At Patton Chapel Animal Clinic in Hoover spaying and neutering your pets at an early age is highly recommended.

A spay, also called an ovariohysterectomy, is the procedure used to sterilize female animals. It is an abdominal surgery, similar to a hysterectomy in humans, where the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed. Spays are common surgeries, performed on an almost daily basis, but they are not simple procedures. Your pet will have an incision in her abdomen that is sutured closed. The sutures are removed after approximately 10 days. During her recovery, your pet will need to be confined and leash walked only. She may also be sent home with a e-collar to prevent her from licking her incision.

Having your female pet spayed can be beneficial to her health in many ways. Spayed females are less likely than unspayed females to develop mammary cancer, and the likelihood of developing uterine infections, called pyometra, is reduced to zero. Also, spayed females do not go into “heat” thereby reducing the chance she will roam and be hit by a car.

Neutering, or surgical castration, is the most widely used form of sterilization for male pets. The testicles are surgically removed in a quick procedure that in many cases does not require overnight hospitalization. Post operation, your pet will need to be kept confined and only walked on a leash for at least a week. Again, your pet may be sent home with an e-collar to prevent him from licking his incision.

By neutering your male pet, you reduce his risk of prostate cancer, other life-threatening prostate conditions, as well as testicular tumors. And since your male pet will not have the urge to breed, he will not be susceptible to many potentially fatal and zoonotic (contagious to humans)diseases. Neutered males are also less likely to roam, thereby reducing the likelihood he will be hit by a car or suffer other traumatic injuries.

Having your pet spayed or neutered at a young age (before the first heat cycle in females and before the first year in males) not only provides them with many health benefits, but also prevents the birth of unwanted puppies. One intact female can produce as many as 12 puppies per litter and can breed as frequently as twice a year. By having your pets sterilized, you are decreasing the stray and unwanted pet population and reducing the number of animals euthanized in shelters every year.

Please make an appointment with Dr. Whitworth or Dr. Buird at Patton Chapel Animal Clinic in Hoover for spaying and neutering questions or to schedule an appointment.

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