Feline Health Month

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Spayed and Neutered Pets live a healthier and longer life!

At Illiana Veterinary Hospital, we believe in the importance of spaying and neutering dogs and cats at 6 months old to help give them a long, and happy life. Spaying and neutering your pet will help reduce some behavioral as well as health problems such as:

  • Prevention of "heat" or estrus in females. Female dogs start estrus usually between 6 months and 1 year old. They go through estrus twice yearly, and during this time may may have urges to escape to find a mate. Female cats also start estrus around 7 months old and will have a cycle every 2–3 weeks much of the year if not bred. During their heat cycle, cats may become very vocal.

  • Prevention of unplanned pregnancy.

  • Prevents possibility of pyometra, or uterine infection, a potentially life-threatening condition which can be costly to treat.

  • Eliminates the possibility of false pregnancy following the heat cycle in dogs.

  • Prevention of breast cancer in female cats and dogs. If spayed before their first heat cycle, cats and dogs have less than 0.5 % chance of developing breast cancer. Eliminates chance of uterine and ovarian cancer in female dogs and cats.

  • Reduces chance of certain prostate problems, reduces the chance of anal adenomas, and eliminates the chance of testicular cancer in male dogs.

  • Reduces certain types of aggression.

  • Removes sexual urges which usually decreases roaming behavior in cats and dogs. This also decreases likelihood of fights for territorial dominance between males.

  • Avoids urine spraying by tomcats, especially if neutered early in life.

What happens when my pet undergoes a spay or neuter procedure?

Both spaying and neutering requires general anesthesia. You will need to fast your pet the night prior to surgery.

In a spay, or ovariohysterectomy, a small midline abdominal incision is made. Both ovaries and the entire uterus are removed. Several layers of sutures will close the incision. Skin sutures will need to be removed in 7–10 days.

In a neuter, both testicles are removed. In cats there is a small incision made in the scrotum and because of the sensitive skin, there are no sutures placed. In a dog, a small incision is made in front of the scrotum. In most cases, our veterinarians use absorbable internal sutures which do not need to be removed. In most cases, our veterinarians will do surgeries in the morning and send pets home later that evening.

What are any post-operative precautions?

Rest and restriction of activity for the week following surgery is recommended for all recovering pets. This means no leash walking, no swimming or bathing, and no running and jumping.