Spaying and Neutering your Beloved Pet: Some Important Considerations


It is undeniable that the decision to bring a pet into your home adds a new dimension of pleasure to each owner’s life. That ball of fur who comes prancing into your abode will ultimately become not only a loyal companion but a cherished member of your family. Just as you make healthcare decisions for members of your human family, you need to make decisions about your furry family members’ healthcare which will potentially affect the quality of their care and their quality of life as they mature. The decisions that you make early in your pets’ life cycle will also affect them later in their lives. One decision that is particularly confusing to the owner is whether to spay or neuter a pet and where to have this aforementioned done.

Research reveals that spaying female dogs and cats reduces the incidence of mammary cancer, eliminates uterine and ovarian cancer risk and prevents pyometra, a potentially life-threatening infection of the uterus. Neutering male pets protects them from prostatic hypertrophy and infections, as well as testicular cancer and certain types of hernias. Moreover, many less desirable animal behaviors are usually reduced by spaying or neutering, including roaming and territorial aggression. 

Foremost, spay and neuter procedures combat pet overpopulation and hopefully prevent unwanted pets from ending up in shelters or euthanized.

The decision to spay or neuter your pet is a difficult one because, let’s face it, it is a surgical procedure.

Thus, when the time comes to decide if you want to have your pet spayed or neutered it can be a stressful time. The stress is amplified by having to decide where to have the surgery done. Consequently, you need to consider the type of care that is important for your pet to have during a spay or neuter surgery. One of the most important things you can do as an owner is ask questions about the surgical methods being used for your beloved pets’ procedure.

The services provided by Atlantic Veterinary Hospital during a surgical visit are of the highest caliber which will ensure the best care possible for your pet. In order to assist you in making an informed decision, our precise spay and neuter protocols are delineated as follows:

  1. Pre-surgical blood work

You would be hard pressed to find a human hospital that will perform elective surgery on you without baseline blood work. Therefore, this is a non-negotiable requirement for spay or neuter surgery at Atlantic Veterinary Hospital.

  1. Administering pre-op pain medication

Similar to the human surgical practices, Atlantic Veterinary Hospital wants to make your pet comfortable through the entire surgical spay or neuter process so the first step during your pet’s visit will be to administer medication to manage and prevent pain from the procedure. One of the best pain medications, especially when considering an invasive procedure such as a spay, is hydromorphone. Because of its controlled status, it can be expensive and extra care needs to be taken to store this drug on the premises. However, unlike more economical options its analgesic effects last 6-8 hours and provides significant pain control.

  1. IV catheter and IV fluids

While under anesthesia your pet’s blood pressure will drop as a side effect of the drugs needed to maintain anesthesia. While this is expected, prolonged decreases in blood pressure can compromise blood flow to vital organs. The best way to maintain normal blood pressure during surgery is with IV fluids. In the event of an emergency it is important to have IV access to administer medications. At Atlantic Veterinary Hospital all of our surgery patients have an IV catheter placed for their procedure.

  1. State of the Art Monitoring Equipment

Monitoring your pets’ surgery is a big deal at Atlantic Veterinary Hospital and we have purchased and maintain state of the art equipment to assure a positive outcome for not only spay and neuters but all surgical procedures. At Atlantic Veterinary Hospital our surgical monitoring includes: EKG, Blood pressure, temperature, respiration, end tidal CO2, pulse oximetry and hands on auscultation.

Ultimately, the decision to have your pet spayed or neutered is not an easy one because it is a twofold consideration. An owner does not only have to decide whether to have the surgery performed, but must also consider where the surgical procedure is carried out.

The veterinarians at Atlantic Veterinary Hospital are focused on giving your furry family member a pain free surgical procedure with precision monitoring that will provide a positive outcome. Please know that Doctors Baumgartner and Bosworth are always available to answer your questions. They want you to be informed and comfortable with your pet’s most important medical care decisions.