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.
Preventive gastropexy is an elective surgery usually done at the time of spay or neuter in a breed considered at risk. The gastropexy tacks the stomach to the body wall, which prevents the stomach's ability to twist. The stomach may distend with gas in an attempt to bloat but since twisting is not possible, this becomes a painful and uncomfortable situation but nothing more serious than that. That said, gastropexy after a stomach twist, is not an absolute guarantee against twisting again but we are talking about a recurrence rate of 76% without gastropexy versus 6% recurrence with gastropexy. A study by Ward, Patonek, and Glickman reviewed the benefit of prophylactic surgery for bloat. The lifetime risk of death from bloat was calculated, along with estimated treatment for bloat, versus cost of prophylactic gastropexy. Prophylactic gastropexy was found to make sense for at-risk breeds, those with deep chests, which are at highest risk for bloat. We recommend adding this prophylactic procedure to the spay or neuter on any dogs with a deep chest. Ask us if Gastropexy should be added to your dog's procedure.