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Spay and Neuter

Spay & Neuter: The Basics

Spay & Neuter

Your pet has a right to live a happy, healthy life, and that means making responsible decisions as a loving owner. Spaying and neutering both have significant health benefits for pets, while also helping to cut back on the serious issue of overpopulation. Santa Monica Pet Medical Center provides spay and neuter services as well as at-home care instructions for owners to ensure that pets have a smooth recovery.

Health and Behavior Benefits

Opting to have your pet spayed or neutered reduces their cancer risks and can lead to several key behavioral changes.

Male Dogs & Cats

In male dogs and cats, you’ll see:

  • Subdued aggression, less urine marking, and mounting behavior

  • Less of a desire to roam to find a mate

  • Prevention of prostate gland enlargement and testicular cancer

  • Reduction in the rate for perianal tumors

Female Dogs & Cats

In female dogs and cats, you’ll see:

  • Prevention of pacing and crying of a female cat in heat

  • Elimination of a messy dog in heat

  • Significant reduction in the risk of breast cancer

  • Complete prevention of uterine infections and cancer

While each case is different depending on gender, size, and breed, it is generally recommended that your pet be spayed or neutered by 6 months old. For females, it is essential that it be done prior to their first heat cycle. Larger dog breeds can also have a gastropexy performed during their spay/neuter procedure, but it is not always recommended. Please schedule an appointment for more details.

dog with a cone

Post-Procedure Instructions

After a spay and neuter surgery, your pet will need to be cared for at home. Keep them indoors as much as possible and prevent them from running or jumping for about 2 weeks post-surgery. A cone should be worn to keep your pet from licking the wound until it is fully healed. Check the incision daily and call us if you see any redness, swelling, or discharge. Additionally, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or severe lethargy after surgery can indicate a serious problem, so contact us right away.

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