Veterinarian Dr. Bryna Felchle examines a dog during a spay and neuter consultation at the Animal Clinic of Billings and Animal Surgery Clinic.

Have you recently just welcomed a new puppy or kitten into your family? If so, we recommend having them spayed or neutered. In doing so, you will set up your furry friend for a longer and healthier life. Because every pet is different, the best time to have your pet spayed or neutered varies. We suggest speaking with one of our veterinarians to decide the proper time to have your pet’s spay or neuter performed. Our primary concern when performing a spay or neuter is your pet’s safety and comfort.

The Animal Clinic of Billings uses comprehensive pain management strategies in conjunction with customized anesthesia protocols and close patient monitoring to ensure your pet is comfortable both during the surgery and throughout their stay in the clinic. Following a spay or neuter, all patients are sent home with oral pain medications to ensure a comfortable recovery.

THE BENEFITS OF SPAYING OR NEUTERING YOUR PET

veterinarian listening to dogs heart beat
Social Benefits

Among the numerous benefits of spaying and neutering pets is a reduction in the problem of cat and dog overpopulation. According to the ASPCA, 7.6 million animals end up in shelters each year in large part because of accidental and unwanted litters. Sadly, shelters can’t adopt out all of the animals in their care. This means that many potentially adoptable animals are put to sleep.

HEALTH BENEFITS
  • Longer lifespan for your pet
  • Significant reduction in the development of mammary tumors in females
  • Prevention of potentially fatal uterine infections (called pyometras) in females
  • Prevention of ovarian and uterine cancer in females
  • Prevention of testicular cancer in males
  • Reduction in prostate problems and perineal hernias in males
  • Avoidance of unwanted pregnancies, their associated health risks, and the responsibilities of caring for a litter
BEHAVIORAL BENEFITS
  • Spayed and neutered pets are less likely to roam, which can result in serious injuries.
  • Spayed and neutered pets are less likely to engage in urine marking and other objectionable behaviors.
  • Spaying and neutering may help with aggression issues in some situations.
  • Spayed females will not experience heat cycles with their associated vulvar discharge every 6-8 months. This can be a frustrating and unpleasant experience for owners.

For information on our discounted spay and neuter services, or to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, call the Animal Clinic of Billings.

We are proud to treat your pet with the compassionate care they deserve.

Call us today! 406-252-9499

 

WHAT’S THE BEST AGE TO SPAY OR NEUTER A DOG OR CAT?

Female cats and dogs will experience the greatest decrease in their risk of developing mammary cancer later in life if they are spayed before their first heat cycle begins. Because they can go into heat as young as 6 months of age, we recommend spaying at 5-6 months of age. Spaying a dog or cat after they have sexually matured will still result in a significantly decreased risk, but it will be higher than if they were spayed prior to puberty.

Male cats should ideally be neutered at 5-6 months of age, before they are old enough to sire a litter. For dogs, the best age to neuter depends in part on their breed. Recent research suggests that large and giant breed dogs may have an increased risk of developing orthopedic problems later in life if they are neutered before they are fully grown. For this reason, we recommend that large and giant breed dogs be neutered at 12-18 months of age. No such correlation has been identified for small and medium breed dogs, so they can be neutered as early as 5-6 months with no negative effects.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOUR PET GETS SPAYED OR NEUTERED

Billings veterinarian Dr. Bryna Felchle performing a discounted spay surgery on a cat in one of our operating rooms at the Animal Clinic of Billings and Animal Surgery Clinic.
Spaying

Spaying, also known as “ovariohysterectomy,” is a surgical procedure in which the ovaries and uterus are removed. Because this procedure requires general anesthesia, a pet must be fasted for a period of time before surgery. Typically, we advise that a cat or dog be fasted after midnight the night before their surgery, although for younger patients we may recommend a shorter fast.

When a pet arrives at the clinic the morning of her spay surgery, she is examined by one of our veterinarians, and a small amount of lab work is performed to check for any abnormalities that could result in an increased anesthesia risk. Shortly before being placed under anesthesia, the patient is given an injection of sedation and pain medication to keep her calm and to ensure that pain control has taken effect before the surgery starts. This helps to decrease the amount of anesthesia gas that is needed during the surgery.

