Why Spay Surgery is Important for the Health of Pets and the Community

February 27, 2017

Two female cats laying in front of a window after they've been spayed

It’s a surgery that veterinarians have been performing for a long time, but it is an often underappreciated procedure. At Pets in Stitches, spay and neuter procedures are our focus and expertise. Let’s explore all of the reasons why spay surgery is a healthy and responsible choice.

Why is Spay Surgery Important?

Having your pets spayed (or neutered) may be something you are in the habit of doing, but it is also good to recognize why this surgery is recommended. It’s a big procedure, but the benefits of having it done are many. Dogs and cats who have been spayed:

  • Have a much lower risk of breast cancer later in life
  • Cannot develop pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus
  • Are less likely to wander away from home and become lost or injured
  • Will not experience heat cycles, which can be messy and bothersome for your pet
  • Cannot add to the pet overpopulation problem

Choosing to spay your pet is a responsible choice, and we are happy to help.

The Procedure

Spaying is typically a major abdominal procedure and not to be taken lightly. During her surgery, your pet will be fully anesthetized. Her abdomen is sterilized and an incision is made into the abdominal cavity.

Once inside of the abdomen, the surgeon is able to visualize the uterus and ovaries. Major blood vessels leading to each ovary, and on either side of the body of the uterus, must be securely ligated (closed off) before the uterus and ovaries can be removed.

Once the uterus and ovaries are safely excised, the patient’s abdomen  is closed using three layers of sutures. The first is in the innermost layer called the body wall. A second layer of stitches closes the tissue under the skin, and the final layer closes the skin. The inner layer of stitches is the most critical. Pets spayed at Pets In Stitches also receive a small tattoo near the incision to indicate that they have been spayed.

The Flank Spay

We are always on the hunt for new and alternative ways to provide different services to our clients.

Traditionally, cats are spayed through an incision in the middle of their abdomens. Sometimes this can be difficult, though, especially if the cats has recently been lactating. Lactating mothers can become pregnant again even when their kittens are just three weeks old. In most cases, kittens need to be weaned for at least two weeks before an incision such as this can be made. Traditional spays leaves a window of opportunity for pregnancy.

For nursing cats, Pets in Stitches is able to offer our clients the alternative of a flank spay surgery which is performed when the kittens are three weeks of age or older. During this procedure, an incision is made on the side of the cat, avoiding the mammary glands altogether. This allows access to the ovaries and uterus. Flank spays make it easier to monitor healing (no need to look at her tummy) and promote faster healing and less exposure to things that might cause infection. The flank spay is a good alternative for many cats, especially if they need to continue nursing their young without the worry of becoming pregnant again.

No matter how you choose to spay your pet, for most of our animals, it is the healthiest, most responsible choice. We are happy to be able to offer quality, lower cost services to you so that you can provide your pets with the best.

Come. Stay. Heal.

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