Spay and neuter surgeries are common procedures performed at our San Diego animal clinic that help to prevent unwanted litters and offer a number of health benefits to cats and dogs.

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What is spaying and neutering?

Spaying and neutering refer to the surgical sterilization of an animal under general anesthesia. 

Spaying is a surgical procedure for female animals. Technically known as an ovariohysterectomy, spaying removes a female animal's ovaries and uterus.

Neutering, or orchiectomy, removes the testicles from male pets and is considered a simpler surgery than a spay. The term 'neutering' can also sometimes be used to refer to 'fixing' both female and male animals.

Dog & Cat Spay and Neuter in San Diego, Spay and Neuter Near Me

Benefits For Cats

There are several benefits of spaying or neutering your cat:

  1. Stops unwanted behaviors, like spraying and marking territory.
  2. Neutered male cats are less likely to stray from home.
  3. May increase your cat's affection towards you.
  4. Reduces the risk of your cat contracting certain diseases.
  5. Decreases the risk of uterine infection in female cats.
  6. May decrease the risk of mammary (breast) cancer.

Benefits For Dogs

Spaying or neutering your dog has several key benefits:

  1. Reduces the risk of prostate and other cancers.
  2. Reduces marking and spraying issues.
  3. Stabilizes your dog's mood.
  4. Reduces the mating urge.
  5. Can help reduce sexualized behaviors.

Spaying & Neutering, San Diego Veterinarians

Spaying & Neutering FAQs

  • Why should I get my cat spayed or neutered?

    Population Control

    According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), it is estimated that around 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters every year.

    The absolute best way for you to protect your cat from potential diseases and help to reduce the number of unwanted cats in San Diego area shelters is by spaying or neutering your feline friend.

    Protect Wildlife

    It is estimated that cats in the USA kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds every year. By helping to keep the number of homeless cats to a minimum, you help to save the lives of countless birds and other wildlife, some of which are endangered.

    Benefits of Neutering Cats

    Neutering a male cat can help to curb many undesirable cat behaviors such as spraying urine indoors and around the house to mark territory, roaming, howling, and fighting with other intact (non-neutered) male cats. Reducing your cat's temptation to fight may also reduce their risk of injury, and of contracting Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and Feline leukemia virus (FeLV).

    Benefits of Spaying Cats

    Spaying a female cat before she enters her first heat cycle can help to reduce your cat's risk of developing pyometra (infection of the womb) and mammary tumors. It's also important to note that female cats carrying infectious diseases can pass serious conditions on to their kittens, who may then go on to spread the disease even further. In addition, the pregnancy and birth processes can be risky for younger cats, and costly to their owners. 

  • Why should I get my dog spayed or neutered?

    Population Control

    According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), approximately 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year across the USA.

    Spaying or neutering your dog is the best way for you to not only help reduce the overall number of unwanted puppies each year but also improve your pet's behavior and reduce their risk of some serious health conditions.

    Dog Spaying Benefits

    Female dog spaying can help to prevent serious health problems such as pyometra, (a potentially life-threatening uterine infection), and mammary cancer.

    Dog Neutering Benefits

    Male dog neutering helps to prevent your pet from developing testicular cancer and can also help reduce unwanted behaviors such as dog aggression, straying, and sexual behaviors such as 'humping'.

  • When and at what age should I have my pet spayed?

    Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best age to spay or neuter your cat or dog. Some research indicates there may be long-term health benefits to spaying or neutering dogs after they have passed through puberty. 

    Although many veterinary professionals recommend that female animals be spayed before their first heat (as early as 5 months of age), there is increasing evidence that this is too young as the animals have not been allowed to fully develop and grow.

  • What should I know about the recovery process for my pet?


    After spay surgery, some patients will need to be sent to a trusted critical care facility for overnight monitoring, while others will go home on the same day. The rule of thumb is generally 7-10 days of restricted activity.  


    If the surgery goes without incident, your dog or cat can usually go home on the same day of the procedure, with activity restricted for a few days while the incision heals.

    For both procedures, we may send your pet home with a protective collar to keep it from licking the incision.

    We typically book a follow-up visit to check on how well your pet has healed and to remove the stitches.

  • Will my pet feel anything during the procedure?

    No, your pet will be under general anesthesia, and will not feel anything during the procedure.

  • Will my pet gain weight after the procedure?

    Natural weight gain after your puppy or kitten's spay/neuter procedure is a normal part of them growing into adult animals.

    However, your pet will not gain weight as a result of being spayed or neutered.

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