Spaying & Neutering

“Spaying” means removing the uterus and ovaries from a female animal. Neutering, or castration, is the removal of the testicles of a male animal. These are routine surgeries that we perform in our hospital daily.

There are many health benefits to spaying and neutering, and these surgeries are also crucial for decreasing the number of unwanted and stray animals in our community. We recommend spaying or neutering for almost every pet, though the age at which we recommend surgery varies based on size, breed, and other factors. We are always happy to discuss specific recommendations for YOUR pet.

What to Expect

On the morning of surgery, your pet will need to be fasted (though water is okay). He or she will be dropped off with us between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning. If you have a nervous pet, please let us know ahead of time and we can provide you with anti-anxiety medication to give him or her before coming in. Once here, your pet will be examined by the doctor and given a comfy bed in our hospital treatment area until it is time for his or her procedure.

During surgery, pets are under anesthesia and their vital parameters are carefully monitored by trained veterinary technicians. Depending on the size, age, species, and sex of the patient, a typical surgery may take anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes. Males will have a small incision on or in front of the scrotum. Females will have an incision on the belly. In both cases, the stitches will be under the skin and will dissolve over time. While your pet is under anesthesia, we will trim his or her nails. This is also a good opportunity to implant a microchip if this has not previously been done.

After surgery, patients are kept warm and comfortable. When he or she is fully awake, your pet will be given a snack and either taken for a walk or provided with a litter box. We will call you with an update at this point, and arrange a time for discharge. Most pets go home between 3 and 6 pm on the same day as surgery.

Your pet may be groggy for the first night, but most pets feel back to normal by the next day. We will send you home with a few days of pain medication. It is important that your pet does not lick at his or her incision, which means that some pets may need to wear an E-collar (cone). There should be no running, rough-housing, or off-leash play until the body is fully healed, which takes 10-14 days. If necessary, we can provide a mild sedative to help with rambunctious patients! We will ask you to look at the incision daily to make sure it is healing appropriately. If you ever have any questions or concerns, we will chat with you on the phone and/or schedule a recheck exam at no charge.

Read more about Surgery Protocols here.


Please let us know if you have any lingering questions about spaying or neutering your pet!