Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the most responsible things you can do as a pet owner. But let’s first make sure that you have all the information before you book that surgery! Here is your comprehensive guide to neutering and spaying, and in case you didn’t hear it the first time – please spay and neuter your pets!
If your pet is headed in for either neutering or spaying, you are absolutely doing the right thing by getting informed and prepared. Once your pet has completed their surgery, your vet will most likely give you instructions about post-operative care. However, as a dedicated and responsible pet parent, you recognise the importance of knowing everything about these procedures – from the very beginning all the way to the end.
So, to help you make sense of these surgeries, what will be happening to your pet and how you can help, we have created this unique guide. Bookmark it, share it, and use it whenever you need a refresher on neutering and spaying.
Please Spay and Neuter Your Pets!
What is neutering?
When a pet is being neutered, both their testicles and the organs associated with it are removed. This procedure is also often referred to as castration. This ensures that your pet is unable to reproduce or get a female pregnant.
What is spaying?
Spaying is a procedure done on female pets. This is where her ovaries and uterus are removed, meaning she will not be able to fall pregnant and eliminating her heat cycle. The more “academic” name for spaying is called ovariohysterectomy where her reproductive organs are removed.
Why do we neuter or spay our pets?
Okay, so you are probably wondering why pet parents across the globe want to remove the reproductive organs of their pets. Well, the first reason is pretty self-explanatory. There are so many unwanted dogs and cats filling up local pet shelters. By spaying or neutering your pet, you are reducing the number of unwanted litters, which helps reduce the number of stray animals found in rescues or shelters.
Another reason why pet owners are neutering and spaying their pets is because of the associated health benefits. Yes, you read that correctly. These procedures can help your furry friend live a longer, healthier life whilst also reducing problematic behavioural issues.
Are these surgeries safe?
It is totally natural (and kind of expected) that you’d worry about the safety of your pet undergoing these surgeries. That being said, you can breathe a sigh of relief because neutering and spaying are highly common medical procedures that your vet is extremely familiar with.
Before your pet is put under general anaesthesia for the surgery, your vet will give them a thorough physical exam to ensure their general good health before surgery is performed.
When should they get neutered or spayed?
Traditionally, it has been said that you should get your pet neutered or spayed when they fall between 4 and 6 months old. Other sources claim that it is best to spay your female dog or cat when she is in her first heat cycle. This will reduce the likelihood of her developing mammary cancer.
For your males, it is traditionally said that when your dog or cat hits about 6 months old, they are ready to be neutered. Keep in mind that the best person to answer this question is your family veterinarian. Not only will they have all your pet’s medical records but be able to best help you! Their advice is invaluable and unique to your pet – so definitely ask for their advice in this case!
Once your pet has completed their surgery, your vet will hand over the reins to you. It is essential that you’re prepared to take notes when fetching your fur baby from their surgery as your vet will be giving you the lowdown on post-op care.
Keep in mind that, generally, their recovery time will take anywhere between 10 and 15 days. During this time, your pet will most likely seem groggy, a little quieter, and more tired too. That is totally normal. Make sure to monitor their behaviour and if anything doesn’t seem right, check in with your vet.
Take it slow with your pet – encourage rest, minimise their exercise, and keep them in an enclosed area, so as not to infect their healing incision, which you should also keep an eye on. Your vet could have either used stitches, staples, or skin glue. All these methods are effective and safe; however, irritation of the area could cause an infection. Again, if anything looks suspicious, call your vet!
Until your fur baby has been given the green light by your local vet, make sure that you follow all these tips shared throughout this blog as well as the advice given by your vet. This will ensure that your pet heals well and that they get back to their happier, more energetic selves.
The easiest way to afford neutering and spaying
It’s no secret that medical procedures for pets are not cheap, which is sometimes the reason why people don’t spay or neuter their pets (which is the reason animal shelters are so overcrowded).
The thing is though, these procedures don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg if you’ve got pet insurance. With Pet Insurance providers like Oneplan, you won’t have to worry about the vet bill because they take care of it so you can focus on making sure your fur baby rests and recovers.
We also love Oneplan because they let you keep your favourite vet AND you can take out a new policy for your pet up to their 11th birthday. And, to make sure your pawfect pal has everything they need to feel better after their procedure, you’ll also get up to 25% discount the Onepet Online Store for the LIFETIME of your policy to stock up on post-op care, treats, toys, and so much more!
Covering your pet with Oneplan Pet Insurance really is the sensible option, so why not get a quick and obligation-free online quote to see what they’re all about?
Yours in Not-so-average Pet Advice,
The Petinsurance.co.za Team