Get Answers to Your Questions about Pet Health in Tucson, AZ

Surgery

What kind of anesthesia is used?

All cats and dogs are maintained under general anesthesia during surgery with Isoflurane gas. Each animal is placed on state-of-the art pulse oximetry & CO2 monitors during surgery and recovery. Each animal is monitored and cared for by skilled and trained veterinary assistants at all times.

What about recovery?

You will receive post-operative instructions at pickup. It is important that you keep your pet indoors and restrict activity for the next 5–7 days. Monitor your pet closely the evening of surgery, and be sure to check the incision daily for any changes in appearance. We strongly recommend Elizabethan collars for all post-operative male dogs and any other pets who are likely to lick or chew at their incision. These e-collars are available to purchase.

Vaccinations

Are vaccines required prior to your pet’s visit?

No. We do not require vaccinations. However, we do recommend that you get vaccinations for your pet every year. We also recommend that the rabies vaccination is current for all animals over the age of 12 weeks as required by the state of Arizona.

What other vaccinations are available?

For dogs: DHPP (4 in 1) protects against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, and Parainfluenza; CORONA protects against intestinal disease; and BORDATELLA protects against kennel cough. The BORDATELLA vaccine is required by many kennels and grooming facilities.

For cats: FVRCPC (4 in 1) protects against feline Panleukopenia virus, feline Rhinotracheitis, feline Calici Virus, and Chlamydia. The FELINE LEUKEMIA vaccine protects against the contagious leukemia virus.

Spaying & Neutering

What is the surgical procedure?

Male cats: Your male cat will have an incision made on both sides of the scrotum. The testicles are removed and tied off. There are no sutures; the scrotum will simply heal and decrease in size within 1-2 weeks. The larger (older) cats may have a larger amount of swelling making it appear that the testicles are still present. They are not!

Female cats: An incision is made on the abdomen from which both ovaries and the uterus are removed. The incision is closed using two layers of absorbable suture. There is no suture removal necessary. The outside skin is sealed with a layer of surgical glue, which may make the incision appear blue/purple. This will disappear shortly and the incision should begin to become less evident by 2 weeks after surgery.

Male dogs: Both testicles are removed on male dogs using an incision made just in front of the scrotum. The location of this incision does make licking/chewing possible post-op; we strongly recommend Elizabethan collars for male dogs. Afterwards, the opening is closed with two layers of absorbable suture; no suture removal is necessary. The outside of the skin opened is sealed with surgical glue, which may cause the incision to look blue or purple. This coloration will go away shortly, and two weeks after surgery, the incision will be less visible.

Female dogs: A small opening is made through the abdomen. The ovaries and uterus are removed. Then, the opening is sealed with two coatings of absorbable suture. No removing of the suture is needed. With the outside skin layer closed with surgical glue, the opening may have a blueish or purplish hue. This hue will fade quickly. The opening will be less visible after about two weeks after the surgery.

Why spay or neuter?

Males: Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unsterilized, unsupervised males roam in search of a mate, risking injury in traffic and in fights with other males. Males mark territory by spraying strong-smelling urine on surfaces. Don’t confuse aggressiveness with protectiveness; a neutered dog will protect his home and family just as well as an unneutered dog, and many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering. Neutering a male cat or dog before six months of age prevents testicular cancer, prostate disease, and hernias.

Females: While their cycles vary greatly, most female cats exhibit the following signs when in heat. For 4-5 days, every 2-3 weeks, they yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house—advertising for mates. Female dogs in heat attract males from great distances. Female dogs generally have a bloody discharge for about a week and can conceive for another week or so. Spaying a female cat or dog helps prevent pyometra (a pus-filled uterus) and breast cancer; having this done before the first heat offers the best protection from these diseases. Breast cancer can be fatal in about 30–50 percent of female dogs and 80–90 percent of female cats.

Our Responsibility: Each year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized (killed) at shelters across the country. Although pet behavioral problems are the main reasons animals are given to shelters, many orphans are the result of accidental breeding by free-roaming, unaltered pets. The more pets there are that spayed or neutered, the fewer dogs and cats will have to be destroyed.