Spay/Neuter FAQ

Spay & Neuter Overview

FAQ

Should we let our female have one litter before spaying her?How old should my pet be before the surgery?Is the surgery painful?My pet just had a litter. When can I spay her?What does the tattoo look like and where is it on my pet?Why does Emancipet tattoo pets?Can’t veterinarians tell if my pet is spayed or neutered without the tattoo?

Should we let our female have one litter before spaying her?

No. Females should be spayed before the first heat which usually occurs at 5-6 months of age. We stress before, since a female can become pregnant at that age and she is in no way ready for it. Pregnancy will place a great strain on the system, often resulting in birth defects, and she may not be able to nurse, resulting in seriously malnourished offspring. In addition, early spaying prevents later problems, including mammary tumors, uterine infections, and uterine tumors. If a female is allowed to go through a heat before spaying, those problems may still arise later in life because estrogen is stored in the system as a result of the heat.

How old should my pet be before the surgery?

Pets as young as three months old can have the surgery with no ill effects. If females are spayed before their first heat (which usually occurs when they are five to six months old), breast cancer can be almost completely prevented. Younger pets also recover more quickly from the surgery and experience less pain following surgery than older pets. In short – the sooner the better.

Is the surgery painful?

Yes, the surgery is painful. However, we provide all pets with very effective pain medication that lasts 24 hours after surgery, and offer additional take-home pain medication for purchase.

My pet just had a litter. When can I spay her?

We recommend spaying dogs when their puppies are 5 weeks old and can be away from their mom for the day. We recommend cats get spayed when their kittens are 5 weeks old as well. However, if you have an outdoor cat or a cat that you think may not be able to wait that long, we can spay them sooner. This is sometimes necessary because they can come back into heat and get pregnant while still nursing their kittens. It is okay for the moms to go back to nursing after her spay.

What does the tattoo look like and where is it on my pet?

The tattoo is 1/2 to 1 inch long, straight line in green ink located right by the surgical incision. It will fade a little after the skin heals.

Why does Emancipet tattoo pets?

The tattoo program was started so that we comply with the highest standards of the Spay-Neuter Task Force guidelines. These guidelines were established to protect our wonderful patients and insure that they are treated safely and effectively. The tattoo is meant to be a permanent identification that your pet has been spayed or neutered.

Can’t veterinarians tell if my pet is spayed or neutered without the tattoo?

Sometimes not. Of course this would only be an issue if your pet were lost or in a shelter without it’s medical history. With newer dissolvable suture materials, there are no stitches to feel in a female’s belly to indicate she was already spayed and if they have surgery at a young age, there is no scar to see. In male dogs, if you can’t see or feel a scar, there is a possibility that the dog still has testicles but they never dropped into the scrotal sac (cryptorchid). The doctor would open the male dog up like a spay to look for those testicles, a painful and unnecessary surgery that could have been prevented with a permanent identifying mark.