Coventry Animal Hospital Debunk the Myths about Spaying and Neutering

By September 5, 2014Small Animal


A neuter is a procedure in which the testes of a cat or dog are surgically removed.  It is also known as castration or orchiectomy.  A spay is a procedure in which both ovaries and the uterus are surgically removed.  It is also known as ovariohysterectomy.  Both spaying and neutering are performed on patients under general anesthesia.  There will be a surgical incision and a post-operative recovery time.  See feline spay, canine spay, feline neuter, canine neuter for the surgical procedures.  These surgical procedures sterilize cats and dogs so that they can no longer reproduce and female pets cannot come into heat.

What are the benefits of neutering my male cat at 6 months of age?

Neutering your male cat at 6 months old will prevent him from getting a female cat pregnant.  He may become more gentle and affectionate.  Neutering will decrease his chances of roaming and getting into fights with other animals, as well as urine spraying marking behavior.  It also decreases his risk of getting cancer of the testicles or prostate later in life.

Should I allow my female cat to have a litter of kittens before her spay surgery?

When your cat is 6 months old, we recommend having her spayed.  Allowing your cat to have a litter of kittens would contribute to the problem of pet over-population.  Spaying a cat at this young age will prevent her from going into heat (see our cat heat cycle blog), may make your cat more gentle and affectionate, decrease her risk of mammary cancer later in life, prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and prevent cancer of the uterus or ovaries.

What are the benefits of neutering my male dog at 6 months of age?

Neutering your dog at 6 months old would prevent his need to mark his territory and urinate throughout the house.  Neutered pets are easier to get along with and are more gentle and affectionate because they don’t have the desire to roam and find a mate.  Neutering your dog will prevent certain health issues such as prostatic enlargement and decrease its risk of developing testicular or prostatic cancer.

What are the benefits of spaying my female dog at 6 months of age?rsz_karen_mcdowell_rocky_iphone_image_48a824

Spaying female pets prevents the over-population of pets.  When a female dog goes into heat she has a bloody discharge for several days.  Without the proper protective care, the discharge can stain sofas, bedding and carpets.  Please check out our dog heat cycle blog.  Spayed pets are easier to get along with and tend to be more gentle and affectionate because they are not prone to the instinct of wanting to seek a mate.  Spaying a female dog at a young age significantly lowers her chance of developing mammary and ovarian cancer and pyometra.

Is it too late to neuter/spay my older pet?

After approximately 2 years of age, hormone-based behaviours such as urine marking, mounting or dominance may become hard-wired into the pet’s brain.  The medical benefits of sterilization surgery are still present; however, behaviors that have become a part of your pet’s personality may take dedicated time and training to overcome.  Providing your older pet is healthy at its physical exam and has normal pre-anesthetic bloodwork, it is a good surgical candidates regardless of its age.

Should I wait until my male dog is over a year old to neuter him so that he can develop masculine features?

There has been research in large-breed dogs that suggests waiting until a male dog is done growing may have a protective effect on limbs.  It may be linked to a reduced risk of ruptured cruciate (knee) ligaments and bone cancer later in life.  Please consult your veterinarian.

Will spaying/neutering my pet cause them to get fat?

Within days of sterilization surgery, your pet’s metabolism will slow down by approximately 30%.  This means that its caloric intake will need to be adjusted in order to maintain it at an ideal body weight.

How long would my cat or dog be in the hospital after her spay?

Here at Coventry Animal Hospital patients stay in the clinic for the first night following their spay.  This allows your pet to rest comfortably in a quiet kennel with a bed, food and water.  The veterinary staff can do a full examination on your pet in the morning after surgery and administer any pain medications necessary.

How long would my cat or dog be in the hospital after his neuter?rsz_1alysha_ford_rio_coventry

Here at Coventry Animal Hospital, your cat or dog would stay in the clinic for the day.  He would come to the clinic in the morning. The surgical procedure would be done in the morning and after he is recovered, gone to the washroom and eaten his lunch, he can go home in the late afternoon.

What’s the difference between spaying in a hospital and spaying in a low cost spay/neuter facility?

Low cost spay/neuter facilities operate on a tight budget to provide a low cost service.  A full service veterinary clinic such as Coventry Animal Hospital, has a Registered Veterinary Technician monitoring anesthesia throughout the surgical procedure, anesthetic monitoring equipment (pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor and respiratory  monitor), safer anesthetics, less reactive suture material, intravenous fluid therapy, all day patient observation before and after surgery, as well as individual attention to each patient.  A full service hospital staff member follows up with their post-op patients to address any complications early on should they arise. Staff also ensure patients are comfortable. A post-op surgical recheck is included to ensure that your pet can safely resume its regular activities.

If you have questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet, we at Coventry Animal Hospital would be happy to address them.