Spay and neuter pets is one of the most frequent surgeries our Kowloon Veterinary Hospital (KVH) vets perform. It is a relatively minor procedure and your pet is usually home the same day.

The purpose of spay and neuter is to prevent your pets from having a litter (babies.) It also prevents unwanted territorial behaviour and dramatically reduces the risks of many diseases.The most common age to spay and neuter your pet is 6 months and over.

While pets can be spay and neuter at any age, there are many benefits to spay and neuter your pet at 6 months of age, such as:

  • Prevention of unwanted litters
  • Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease
  • Prevention of uterine infections and mammary cancer
  • Stops the ‘heat’ cycle and menstrual cycles
  • Stops urine marking and mounting
  • Reduces aggression
  • Reduces the desire for males to stray in search of females
  • Increases the life span of many pets

What KVH needs you to do before spay and neuter surgery:

  • Wash females, (particularly dogs,) as they cannot be washed or get wet after until the stitches are removed.
  • Give pets their monthly flea, tick and worm control a week before surgery. Parasites can contaminate a sterile surgical environment.
  • Do not feed your pet after 8pm the night before the operation.
  • Do not give your pet any water after 8am on the day of surgery.
  • With your permission, a blood test may be necessary prior to surgery, to check general health and vital organ functions.
  • All pets will require intravenous fluid support during surgery. This will also be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief, which lasts for 24 hours post surgery, usually this will be tablets at home, ask your KVH vet how to administer these if you are not sure.

What KVH needs you to do before spay and neuter surgery:

  • Keep your pet calm; the effects of an anesthetic can take a day to wear off completely.
  • Keeping your pet quiet is also essential for the wound to heal.
  • Keep your pet away from other pets and or children, a pet in pain can bite if played with too roughly, the wound is touched or they are accidentally hurt.
  • Give a smaller portion of food and water the night after surgery.
  • Follow the dietary instructions your vet provided.
  • Ensure post-surgical medications are given as instructed.
  • Ensure your pet’s bedding / rest area is clean to avoid infection.
  • The majority of times there are no post-surgical complications or infections. However, you should check the wound at least twice daily for any signs of infection, such as bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge.
  • If these symptoms appear, contact the vet IMMEDIATELY – Post-surgical infections can be life threatening. Do not wait to see if your pet will get better.
  • A special cone-shaped collar will prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. A single bite can remove stitching with disastrous effects.
  • Ensure your pet sees our vets for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches.

These are some of the most frequent questions we receive about spay and neuter:

Will spay and neuter change my pet’s personality?

Your pet will be the same, just a little calmer.

Will my pet gain weight?

Your pet’s metabolism may slow down a little; however, as most animals are desexed during puberty (when they are teenagers) it is natural for their metabolism to slow down with age. With adjusted feeding and sufficient exercise, your pet can maintain a normal weight.

Is spay and neuter painful?

There is tenderness after the procedure, but most pets recover quickly. KVH vets send all pets home with pain relief.

Will my dog lose its ‘guard dog’ instincts?

No, your dog will be just as protective of you and their territory as before.

If you have any concerns about the health and wellbeing of your pet before or after spay and neuter, please call us to discuss them.