The most common surgeries performed at Animal Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas are the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats. It is commonly an elective surgery performed on dogs and cats younger than a year old. This means that the surgery is done on a healthy animal. Below you will find information on the individual surgeries and important reasons to consider spaying or neutering your cat.
WHAT IS A CAT SPAY?
A cat spay is performed on a female cat. During a cat spay, or ovariohysterectomy, the veterinarian removes the ovaries and uterus usually for the purpose of preventing pregnancy. Once the cat is anesthetized, an incision is made through the abdominal wall to expose the abdominal organs. The ovaries and the uterus are identified. Each ovary is removed first by excising the attachments and ligating the blood vessels with absorbable suture. Then the uterus is removed by making an incision through the uterine body wall near the cervix. This area is heavily sutured to prevent bleeding. Once all the reproductive organs are removed the muscles of the abdomen, subcutaneous tissue and the skin are sutured closed. A cat spay is invasive but also considered a routine surgery. Most cat’s undergoing a spay are healthy and recover quickly. The veterinary surgeons at Animal Medical Center usually take approximately 30-45 minutes to perform this procedure in uncomplicated cases. It may take longer when the cat is in heat, pregnant or over weight.
WHAT IS A CAT NEUTER?
A cat neuter is the surgical removal of the testicles of a male cat normally for the purpose of breeding prevention. A neuter is also called a castration. In contrast to the cat spay, a neuter only requires a skin incision. The testicles are exposed through this incision made over the scrotum. The vessels and ducts associated with the testicles are excised and ligated to prevent bleeding. The skin incision is closed with tissue adhesive. Cat neuters are a routine procedure at Animal Medical Center and usually only take 15-20 minutes. The cats usually heal quickly if post operative instructions are followed.
WHY SPAY OR NEUTER MY CAT?
Below you will find an explanation of the many important reasons to consider spaying or neutering your cat.
- Overpopulation- When cats are spayed and neutered, unwanted pregnancies are prevented. The overpopulation of animals is made evident by the many shelters and city pounds found throughout the country. This overpopulation leads to millions of animals being euthanized every year. According to AmericanHumane.org, 3.7 million animals are euthanized yearly. There are simply not enough pet owners to care for these animals. You may think pregnancy won’t happen to your cat. You may have a secure yard or your cat may be indoor only. Be forewarned, the cats will find a way!! With our experience at Animal Medical Center, we have seen many times where responsible pet owners deal with unwanted pregnancies because they under estimate the power and lure of a cat in heat! In contrast, purebred owners may believe that purebred litters don’t contribute to the millions of animals euthanized each year. This is far from the truth. AmericanHumane.org reports that 25% of animals at shelters in the United States are purebred animals. By spaying or neutering your cat, you can do your part to help decrease the overpopulation of animals in this country and subsequent euthanasia.
- Disease prevention-Spaying a female cat decreases the incident of certain types of cancers. In addition, a common and potentially fatal disease called pyometra is prevented by spaying. Pyometra is build up of purulent discharge in the uterus in response to hormone shifts. This disease makes the cat acutely and severely ill. The only treatment is to spay the sickly cat to try and safe her life. In males, testicular cancer is prevented by neutering. In both sexes, spaying and neutering lessens the chances of your of contracting Feline Leukemia virus and Feline Immunodeficiency virus due to decrease roaming and cat interaction.
- Behavioral advantages- Often certain behavioral problems can be prevented or lessened by performing these surgeries before the cats reached sexual maturity. Female cats start having heat cycles any time after 6 months of age. Cats are “long day” breeders, meaning they breed during the long days of summer. Female cats are in heat during these summer days every other week until they are pregnant. While in heat, they yowl and howl (often in the middle of the night) and fight to get outside to find a mate. Most owners find this very disruptive. Unneutered cats are notorious for roaming as well. This unfortunately increases the risk of trauma and visits to the city pound. These cats develop marking habits and often start urinating in the house. Please keep in mind not all cats will have the same behavioral improvement and benefits with spaying and neutering. In addition, once behavioral problems start, performing these surgeries does not always improve the problem. Most of our patients at Animal Medical Center do benefit behaviorally with spaying and neutering, thus we recommend these surgeries before they reach sexual maturity.
AT WHAT AGE DO I SPAY OR NEUTER MY CAT?
While these surgeries can be done at any age, it is preferred to schedule them when the cats are between 6-8 months. The exact time depends on the recommendation of your veterinarian. In certain instances, some cats can have the surgery at a younger age.
WHAT CARE WILL BE NEEDED AFTER SURGERY?
With either surgery, the cat needs to be kept calm for 10-14 days. The cat needs to be restricted in his/her activity during this time. The incision needs to be checked daily for bleeding, discharge, redness, swelling and missing sutures. The cat can not lick the incision. Often times, an elizabethan collar will be sent home to prevent licking. If sutures are to be removed, this is usually done between 10-14 days. No baths are allowed until the sutures are removed. Please monitor for appetite changes, vomiting and diarrhea. Please call your veterinarian with any questions and if any problems arise.
HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY?
These surgeries are an outpatient procedure. We perform them Monday through Friday. The cats are dropped off in the morning for the surgery. The cats are usually ready to go home between 4-5pm. An appointment must be made for these surgeries. Keep in mind our location has changed to 10209 Quaker Avenue . Please call 806-794-4118 for a surgery appointment and pre-operative instructions.