What is sterilization?
Sterilization refers to the surgical procedure of removing an animal’s reproductive organs. The recommended age of sterilization for dogs and cats is anytime after 6 months of age, upon reaching sexual maturity.
What is the pre-surgery procedure for sterilization?
A sterilization is a day procedure, patients need to be fasted the night prior. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, pre-anesthetic blood tests are performed on the day of surgery to obtain an accurate assessment of internal body function status.
What is the post-operative care for sterilization?
- The sterilization wound takes approximately 10-14 days to heal.
- The surgical site needs to be monitored daily for any abnormal discharge, swelling, redness or wound breakdown.
- Surgical wounds need to be cleaned topically twice daily.
- An Elizabethan collar (“Cone”) must be worn to prevent self-trauma to the surgical wound via licking or chewing.
- Exercise restriction and rest are important to facilitate wound healing. Short, controlled leash walks are recommended. Avoid strenuous activities such as running, jumping or stair climbing
A spay (Ovariohysterectomy) is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus in a female.
What are the benefits of Spaying Female Dogs and Cats?
- Reduces the risks of breast cancer (mammary tumors). Evidence has shown that spaying pets before the first heat has an almost 0% chance of developing breast cancer as compared to spaying pets after the first heat (7% chance) or second heat (25% chance). In patients with pre-existing breast cancer, removal of the ovaries helps to slow or stop the disease progression by eliminating the source of the estrogen hormone.
- Prevents the occurrence of pyometra (infection of the uterus).
Castration (Orchiectomy) is the surgical removal of the testicles in a male.
What are the benefits of castrating Male Dogs or Cats?
- Reduces undesirable behaviors such as dominance and territorial aggression, urine spraying and humping.
- Reduces the risks of hormonal related diseases such as prostate disease and perineal hernias.
- Prevents the occurrence of testicular diseases such as testicular cancer, torsion or infection.
Cryptorchid Surgery (undescended testicles) for Male Dogs and Cats
Cryptorchidism (Undescended Testicles) is a male birth defect in which the testicle(s) do not fully descend into the scrotum. The defect may be bilateral with both testicles undescended, or unilateral with only one testicle undescended.
Cryptorchidism is an inherited genetic trait, as such cryptorchid dogs or cats should never be used for breeding. If a testicle has not descended into the scrotum by 6 months of age, your dog or cat is likely a cryptorchid. The undescended testicle will be located either within the abdomen (abdominal cryptorchid) or within the groin (inguinal cryptorchid).
The incidence of testicular cancer and testicular torsion is higher in cryptorchid dogs or cats compared with normal dogs or cats. Castration is recommended for all cryptorchid male dogs or cats.