Frequently Asked Questions

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Will I receive an after-care summary?

You will! Via email and hard copy. We will also contact you after surgery to see how your fur baby is feeling!

If my pet is showing signs of illness, should I postpone surgery or vaccinations?

Please call us. Some conditions do not interfere with surgery and some do require surgery be delayed.

What forms of dental surgery do you offer?

Routine scale and polish, extractions, excessive gum growth removed.

Is there an ideal time for alternative sterilization in a pet’s lifespan?

We recommend performing alternative sterilizations at the same recommended age of traditional sterilization – between 6 to 8 months of age depending on pet size.

Is alternative sterilization as effective as traditional spay and neuter?

Effective depends on what your goals are. The removal of sex hormones can both increase and reduce risk for various medical and behavioral conditions. The decision to traditionally vs alternatively sterilize is not a simple one and different factors such as age, breed, expected growth size, household environment, other dogs in the home, and behavior influence the decision.

Do you offer a discount for stray cat spay/neuter?

As a for profit business, we do not receive grants that allow us to offer discounts.

Should pets have yearly check-ups like people’s wellness visits?

With your full-service veterinarian, yes! As pets age, they need to have more than once a year wellness examinations.

Which meds do you consider essential (heartworm, etc.)?

dogs, cats, and rabbits – fleas preventative

dogs and cats – heartworm preventative

Do you offer diagnostic testing for pets?

For dogs – heartworm testing

For cats – feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus testing

For both dogs and cats – fecal testing for intestinal parasites, screening for external parasites and/or pre-surgical bloodwork for high risk patients

Do you provide care to giant dog breeds?

Of course!

Which animals do you see at your practice?

Dogs, cats and rabbits.

Do you accept pet insurance plans?

Pet Insurance does not work like human insurance. Vet clinics do not process insurance. The pet parent collects and submits invoices and paperwork on their own after they’ve already paid full price for services. The insurance comes in a reimbursement form to the pet parent.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we now offer a payment plan via CareCredit.

What forms of payments do you take?

We accept cash, credit cards or debit cards and Care Credit. We do not accept personal checks.

A 4% service fee is applied to all sales. We do offer a full discount on this service fee to customers who pay with cash.

Why can you provide surgical services at a cost less than most full-service practices?

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 surgeries. Pets In Stitches performs surgery along with basic vaccinations and testing only. With our singular focus, we can better maintain our overhead costs, making it more affordable.

Do you microchip?

Yes, both at the time of surgery and during a scheduled non-surgical afternoon appointment.

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.

What vaccinations are available?
  • Vaccinations for cats – rabies, feline distemper, and feline leukemia
  • Vaccinations for dogs – rabies, distemper/parvovirus, leptospirosis, and kennel cough
Do you give vaccinations?

Yes, both at the time of surgery or schedule an appointment in our afternoon hours.

If your pet is a surgical patient, 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 should I do to keep my dog/cat from licking his/her incision?

You may purchase a post-surgery collar or body suit from us.

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, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with an appointment or follow the emergency contact instructions on your Postoperative Care Instruction sheet.

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.

Do male cats need special litter boxes after neuter surgery?

Male cats should use Yesterday’s News, which Pets In Stitches does have available for purchase, instead of litter for two days after neuter surgery. This helps prevent irritation to the surgical incisions from litter dust particles.

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.

Is the procedure painful?

Surgery 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 sent home.

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 performs 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.

How long does the surgery take?

It depends on the animal and the surgery; most surgeries are completed in 20 minutes or less.

Can they drink water all night before surgery?

Yes, always keep water available to your pets. However, unless your pet is under 4 months of age, no food after midnight.

Will my animal’s behavior be changed by spay or neuter surgery?

The behavior changes as a result of sterilization surgery are positive. Males reduce territorial spraying. Neutered animals fight less and do not wander in search of a mate.

How soon after they have a litter can they be fixed?

For dogs, the mother must stop lactating before we can do the spaying surgery. This is typically four 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.

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.

Can you perform the spay surgery while they’re pregnant?

Yes. The surgery will terminate the pregnancy. There will be additional charges if later in the pregnancy. This fee covers the cost of the required supportive fluids to prevent complications and the extra time the surgery entails. You can see these fees on our Pet Services page.

Dog Services

Cat Services

How long are they pregnant?

Approximately 63 days.

When do animals start coming in heat? How long are they in heat?

Cats usually reach sexual maturity between four and six months of age. Dogs reach sexual maturity typically from seven to ten months of age. The length of heat depends on the animal.

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. Intact males are more likely to roam and participate in fights with other animals. Neutered males also experience a decreased risk of reproductive organ cancers, enlargements, and infections.

In some cases, for dogs, we recommend a vasectomy instead of a traditional neuter or to wait until the dog is older. You may learn more by reading our blog.

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.

Will my pet gain weight after this surgery?

Weight gain is more a product of exercise, calorie intake and aging, than spaying or neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim if you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.

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 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.

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. Spaying eliminates the possibility of developing cancers and infections associated with the reproductive organs.

How old do animals have to be to be spayed or neutered?

We recommend five months of age for cats and and rabbits. The decision for dogs, especially large and giant breed dogs, can be a little more complicated. Please read our blog for more information. Please call us to discuss your individual situation and we will help guide you.

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 spay and neuter starting at five months of age for cats and rabbits and six months of age for most dogs.

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. To learn more, read our blog on the Benefits of Spaying and Neutering.

Come. Stay. Heal.

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