish their heat because spaying during heat significantly increases the risk of bleeding during surgery. Cats can sometimes be spayed while in heat, but it is safest to be spayed before they do.
What are the signs of my pet being in heat?
Your female pet’s vulva may look swollen and larger than normal. They may experience bloody discharge from their vulva and more frequent urination. They may also be more restless and vocal, and be more interested in male pets—especially un-neutered ones.
My pet just gave birth. How long should I wait before spaying her?
It’s best to wait two months after puppies or kittens have been weaned before spaying your pet.
Can other surgical procedures be done at the same time as a spay or neuter?
Yes, some surgical procedures can be done at the same time as a spay or neuter; it’s always nice to avoid your pet having to undergo anesthesia twice! What surgery depends entirely on the procedure and its complexity. In certain circumstances, it may be better for your pet to undergo the surgeries at different times. Our vets can make a recommendation for your pet in a pre-operative appointment.
How should I care for my pet’s incision?
While you don’t need to clean their incision, you should monitor it for any swelling or discharge. If you have any concerns, send a picture to the Juno virtual care team. It’s also important for your pet to wear their E-collar, surgical pyjamas, or other protection at all times until their stitches are removed. If your pet can lick their stitches, they’re at risk for infection.
Can I give my pet a bath or let them go swimming during recovery?
No. Swimming or bathing aren’t safe until your pet’s incision is completely healed. We recommend keeping your pet inside as much as possible to avoid dirt, soap, and water from causing an infection. If you think your pet may need a bath during recovery, initiate a virtual care chat for a second opinion before proceeding.
How much will it cost to spay or neuter my pet?
Surgery costs will vary depending on your pet’s sex, weight, health, and other factors. Price transparency is important to us, so you’ll know the total cost of the procedure upfront, every time. Contact us any time if you have questions about pricing.