What Is a Spay?

Everyone knows they should have their females dogs and cats spayed, but what exactly does that mean? The word "spay" is thought to originate from the Old French espeer meaning to cut with a sword, which then may have been changed to the Middle English spayen. Today the word means to perform a surgery to remove the reproductive tract from the abdomen of a female animal.

A spay is not a simple little surgery. It is not a tubal ligation. A spay surgery is a major abdominal surgery that removes the ovaries and uterus. An incision is made on the mid-line of the abdomen, each ovary is isolated, ligated and removed, then the body of the uterus is ligated and removed.

This surgery is performed in order to prevent pregnancy of course, but there are two other reasons veterinarians recommend the procedure. The two reasons are: to try to prevent breast cancer and to prevent a pyometra. If a dog is spayed before her first estrus (heat cycle), veterinarians just don't see breast tumors. If a dog goes through one heat cycle, she has an 8% chance of developing breast cancer. If a dog has two or more estrus cycles, she has a one-in-four chance of getting breast cancer.

A pyometra is a bad infection of the uterus that requires immediate surgery to remove the swollen uterus along with the ovaries. This is considered an emergency, it is essentially an abscess in the uterus. These dogs are sick and require hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics and fluids until they are feeling better. This is fairly common problem in unspayed female dogs, with the odds increasing with age. It tends to occur a few weeks after an estrus cycle.

When women have a hysterectomy, the ovaries are often left in the abdomen. This is not done in dogs because they would still come in heat and they would still be at a high risk of breast cancer.

The traditional age to perform the spay surgery is six months of age. The first estrus cycle is usually between seven and nine months of age, and we want the surgery to be done before this.
Some rescue groups are doing spay surgeries at younger ages as their motivations are population control. They want to make sure all puppies and kittens that are adopted have no chance of having litters of their own.

In summary, while a spay surgery is a commonly performed procedure, it is not a simple surgery, or one to be taken lightly. Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about getting your pet spayed.

Announcements: 

From January 15th - January 26th the office will be open Monday through Saturday from 10am - 5pm.  Mobile appointments may be limited.

We are excited to offer CareCredit as a form of payment for all of your pet's needs!  Check them out at CareCredit.com 

We have just opened our on-line pharmacy!  Order at your convenience!  Free shipping and autoship are available!  Best of all, shop with confidence knowing that all of the products are veterinary regulated!!  Check us out at Vets First Choice.

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

2:00 am - 7:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 pm - 1:00 pm

2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am

4:00 pm

Sunday:

Emergency

Only


If you are looking to come to us you can visit our new location Click Here!

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Such a wonderful visit! Dr. Bishop is so kind, patient, and knowledgeable. They were able to take us the next day when we needed to get our new cat, Ivan, vaccinated. He had been outside and needed treatment. The doc knew the shots he needed and helped with his fleas. I highly recommend this fantastic care to anyone looking for a new vet. The gentleness here is priceless. Thank you Dr. Bishop!! ^_^"
  • "I am very grateful to Dr. Bishop and everything he has helped us with."
  • "It is nice to rely on his good medical judgment and his caring services."

Visit ourtestimonials page for more stories!!

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Lost Pets

    Has your pet wriggled their way through the fence or dashed out the front door? When searching for your lost pet, make sure you include these steps in your hunt. ...

    Read More
  • Should You Leave Your Cat Alone for a Long Weekend?

    So you have a trip planned for the weekend, but what should you do with your cat? Learn how to best care for your cat while you're away. ...

    Read More
  • Flea and Tick Season

    Want to protect your pet from fleas and ticks? These tips can help. ...

    Read More
  • Summer Grooming Tips

    Want to keep your pet cool and comfortable this summer? A few changes to your normal grooming routine can help. ...

    Read More
  • What to Do If Your Pet is Stung

    Don't get us wrong, we love the bees! But we don't love when our pets get stung. Follow our tips to treat and prevent bee stings on your furry best friend. ...

    Read More
  • Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

    Do you dread hitting the road with your pet? These tips may make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for you both. ...

    Read More
  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles