Spay & Neuter
in Jacksonville, FL
Every year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats, including puppies and kittens, are euthanized. The good news is that responsible pet owners can make a difference. By having your dog or cat sterilized, you will do your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens. Spaying and neutering prevent unwanted litters, help protect against some serious health problems, and may reduce many of the behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct.
Spaying your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents female animals from becoming pregnant and reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Spaying will not change your pet’s personality.
By spaying your female pet, you’re protecting her against potentially deadly diseases, including bacterial infections, reproductive tract diseases, and several types of cancer. You also won’t have to worry about her going into heat. This means avoiding the mess that often accompanies the heat cycle in female dogs and the pacing and crying that happens with female cats. In addition, spaying your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.
Spaying, which involves removing the ovaries and uterus, is a surgical procedure and is performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure her safety.
To set up an appointment to have your pet spayed or to learn more about this procedure, call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to spay your pet, please call us to set up a consultation appointment so that we can discuss your concerns and provide recommendations specific to your pet's needs.
The ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus are removed from a female dog or cat. This makes her unable to reproduce and eliminates her heat cycle and breeding instinct-related behavior.
Neutering your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents male animals from reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Neutering will not change your pet’s personality.
By neutering your pet, you’re reducing or eliminating his risk for prostate disease and testicular cancer, as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Neutering will also reduce or eliminate undesirable and embarrassing behavior, including roaming, fighting, humping, and spraying. If neutered later in life, the chance of these behaviors resolving decreases. In addition, neutering your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters. Intact males are at greatest risk for being hit by motor vehicles or roaming and being brought to a shelter as a stray.
Neutering, which involves removing the testicles, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.
To set up an appointment to have your pet neutered or to learn more about this procedure, please call or visit our clinic to set up a pre-surgical consult. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to neuter your pet, please call us or stop by so we can discuss your concerns.
The testes are removed from a male dog or cat. This makes him unable to reproduce and reduces or eliminates male breeding behaviors.
Q: When should a pet be Spayed or Neutered?
Puppies & Dogs | As young as eight weeks old
Puppies as young as eight weeks old can be spayed or neutered as long as they’re healthy. Dogs can be spayed or neutered as adults as well, although there’s a slightly higher risk of post-operative complications in older dogs, dogs that are overweight or dogs that have pre-existing health problems. Some limited studies have suggested spay or neuter surgery can increase the risk for certain orthopedic diseases and cancers in certain sexes of particular breeds. Meanwhile, other broader studies have shown an increased life expectancy of an average of 1.5-2 years for spayed/neutered pets compared to their intact counterparts. During your pet’s spay or neuter surgical consultation, our veterinarians can discuss your individual pet’s individual risks and benefits from this procedure.
Females: Our general recommendation is to spay female dogs prior to their first heat cycle. Each heat cycle a dog goes through puts her at risk for pyometra (uterine infection), unwanted pregnancy, and significantly increasing her risk for mammary cancer. Spaying a puppy before her first heat cycle will essentially eliminate her risk of developing mammary cancer later in life.
Males: Male dogs don’t experience heat cycles, but intact males are at the mercy of their hormones and are at significantly greater risk compared to neutered males for roaming and being hit by a vehicle while seeking out a female in heat. When Dr. Green and Dr. M have worked in veterinary ERs, the most common patient presenting after being hit by a car were intact males, and when they worked in a shelter, the most common stray dogs were intact males as well.
Conversely, there isn’t an age after which a dog shouldn’t be spayed or neutered. You’ll hear our doctors say, age isn’t a disease, but they will evaluate your pet for diseases or deficiencies that may increase a pet’s risk for anesthesia. We’ll discuss any concerns and whether the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks for your individual pet.
Kittens & Cats | As young as eight weeks old
In animal shelters, surgery is often performed at eight weeks old so that kittens can be sterilized prior to adoption. In an effort to avoid the start of urine spraying and eliminate the chance for pregnancy, it’s advisable to schedule the surgery before your cat reaches four months of age. Remember, littermates don’t know they try to be parents together, and Dr. M has seen three-month-old kittens trying to mate!