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Your Scarsdale Veterinarian Answers Spay and Neuter FAQs

In addition to providing a variety of health and behavioral benefits, spaying or neutering dogs and cats dramatically reduces the number of homeless pet living in shelters or suffering in the elements. In fact, spayed or neutered pets generally live about two years longer than their counterparts and experience fewer instances of cancer and other systemic diseases. Also, fixed male dogs and cats are calmer and less prone to roaming while spayed female dogs and cats do not go through problematic "in heat" cycles and recurring urinary tract infections. Your Scarsdale vet would be happy to explain in detail all the advantages to having your pet spayed or neutered.

Is This Type of Surgery Safe?

Spaying and neutering procedures are two of the safest surgeries veterinarians perform every day. Female pets undergo an ovariohysterectomy involving removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Male pets undergo an orchiectomy involving removal of the testes. Alternate spaying and neutering surgeries include hysterectomies (partial removal of fallopian tubes) and vasectomies (removal of the vas deferens only). Although each procedure sterilizes dogs and cats, they may not eliminate breeding behaviors such as marking, "humping" and meowing.

Will My Pet Be Asleep During Surgery?

Yes. Your pet will receive general anesthesia and pain medication prior to the procedure. Pain management medications work for up to 12 hours following completion of spay or neuter surgery to keep your pet as comfortable as possible.

How Old Do Kittens and Puppies Have to be Before They Can Be Spayed or Neutered?

Your Scarsdale veterinarian will spay or neuter your pet as long as he at least eight to nine weeks old and weigh over two pounds. Young animals require small incisions and recuperate quickly. In addition, their young bodies have not yet grown accustomed hormone fluctuations and won't experience physiological side effects of decreased hormone levels.

My Dog (or Cat) Just Had Babies. Can I Have Her Neutered Soon?

Vets recommend waiting two to three weeks after your pet has stopped nursing her kittens or puppies before getting her spayed. This gives her reproductive system time to recuperate from birth and lactation.

I've Heard Dogs and Cats Gain Weight After Getting Spayed or Neutered. Is This True?

Spayed or neutered pets do not become obese because of this surgery. Instead, sterilized animals simply gain weight as a result of aging, lack of adequate physical activity and eating too much "people" food. By ensuring your pet eats a high-protein, low carbohydrate diet and gets enough exercise, your pet should maintain a healthy weight throughout his long and happy life.

To learn more about spaying and neutering, please call Central Animal Hospital today at 914-723-1250 to speak to a Scarsdale vet technician.