Frequently asked questions about sterilizing your pets
So you are a pet owner and you hear veterinarians recommending that your pet/s should be sterilized. “Why is it so important?” you ask yourself. You may have many questions regarding this procedure. We have put together some answers for you regarding sterilization:
What is sterilizing/ neutering/ spaying?
Sterilization in dogs/cats is a routine surgical procedure where the testicles of males (neutering) and ovaries & uterus of females (spaying) are removed while under general anaesthetic. At our Clinic this procedure is performed by a qualified veterinarian and the pet’s anaesthesia is administered and monitored by a qualified veterinary sister.
Why is it beneficial to sterilize my pets?
* Prevention of unwanted pregnancy and litters.
* Population control, meaning less unwanted pets which also facilitates in disease control
* Prevention of Pyometra (Infection in the uterus) in female dogs/cats.
* To prevent male dogs from roaming the streets in search of females which could get them lost or hurt.
* Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
* Prevention of false pregnancies causing emotional distress in your pet
* Decreases the chances of mammary and testicular cancers
* Lessens urine marking by your male cat / dog
* Can decrease aggression
Should I let my female dog/cat have one litter before sterilizing her?
- Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth: Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children – especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way
- Your female pet’s chances of getting mammary cancers are decreased dramatically, especially if you spay her BEFORE her first heat cycle.
- Your male pet’s chances of getting prostate (or testicular) problems are also decreased dramatically.
What are the risks involved?
Sterilization itself is a relatively fast procedure that is routinely done at our clinic. However, just as with any surgical procedure in humans it involves sedatives and general anaesthetics, which do carry some risks. Nevertheless, adverse reactions are rare.
To ensure the safest anaesthesia possible we do a full clinical examination and offer blood tests to assess organ function on your pet before the operation.
At what age can I have my pet sterilized?
We recommend having your pets sterilized generally at 6 months of age before the first heat cycle. We do not recommend doing it before this age as the reproductive tract needs to fully mature first. Please don’t hesitate to ask one of our veterinarians when would be the best age for YOUR pet.
How long does the sterilization procedure take?
It is a one-day procedure. On the day of your pet’s appointment they need to be at our Clinic before 7:30 am the morning and can only be fetched after 15:00 pm.
The sterilization procedure itself is done within a few minutes but the hospital stay involves a thorough clinical examination and after the operation our compassionate veterinary nurses will monitor your pet during the recovery process to make sure that your pet is fully awake and stable before going home. We also take them for a walk and give them food before they are discharged.
What does the aftercare involve?
- Your pet will present with a few sutures after a sterilization (male cats do not get sutures). You just need to keep an eye on the surgical wound to make sure it is clean and has no signs of infection (redness, pain, swelling or heat).
- If you are concerned about the wound after the operation, you can bring your pet in for us to have a look at the wound post-surgery.
- Please prevent your pet from licking the wound as it will cause infection and they can pull out their sutures, if you see them licking come in and purchase a Buster collar or ask our nurses at discharge .
- Try and keep your pet as quiet as possible for 10 days until the sutures are removed. No running, jumping or bathing in this time.
- Sutures will be removed free of charge.