To accomplish surgical neutering, a veterinarian removes certain reproductive organs. The procedure is performed with the pet under general anesthesia.
If your dog or cat is a female, the veterinarian will remove her ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. Although commonly referred to as spaying, the technically correct name for the operation is an "ovariohysterectomy" and it eliminates the production of eggs.
If your dog or cat is a male, the veterinarian will remove his testicles. Although usually referred to as castration or neutering, this operation is properly called an "orchiectomy" and it eliminates the production of sperm.
Before performing the procedure, your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination of your pet and may do certain laboratory tests to ensure that there are no underlying medical problems such as kidney or liver disease, diabetes, or chronic infections that could put your pet at increased risk for complications during or after surgery.
Prior to surgery, pet owners will be given instructions to withhold food and water for a specified time. Following these instructions carefully is important to maximize your pet's safety during anesthesia.
After surgery, your pet will be carefully monitored as it recovers. Any postoperative pain or discomfort is usually relatively short in duration and can be controlled with medication. Some veterinarians may choose to keep your pet overnight after the surgery for observation, whereas others may prefer to send your pet home the same day as the surgery. In either case, once your pet returns home, you should follow your veterinarian's instructions carefully to ensure that your pet recovers completely and successfully from his/her operation.
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