Spaying my dog or cat – What’s involved?

What is involved in spaying my pet?

  • Assuming the pre-op blood work reveals no underlying problems, a pre-anesthetic injection with pain medication is administered.
  • A small area of the front leg is shaved and an IV catheter is then placed for administering fluids and medications.
  • The endotracheal tube (for breathing) is placed for inhalation anesthesia.
  • As your pet’s heart and breathing are monitored by a licensed veterinary technician, another clips the surgical site.
  • As the surgeon scrubs and “gowns up,” the patient is moved to the surgery table; the incision site is scrubbed and sterilized.
  • The patient is connected to our multi-modal monitor, and anesthesia is adjusted and closely monitored.
  • A small incision is made in the abdominal belly wall, and the surgery begins. The entire surgical procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes.
  • The Y shaped uterus and ovaries are removed. (We’ll spare you the details here!)
  • After reapposing (closing) the 3 layers with absorbable suture, the patient is transferred to recovery, where she is closely watched until her endotracheal tube can be safely removed and she is in sternal recumbancy (lying on her chest).
  • It is at this time that we usually call to assure you that all has gone well.
  • Cleaning and sterilizing the operating room and surgical instruments then begins in preparation for the next surgery.
  • When the patient is awake and able to walk, she is transferred to a hospital ward kennel, and is regularly checked.
  • Later that day, when the doctor examines the patient, she is given more pain medication that will last an additional 12 – 24 hours. At the doctor’s discretion, she may be given a small meal.
  • The following morning, she is again examined by the doctor, the incision is checked and she is given a small meal.
  • It will soon be time to go home! A discharge appointment is scheduled for later that day.

Why are I.V. fluids included?

As with human surgeries, intravenous fluid therapy is an integral part of anesthetic procedures at the Livonia Veterinary Hospital. Anesthesia can lower blood pressure during any surgery. The intravenous fluids increase blood volume, thereby maintaining your pet’s blood pressure at a safer level. In addition, should drugs be required in the rare instance of an emergency, the indwelling catheter provides us immediate IV access.

What pain medications will my dog or cat receive?

Initially, an injection of a morphine-like drug is given as part of the pre-anesthetic medication. The effect lasts approximately 12 hours. That evening when the patient is re-examined, another injection of the same pain medication is given.

Initially, an injection of a morphine-like drug is given as part of the pre-anesthetic medications. This provides pain relief for approximately 12 hours. And if at any time during their recovery period they seem painful, additional opiate and/or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are administered. That evening, when the patient is re-examined, another injection of the same pain medication is given. We are confident that our pain management regime provides as much relief as possible from any discomfort your pet might otherwise experience during the post-operative period.

When the above pain management protocol was initially recommended by the AVMA, it was used here on a trial basis. Drs. Jamison were so impressed by how well pets recovered, and how obviously more comfortable the patients were post operatively, that they quickly made it standard procedure.

Why is pre-operative blood work required? (My pet is young and healthy.)

Pre-op blood work provides the same benefits as with human surgery. The tests check for anemia, and tell us if your pet’s internal organs, particularly those associated with the metabolism of the anesthetic agents, are functioning properly. If congenital or age related abnormalities are identified, anesthesia protocols can be modified. If all is normal, we have established a valuable baseline for future reference.

How can all this be done for such a reasonable cost?

In an effort to reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens, the Livonia Veterinary Hospital has subsidized the cost of your pet’s spay or neuter. Other similar abdominal procedures would cost much more, and comparable human procedures would cost thousands more.

It is important to note, however, that even with the costs reduced, your pet has received the best veterinary care possible. We perform the procedure using the highest standards available today to minimize the risk of infection and make the procedure as pain free as possible. You can be assured that high quality veterinary care is never compromised at Livonia Veterinary Hospital.

Should I do anything special when my dog or cat comes home?

  • For a week or so after surgery, you should keep your pet’s activity restricted, though walks are fine. Do not encourage running, jumping, and other active play.
  • She may be a little quiet and sleep more than usual the first day or two. After all, she is recovering from major abdominal surgery!
  • You may feed and water your pet as you do usually. No special diet is required.
  • You will need to examine the incision daily. Absorbable sutures are used so there is no need to return for suture removal.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Location Hours
Monday8:00am – 6:30pm
Tuesday8:00am – 6:30pm
Wednesday8:00am – 6:30pm
Thursday8:00am – 6:30pm
Friday8:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday8:00am – 12:00pm

For your convenience, as well as that of other clients, office visits are by appointment only. On surgery days, patient admission is between 7:30 and 8:15am.