At what age can my pet get spayed or neutered?

The age for spaying and neutering pets varies between clinics. At Rice Village Animal Hospital, we start performing these operations on pets from six months of age. However, we may wait until the pet is a bit older, perhaps 12, 14, or 18 months, depending on the doctor's recommendation and the client's comfort level.

Katie Welch
Rice Village Animal Hospital

What are some medical conditions or benefits that can be avoided through spaying and neutering?

Spaying and neutering offer numerous benefits. For females, these include the elimination of risks such as pregnancy, emergency c-sections, dystocia (complications during delivery), pyometra (uterine infection), uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and a reduced risk of mammary cancer. For males, neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and can improve prostate concerns. Behavior modifications can also be observed in some pets due to the decrease in testosterone, including reduced aggression, improved socialization, less territorial behavior, urinating/ marking indoors, and a decrease in the urge to escape and mate. These procedures also contribute to lowering the stray animal population.

How long is the recovery period when I get my pet spayed and neutered?

The recovery period can vary from pet to pet. Generally, it ranges between 10 to 14 days. For smaller animals, the recovery period may be shorter, approximately 7 to 10 days, while for larger animals, it might be closer to the 10 to 14-day range. Factors such as at-home care, activity limitations like jumping, stretching, or running, keeping the incision dry (no licking!), and adherence to the use of recovery tools like e-collars, cones, or recovery suits can influence the recovery period.

Will my pet need medications after their procedure?

Yes, all pets receive pain medication injections before they wake up from anesthesia, and we usually send home a few days' worth of oral pain medications. For some pets that may not limit their activity on their own, we also provide anxiety medications that have mild sedative effects to help keep them calm and prevent further injury during recovery.

What happens during a spay and neuter operation?

Your pet will be checked in by one of our surgical technicians who will ensure your pet has fasted and that all consent forms are signed. Pre-anesthetic blood work is done to ensure your pet is fit for anesthesia and all organs are working properly. Once the bloodwork is looked over by the DVM, we will place an IV catheter on your pet. Your pet is then sedated and intubated before the procedure begins. For a spay, the female reproductive organs - the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries - are removed. For a neuter, the testicles are removed, and in some cases the entire scrotum. Once the operation is complete, the pet is stitched up, and allowed to wake up under the care of a designated technician. After waking up, we wait a few hours to ensure there are no post-operative complications before sending them home. When picked up, we provide the owners with discharge instructions, at-home care recommendations, and medication instructions. We follow up with all our surgery pets the next day to ensure they are recovering well.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (713) 527-0489, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram