We perform routine spay, neuter, and front declaw (on kittens <6# & <6 months in age). We also perform growth removal and most abdominal surgery including but not limited to cystotomy (bladder stone removal), intestinal foreign body removal, abdominal exploratory and biopsies, pyometra surgery, gastropexy (stomach tacking in large dogs), and C-sections. See preanesthetic requirements for further anesthetic information.
Spay and Neuter Information:
What is recommended as the optimum time to perform Ovariohysterectomy (Spay) & Castration (Neuter) is evolving in dogs. Early spay/neuter has been the norm for the past 30 years and is still recommended by veterinarians, shelters, and rescue societies throughout the United States. Reasons for performing early spay (before first heat cycle)/neuter are listed below:
Neutering: Stops testicular cancer, reduces the pets need to roam, decreases aggression, stops unwanted litters, and reduces the males drive to mark their surroundings.
Spaying: Before the first heat cycle decreases the chance of mammary cancer by 80%, in some dog breeds (if spayed before the age of 1) it decreases the likeliness the develop mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcomas, stops unwanted litters, reduces the pets need to roam, and avoiding the mess of your pet's heat cycle.
In large & giant breed dogs (>50 lbs), new recommendations have begun to evolve as results of more recent studies are published. These studies suggest waiting to spay or neuter large breed dogs until after their growth plates close reducing the risk of joint disease including: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, and Cranial Cruciate Rupture. Performing spays/neuter later also reduces the risk of obesity and may decrease the risk of anxiety disorders.
In females, spaying at early ages (<5.5 months) is known to increase the risk of urinary incontinence and spaying before the first heat cycle increases the risk of recessed vulva; therefore, increasing the risk of bladder infections and vaginal infections.
So, after all of the above information, at what age do we recommend spays and neuters?
-In cats and in dogs <50 lbs we recommend they be spayed or neutered between 5 & 6 months.
-In dogs >50 lbs we are recommending to wait until your dog is 12-14 months old (after growth plates are closed) to perform the spay or neuter. Although each case is evaluated individually and recommendations can change depending on your pet's unique characteristics.