Spaying and Neutering

Sometimes called "altering," spaying and neutering are elective surgical procedures performed for both behavioral and medical reasons.

The spay procedure surgically removes the uterus and ovaries of dogs and cats. As result, they will not go into heat and will be unable to become pregnant. This benefits the pets by eliminating the potential for uterine and ovarian diseases. Also, the chances of mammary cancer are significantly reduced in dogs that are spayed. Since they cannot become pregnant, pets who are spayed do not have the risks associated with pregnancy and delivery. And by eliminating the heat cycle, dog and cats will have less of a tendency to roam.

Neutering is a surgical procedure to remove the testicles. This eliminates their ability to impregnate a female, and thus helping reduce unwanted puppies and kittens. Neutered males avoid the risks of testicular cancer and have a reduced risk of prostate disease. Neutered males also will generally exhibit more favorable social behavior.

Because these are invasive, surgical procedures performed on patients who are under general anesthesia, there is a level of unquantifiable risk to the patient. To minimize this risk, we take extra precautions to ensure our patients are of good health. Each patient gets a thorough physical examination and pre-anesthetic laboratory screening. This screening may include:

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) - This blood test helps to ensure patients are not anemic (a common condition in young animals), to ensure they have adequate platelets to stop bleeding, and to ensure they have no evidence of an underlying inflammatory process.

A Biochemistry Panel (Chem-6) - Our Chem-6 allows us to determine if our patients are metabolically suitable for surgery as well as evaluating their kidney function and liver health. The kidneys and liver must function normally for our patients to properly recover from some of our anesthetic agents.

A Coagulation Profile (Coag) -This test is performed to ensure proper blood clotting function.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) - We also perform an ECG in order to detect electrical abnormalities in the heart.

Our surgical patients get an intravenous (IV) catheter to provide easy venous access for anesthesia induction, IV fluids for circulatory system support during anesthesia, and emergency drug administration should a complication arise. Our patients are monitored closely using a variety of monitoring equipment (e.g., pulse oxymetry, ECG, blood pressure) and our dedicated, hands-on medical staff.

All of these steps help ensure you pet has a safe surgery with minimum risk.  The following conditions may complicate surgery:  cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) in males, female patients in heat or pregnant.

Preparing for Your Pet's Spay/Neuter -

We require these surgical patients to be current on their vaccinations and parasite testing according to Town & Country protocols prior to being checked-in to our facilities.  Click here to learn more about our vaccination protocols.  Click here to learn more about Town & Country parasite testing and prevention. If you have not already done so, please be sure to provide our Service Coordinators with your pet's complete medical and vaccination history.

If your pet is scheduled at our Bandera Rd. Hospital, we ask that patients be admitted the night before their scheduled procedure.  This allows pets to get settled and for us to prepare them for their surgery.  For our Northwest Clinic patients, please have them there before 9am.  It is important not to feed them after 10pm the night before their procedure.


Following surgery, pets are given antibiotics and pain medication to ease their discomfort.  Most pets who are spayed or neutered will return home the evening of their procedure so they can recover in the comfort of their own homes.  Pets may be sent home with antibiotics and pain medication, when appropriate.

While recovering from surgery, pets' activity should be restricted for at least 10 days to allow incisions to heal.  You should monitor the incision site daily during the healing process.  Some pets may need a medi-collar (cone) to prevent excessive licking of the suture site.

Please call our friendly and knowledgeable staff at 684-1448 if you have any questions regarding your pet's recovery or our spay/neuter procedures.