Once the patient is placed under general anesthesia, her belly is clipped and scrubbed, she is positioned on her back on the surgery table, and monitoring equipment is attached to allow continuous tracking of her vital signs. While a technician closely monitors the patient, the veterinarian makes a small incision down the middle of the belly and removes the uterus and ovaries. After closing the incision, the patient is monitored while she wakes up.

We hospitalize all spay patients overnight after their surgery, and make sure that they are eating, drinking, and comfortable on oral pain medication before sending them home the following day. They may go home with visible stitches in the skin at their spay site, or with dissolvable stitches that were placed underneath the skin surface. Either way, a two week recheck is scheduled to make sure that each patient has fully healed.

Until their recheck, it is important that they take it easy and avoid any vigorous or high-impact activity. For very high-energy patients, a mild sedative may be sent home in addition to the pain medication. If a pet tries to lick at her incision, a recovery collar may be necessary until her recheck exam.

Neutering

Neutering, also known as castration, is the surgical removal of the testicles from a male cat or dog. Because this procedure requires general anesthesia, a pet must be fasted for a period of time before surgery. Typically, we advise that a cat or dog be fasted after midnight the night before their surgery, although for younger patients we may recommend a shorter fast.

Animal Clinic of Billings Veterinarian Dr. Massic neuters a dog in the Animal Surgery Clinic operating room.

When a pet arrives at the clinic the morning of his neuter surgery, he is examined by one of our veterinarians, and a small amount of lab work is performed to check for any abnormalities that could result in an increased anesthesia risk. Shortly before being placed under anesthesia, the patient is given an injection of sedation and pain medication to keep him calm and to ensure that pain control has taken effect before the surgery starts. This helps to decrease the amount of anesthesia gas that is needed during the surgery.

Once the patient is placed under general anesthesia, the surgical site (the scrotum for cats, and the area just in front of the scrotum in dogs) is clipped and scrubbed, he is positioned on his back on the surgery table, and monitoring equipment is attached to allow continuous tracking of his vital signs. While a technician closely monitors the patient, the veterinarian makes a small incision through which both testicles are removed. After closing the incision, the patient is monitored while he wakes up.

Typically a dog can be sent home the same day as his surgery, while cats are usually hospitalized overnight as the anesthesia takes a little longer to completely wear off. Because the incision for a cat is so small, it does not require stitches. A dog may go home with visible stitches in the skin at his neuter site, or with dissolvable stitches that were placed underneath the skin surface. Either way, a two week recheck is scheduled to make sure that each patient has fully healed.

Until their recheck, it is important that they take it easy and avoid any vigorous or high-impact activity. For very high-energy patients, a mild sedative may be sent home in addition to the pain medication. If a pet tries to lick at his incision, a recovery collar may be necessary until his recheck exam.

SPAYING AND NEUTERING RABBITS

Veterinarian Dr. Bobbi Jo Massic with a soon-to-be spayed rabbit patient. Dr. Massic treats exotic pets and pocket pets of all types and sizes.

To reduce the pet overpopulation problem, spay or neuter your pet rabbits, too. Rabbits reproduce much faster than dogs or cats and many end up in shelters, where countless rabbits are euthanized every year. Neutering male rabbits reduces hormone-driven behavior such as lunging, mounting, spraying, and boxing.

And like dogs and cats, spayed female rabbits are less likely to get ovarian, mammary, and uterine cancers, which are prevalent in mature females.

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Considering the costs of owning a non-altered pet, the savings of spay/neuter are clear – especially at the Animal Clinic of Billings where you receive discounts on both procedures. Caring for a pet with reproductive cancer or a pyometra can quickly run into the thousands of dollars—five to ten times as much as our routine spay or neuter surgery.

Also, unaltered pets can be destructive or high-strung around other dogs. Dangerous fighting is more common between unaltered pets of the same gender and can incur high veterinary costs.

More than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters annually. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100% effective method of birth control for dogs and cats. Millions of pets are euthanized at animal shelters through the country each year. By spaying or neutering your pet, and you are part of the solution.

If your pet is not spayed or neutered, please contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our veterinarians. Tell your family and friends that they should do the same!

 

To learn more about our spay and neuter discounts or to schedule an appointment for a spay or neuter consultation, please call us anytime during regular business hours. Our receptionists are happy to speak with you.

You may also ask them to schedule an appointment for you with one of our veterinarians for a spay or neuter consultation anytime during regular business hours.

406-252-9499  REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT