Spaying your Pet: What can you expect?

By having your pet spayed you will be playing your part in preventing unwanted animal pregnancies.

 

Advantages of spaying

  • Prevent unwanted pregnancies
  • Will no longer come “on-heat”
  • Prevention of pyometra
  • Prevention of false pregnancies
  • Less chance of developing potentially malignant mammary cancer

 

What happens at Valley Farm when you bring your pet in to be spayed?

After admittance to hospital your pet under goes a general health examination, then she is premedicated for anaesthesia with a sedative and painkiller.

 

A short acting anaesthetic is then injected intravenously to allow an endotracheal tube to be inserted into the pet’s airway for oxygen and gas anaesthetic. The anaesthetic is maintained with gas anaesthetic mixed with oxygen, this is very controllable and safe.

 

Preparation of the operation site is done by a nurse while the vet scrubs and dresses for surgery. The belly area is shaved, the bladder is emptied and a surgical disinfectant is used to prepare the operation site. The anaesthetised patient is placed on her back on the operating table and sterile drapes are placed to cover her whole body except for the operation site.

 

During the operation the anaesthetic is closely monitored by an anaesthetist or nurse, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen levels in the bloodstream are all measured. The incision for a sterilisation is just behind the belly button and is kept as small as possible. The uterus is Y shaped, with the ovaries at the end of the arms of the Y and the cervix at the base. The entire uterus with ovaries attached is tied off using a dissolving suture material and removed (ovarieohysterectomy), ensuring absolutely no reproductive potential is retained. We then check for any bleeding and proceed to suture close the operation wound. The muscle layer is closed first, followed by the skin.

 

Reproductive system of the Female Dog

 

The skin stitches are all that you will see and should cause your pet very little discomfort. Time elapsed from start of surgery to the last stitch that closes the incision is on average 15-20 minutes. Some patients particularly dogs that are overweight or on heat may take slightly longer, but most are completed within 30 minutes. Pets are usually discharged the same day of the surgery.

 

 

 Things you will have to do for your pet when she gets home:

  • After a general anaesthesia a few pets are a little disoriented and unstable, and a very small percentage may be nauseous. They might cough or gag a little for a day or two due to the anaesthetic tube that is placed.
  • Even though your pet may look 100% fine, she has been though major surgery, and should be allowed to rest and recuperate.
  • Dogs can have short ON LEAD walks from day two but no rough play, no running, no jumping for at least one week after the surgery.
  • Cats should be confined in the house for at least 5 days after surgery with no jumping for the first 48-hours.
  • The wound should be clean with no redness, the stitches must be removed 10-14 days after the operation as they will not dissolve.
  • Excessive licking of the wound will irritate it. If your pet does this, please contact us at the hospital for advice.

 

Sometimes spayed pets are a little more prone to weight gain after being spayed. This is very easy to manage with diet and exercise, all our VFAH staff can also advise you.

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