Did you know that dogs and cats are considered sexually mature at only 6 months of age? During the first six months of their lives, their reproductive organs release hormones which help them physically mature. This is why most veterinarians will recommend owners wait until their pet is 6 to 8 months old before spaying or neutering them.
Ovariohysterectomy (spay) is a surgery performed on female pets, which involves complete removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus (womb) through an abdominal incision. It is a common misconception that a female should go through a heat cycle or have a litter before spaying - there is no need for this! However, the advantages include: reduced rates of mammary cancer and ovarian tumors; reduced desire to 'wander' in search of a mate; no bloody discharge associated with heat cycles; no unwanted pregnancies; and reduced rate for licensing after spaying.
Orchiectomy (neuter/castration) is a surgery performed on male pets, which involves removing the testicles through one small incision just behind the penis. The procedure is slightly different depending on the species. Neutering a male dog will reduce the urge to 'wander' in search of a mate, mounting other dogs/people, and reduces aggressiveness/marking. Neutering a male cat will reduce the urge to 'wander' in search of a mate, reduces the offensive odour of 'tom cat urine,' and marking behaviour but it will not change his temperament. In both cases, instances of prostate and testicular cancers/tumors are greatly reduced.
At Highlands Pet Hospital, both of these surgeries are performed under general anaesthesia while the pet is on saline intravenous (IV) fluids. The surgery also includes a pre-surgical health examination and an overnight stay at the clinic so that the doctor can also examine your pet the next morning. You may also choose to have pre-anaesthetic bloodwork taken on your pet in order to eliminate some of the risks of general anaesthetic. We are also able to microchip your dog or cat at the same time!
Did you know that we can also spay and neuter bunnies? While rabbits are less likely to be able to 'roam' like dogs or cats, they can reproduce at an incredible rate if you have a female and a male in the same house. In addition, bunnies are particularly difficult to determine sex (particularly when they are young) so it is quite common for clients to be unaware that they have a male and a female.
If you would like an estimate or more information on any of the above procedures, please call 403-327-7387.