Spaying & Neutering

New owners of puppies or kittens in Seattle often wonder whether they should have their pet companion spayed or neutered.

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What does spaying and neutering mean?

Both spaying and neutering refer to the surgical sterilization of an animal under general anesthesia. 

Spaying is the surgical procedure for female animals. Technically known as an ovariohysterectomy, spaying removes a female's reproductive organs. 

Neutering, or orchiectomy, removes the testicles from male pets, and is considered a simpler surgery than a spay. The term 'neutering' can also, in some cases, refer to the desexing or 'fixing' of either gender.

Spaying & Neutering, Seattle Veterinarians

Benefits For Cats

There are 6 key benefits of spaying or neutering your cat:

  1. It curbs naughty behaviours, like spraying to mark territory.
  2. Neutered cats are less likely to stray from home.
  3. Your cat may become more affectionate.
  4. It reduces the risk of your cat contracting certain diseases.
  5. It decreases the risk of uterine infection in female cats.
  6. It may decrease the risk of mammary (breast) cancer.

Benefits For Dogs

There are 5 key benefits of spaying or neutering your dog:

  1. It reduces the risk of prostate and other cancers.
  2. It reduces marking and spraying issues.
  3. It stabilizes the mood of the dog.
  4. It reduces the mating urge.
  5. It can reduce sexualized behaviors.
  6. It reduces aggressive and dominance behaviors

Spaying & Neutering, Seattle Veterinarians

Spaying & Neutering FAQs

  • When should I have my pet spayed? What age?

    Pet owners should consult with their veterinarian to determine the best age to spay or neuter their cat or dog. Some research indicates there may be long-term health benefits to spaying or neutering dogs after they have passed through puberty. 

    Many veterinary professionals recommend that female animals be spayed before their first heat, which can occur as early as 5 months of age. However, there is increasing evidence that this is too young as the animals have not been allowed to fully develop and grow.

  • What should I know about the recovery process for my pet?

    SPAYING  After spay surgery, some clinics will want to keep your cat or dog overnight, while others will let her go home on the same day. The rule of thumb is generally 10-14 days of restricted activity.  

    NEUTERING  If there are no complications or other health issues, your dog or cat can usually go home on the same day of the procedure, with activity restricted for a few days while the incision heals.

    For both procedures, we may send your pet home with a protective collar to keep it from licking the incision.

  • Will my pet feel anything during the procedure?

    No, your pet will be under general anesthesia, and will not feel anything during the procedure.

  • Will my pet gain weight after the procedure?

    Your puppy or kitten will continue to grow to their full adult weight after the spay or neuter procedure, and this naturally includes some weight gain.

    However, your pet will not gain weight as a result of being spayed or neutered.

  • Is this service part of your Pet Wellness Plans?

    Spay/neuter services are not included in Wellness Plans because they are one-time procedures.

    However, if your pet is on a Wellness Plan, you qualify for 10% off the spay/neuter procedure.

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Caring for Pets in Seattle

Northgate Veterinary Clinic welcomes new and existing clients to our veterinary clinic.

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(206) 363-8421