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Throughout the Cherokee Trail family of veterinary hospitals, we are continually asked by clients why it is so important for owners to have their pets spayed and neutered. The simple answer to this question is, it cuts down on the number of unwanted pets that arrive in shelters throughout our area.

But an equally important response to the question of why pet owners should spay or neuter their furry friends includes an explanation of how a pet’s longevity is increased and health risks decreased if the animal undergoes spay or neuter procedures. For instance, dogs and cats are susceptible to many different forms of cancer. For females, uterine infections and breast cancer are fairly common after they have had even a single litter of offspring. For males, testicular cancer is quite common in dogs and cats that have not been neutered by the age of six months. Veterinary statistics for these illnesses show a fatality range for both species and sexes between 85% and 90%.

Image by Michael Kilcoyne

But, what exactly happens during a spay or neuter procedure? Will it hurt the pet?

Cat Spay and Neuter: During all cat spay and neuter procedures at our veterinary clinic a certified veterinarian assistant helps place the animal under anesthesia during all procedures. This assistant will continue to monitor the cat throughout the procedure. For a male cat, the testicles will be removed through the scrotum. The spermatic cords will be severed, keeping the animal from producing sperm and thus, reproducing. For a female cat, a small incision will be made in the abdomen. The ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are all removed. The incision is then closed with sutures.

Dog Spay and Neuter: Just like during cat procedures, all dog spay and neuter procedures at our veterinary hospital starts with a certified veterinarian assistant placing the animal under anesthesia. He or she will then observe the animal carefully for any ill reactions. For male dogs, a small incision is made on the scrotum. The spermatic cords are severed and the testicles removed. The incision is stitched, and the dog is allowed to go home. For female dogs, just like cats, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are all removed. The incision is then closed with sutures.

Both procedures, for males and females of both species, produce only a mild amount of swelling and discomfort for a few days.






At Lake Murray Animal Hospital, we offer both dog spay and neuter and cat spay and neuter procedures. Both are quite commonplace and the animal is usually discharged within a few hours. Stitches usually heal within a few days or a week. An Elizabethan Collar (also referred to as a “cone”) may be placed around the animal’s neck to keep him or her from pulling at the sutures.

For pet owners interested in having their pets spayed or neutered, please contact our vet clinic at (803) 892-7070.

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