Spaying and Neutering

Ridgewood Animal Hospital recommends that everyone spay and neuter their pets to help control the pet population in Lynchburg, Forest, Bedford and surrounding areas.

Some things to expect or ask about the day of and then after surgery:

  • Withold food after dinner on the night before surgery, water is fine. Just like in people, it is medically important to have an empty stomach at the time of surgery.
  • Drop off early on the day of surgery. We perform surgical procedures mid-day, so they are awake enough to eat and go for a walk by late afternoon.
  • Be sure and ask to meet the doctor doing the procedure, we feel it is very important that you have a relationship (or at least meet) with the person anesthetizing and performing surgery on your pet. You should also have the opportunity to ask the doctor questions or address concerns regarding the procedure and aftercare.
  • We always recommend pre-surgical bloodwork screening. It is important to identify any pre-existing liver, kidney or other congenial issues before going under anesthesia.
  • When medically necessary an IV catheter may be placed in the event intravenous access is needed during an anesthetic procedure.
  • Pre-surgical, intra-operative and post-operative pain control is extremely important. Most low-cost facilities do not offer pain control beyond 12-24 hours. This often leads to restlessness or whining, and not wanting to eat/drink. It is our moral and ethical responsibility to be sure that our pets are comfortable in order to properly heal. Even with the most invasive surgeries, our patients are commonly discharged acting completely normal, with no evidence of pain.
  • Inquire about adequate anesthetic monitoring as well as trained licensed technical staff.
  • By using your regular veterinarian for surgical procedures, they are familiar with your pet's pertinent medical history/issues. High volume or low-cost atmospheres are streamlined for maximum efficiency leaving little time or financial allowance for individualized care.
  • We typically call immediately after surgery and again later in the evening to give an update and give some piece of mind to worried parents.
  • Post-operatively it is important to minimize strenuous activity. Tension and motion at the site of an incision will promote inflammation which will can lead to pain and infection. We typically recommend leash walking when outside for 10-14 days following surgery. Normal daily activity is very well tolerated.

Beyond known behavioral benefits, we often discuss the medical benefits as followed:

  • Spaying a female before her first "heat" will reduce her chances of mammary cancer later in life to 0.025%. Females typically begin their first cycle around 9-10 months of age.
  • Timely neutering of males will avoid risk of testicular tumors and prostate disease/infection.
  • Timely spaying of females will avoid life threatening uterine infections and ovarian tumors.
  • Both male and females can avoid an aggressive/terminal form of cancer of the scent glands.

Spaying and Neutering:

  • reduces the tendency to roam while looking for a potential mate which often results in getting hit by an automobile or upsetting neighbors.
  • reduces or eliminates possessive and defensive behaviors which tend to increase as intact animals mature.
  • removes the testicles and associated blood vessels in a male, and both ovaries and uterus to the point of the cervix in a female.
  • between the age of 6 and 8 months will significantly reduce or nullify all of the above listed concerns.

Please feel free to call or make an appointment to address any concerns related to the information above or answer any questions you may have. Call us at 434-525-2111.