We have addressed some of the most popular questions we receive in this section. If you have a question not addressed here, please contact us.
About Spaying and Neutering
What does “spay” and “neuter” mean?
Females are spayed and males are neutered. In females, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. Females are then unable to get pregnant. In males, the testicles are removed, leaving the scrotum intact. Removal of the testicles prevents production of sperm and the male will no longer be able to father puppies or kittens 30 days after the surgery.
How often can animals breed? When do they start?
Female cats can breed three times a year and have an average of four kittens per litter. Dogs can breed twice a year and have an average of six to ten puppies per litter. Female cats can breed as early as four months of age and dogs as early as six months of age. To avoid those accidental litters, Pets In Stitches endorses juvenile spay and neuter starting at eight weeks of age.
How old do animals have to be to be spayed or neutered?
Two months and two pounds are the acceptable requirements for juvenile neutering. Pets can become parents sooner than you think. If you are not sure how much your kitten or puppy weighs, please bring your pet to our clinic for a weight check. Juvenile spay and neuter is safe and is less stressful on the animal than waiting until he or she is older. They bounce back from surgery very quickly.
Should my female have a litter before she is spayed?
There is no medical evidence to justify the advantage of allowing an animal to have a litter before spaying. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Spaying eliminates the possibility of developing cancers and infections associated with the reproductive organs.
Will spaying/neutering make my dog less protective or make my male pet feel like less of a male?
Spaying or neutering does not affect a pet’s natural instinct to protect the home and the family. Pets do not have any concept of sexual identity or ego. A pet’s personality is formed by genetics and his environment rather than by sex hormones so neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality.
Will my pet gain weight after this surgery?
Weight gain is more a product of exercise, nutrition and aging, than spaying or neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
Will neutering my male cat stop him from spraying?
For best results, neuter males before they reach six months of age. If a cat is currently spraying, neutering may help to curb this behavior within eight weeks after surgery.
Why should I neuter my male animal?
Males can impregnate many females, many times during the year, which contributes to the pet over-population crisis. Neutered males also experience a decreased risk of reproductive organ cancers and infections.
When do animals start coming in heat? How long are they in heat?
They usually reach sexual maturity between four and six months. The length of heat depends on the animal.
How long are they pregnant?
Approximately 63 days.
Can you perform the surgery while they’re pregnant?
Yes. The surgery will terminate the pregnancy. There are no additional charges, unless the female is at or past thirty days gestation. A feeis then charged to cover the cost of the required intravenous fluids to prevent complications and the extra time the surgery entails.
Is it dangerous if they’re in heat/pregnant?
There is a higher risk if your pet is in heat or is pregnant. If you can wait until they are no longer in heat to bring them in, that’s the best choice. If they are pregnant, schedule their appointment as soon as possible.
How soon after they have a litter can they be fixed?
For dogs, the mother has to stop lactating before we can do the spaying surgery. This is typically two weeks after the puppies stop nursing completely.
For mother cats, we can do the surgery when the kittens are at least four weeks old. Lactating cats may undergo a flank spay where the reproductive organs are removed though an incision on the side of the abdomen rather than the underside.
About Your Pet’s Surgery
Will my animal’s behavior be changed by surgery?
The behavior changes as a result of sterilization surgery are positive. Male cats reduce territorial spraying. Neutered animals fight less and do not wander in search of a mate. Best of all, their health is improved by the surgery.
Can they drink water all night before surgery?
Yes, always keep water available to your pets.
How long does the surgery take?
It depends on the animal; most surgeries are completed in 20 minutes or less.
Is the surgery safe?
With any surgical procedure, there is always risk but we take every step possible to protect your pet. Your pet will be constantly monitored in person as well as with specialized monitoring equipment during surgery. Pets In Stitches uses an anesthetic protocol that is widely accepted in our field. A licensed veterinarian perform the surgery while the pet is under full anesthesia. Your pet will stay at our clinic for the day so we will be able to observe them during recovery.
Is the procedure painful?
