Spaying your female pet is a great way to prevent unwanted litters. It can also help prevent unwanted behaviors and protect your pet from some serious forms of cancer. Here, our San Gabriel vets explain the spaying process and how long the procedure takes to complete.
What is spaying? are spaying and neutering?
A spay procedure, also known as an ovariohysterectomy, is a surgery that removes the female reproductive organs. The operation removes the two ovaries, the uterine horns and the body of the uterus.
What are the benefits of spaying?
By spaying your pet you are eliminating the risk of unwanted litters. This is especially important in the case of outdoor female cats as they have the highest pregnancy risk.
Spaying also reduces the likelihood that your pet will develop a disease of the female reproductive system. The spay procedure effectively eliminates the possibility of severe uterine infection (pyometra). There is also evidence that spayed pets have a lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
What happens during a spaying procedure?
Spay procedures are done under general anesthesia. Prior to surgery, your vet will run the appropriate diagnostic tests to ensure your pet is healthy enough to safely go under for the operation.
Following anesthesia, your pet's abdomen hair will be clipped and the skin thoroughly disinfected. The organs are then extracted. Spays can be performed either laparoscopically (using surgical lasers) or using a traditional scalpel. Both methods are risk-free.
After the procedure is complete your pet's skin will be closed with skin glue, sutures (stitches), or surgical staples. Stitches or staples will need to be removed by your veterinarian 10 to 14 days following the procedure.
How long does spaying surgery take?
Depending on your pet's size and any special medical considerations, the procedure can take anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes. The procedure may take longer and require two surgeons in older pets or large-breed dogs.
Although the actual procedure is relatively quick, you can typically expect your pet to spend a few hours at the hospital, allowing time for check-in, an initial physical assessment, the surgery itself, and time for recovery from anesthesia.
How long does it take to recover from spaying?
If you're wondering how long it takes for spaying to heal, most pets will begin to feel better within 24 to 48 hours, but full recovery takes 10 to 14 days. During this time, try to keep your pet calm and avoid allowing them to jump, as this could cause the incision to reopen. The incision should be checked for signs of infection on a daily basis. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any redness, discharge, swelling, or foul odor.
You should also monitor your pet's behavior. If after 48 hours they still seem lethargic or are not eating or drinking it could be a sign of infection. Follow up with your veterinarian or bring them to an emergency veterinarian for care.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.