Spaying & Neutering FAQs

Why should I spay or neuter my pet?

Spaying/Neutering your pets is good for you, good for your pets, and good for the community.

Should my pet be vaccinated prior to surgery?
We highly recommend that you have your dog or cat vaccinated two weeks prior to surgery. The distemper series will help prevent your pet from getting sick from exposure to other animals. We will vaccinate the day of surgery, but exposing an unvaccinated animal to a lot of other animals could increase the chances of contracting an illness. It is like taking an unvaccinated child to school with a lot of other children.

What do "spay" and "neuter" really mean?
Female dogs and cats are spayed by removing their reproductive organs, and male dogs and cats are neutered by removing their testicles. In both cases the operation is performed while the pet is under anesthesia. Your pet will remain at the clinic for the day, but go home the same evening.

At what age will you spay/neuter (alter) my pet?
VT-CAN! will alter kittens and puppies at 8 weeks old if they are at least 2 pounds, but they must be at least 12 weeks old in order to receive a rabies vaccination. Some people think that you can't alter puppies and kittens so young but they actually bounce back from surgery very quickly! Pediatric spay/neuter is safe and is less stressful on the patient than waiting until the animal is older.

Is spay/neuter safe?
As with any surgery, there are certain risks, but the benefits far outweigh the risks! The animals are asleep during surgery and sedated so that they don't feel pain. They receive pain medication to help when they wake up. The surgery itself only takes between 5-20 minutes. Because spaying eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer and neutering removes the risk of testicular cancer, we feel it's worth it!