Surgical sterilization is performed under general anesthesia with additional pain medication administered by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine. The animal is asleep during the procedure and may experience mild discomfort after surgery. Most animals return to normal activity within 24 to 72 hours. Pain medication is also offered for home use at a minimal cost.
What is the recovery period like?
The recovery period is seven to ten days. You need to restrict their activity and keep them indoors. You also want to watch their incision closely. We will give you Postoperative Care Instructions when you pick up your pet.
Do make cats need special litter boxes after surgery?
Male cats should use Yesterdays News, which Pets In Stitches does have available for purchase, instead of litter for two days after surgery. This helps prevent irritation to the surgical incisions from litter dust particles.
What is the green mark on my pet?
A small tattoo is the best way to identify your pet has been spayed or neutered. It is standard procedure for sterilization surgeries.
Should I be worried that my dog/cat is licking his/her incision?
Yes. Please bring them in so we can check their incision. We are available for rechecks Monday through Thursday or follow the emergency contact instructions on your Postoperative Care Instruction sheet.
What should I do to keep my dog/cat from licking his/her incision?
You can purchase a postsurgery collar from us or a pet store.
Is there pain medication available after the surgery?
Your pet will receive pain medication before and during surgery. In addition, you can purchase take-home pain medication for use after surgery which is recommended.
Other Services Offered
Do you give vaccinations?
Yes, but only at the time of surgery. We are required to administer a rabies vaccination if your pet does not have a current one. We will administer additional vaccinations on the day of surgery at your request.
What vaccinations are available?
- Vaccinations for cats – rabies, feline distemper, or feline leukemia
- Vaccinations for dogs – rabies, distemper/parvovirus or kennel cough
Can I just bring my pet in for a rabies shot?
No, as a dedicated spay and neuter clinic, we can only administer vaccinations at the time of surgery.
Do you microchip?
Yes, both at the time of surgery and scheduled by appointment for non-surgical pets.
About Pets In Stitches
Why can you do this so cheaply?
Pets in Stitches is a streamlined practice. Unlike a private veterinarian who provides a full medical service, we are focused on one single service, i.e. quality spaying and neutering. Pets In Stitches performs spay and neuter surgery along with basic vaccinations and testing only. With our singular focus, we can better maintain our overhead costs, making it more affordable.
What forms of payments do you take?
We accept cash, credit cards or debit cards. We do not accept personal checks.
Do you know of any assistance programs to help cover the cost of my pet’s surgery at Pets In Stitches?
- Scratching Post CatSNIP Program –If you qualify, you will be given a voucher to bring to Pets In Stitches. This voucher does not cover the entire cost of surgery and you will be responsible for the balance due.
- Fix It Foundation
- DREAM –dogs and cats This voucher does not cover the entire cost of surgery and you will be responsible for the balance due.
- Humane Society of Greene County’s spay/neuter subsidy program (937) 376-3001 – Must be a resident of Greene County. If you qualify, you will be given a voucher to bring to Pets In Stitches
- Miami County Animal Shelter (937) 332-6919 – A voucher is given to new owners when adopting an intact shelter pet. Please bring the voucher with you to Pets In Stitches. This voucher does not cover the entire cost of surgery and you will be responsible for the balance due.
- Humane Society of Greater Dayton and Miami Valley Veterinary Medical Association Partnership Vouchers – Only available to individuals receiving governmental assistance. Proof of such assistance must be presented to the HSGD at 1661 Nicholas Rd, Dayton, Ohio 45417. The voucher must be brought to Pets In Stitches and does cover the cost of surgery. The voucher does not cover the cost of the required rabies vaccine (if pet is not current). Please call the Humane Society at 937/268-PETS (7387) for more information.
Have a different voucher? Just ask us!
We strive to answer all your questions to your satisfaction. Please contact us if you have further questions or concerns unique to your pet or situation…
...and, as always, I am dedicated to providing affordable spay and neuter services in a professional environment.
Dr. Danielle N. Rastetter, DVM.