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How Long Does Spaying Take?

Spaying your female cat or dog is the best way to prevent them from having babies that you don't want. It can also help to stop them from doing things you don't like and potect them from getting some types of serious cancers. Our Voorhees vets explain how the spaying process works and how long your pet may take to heal after the procedure.


What is spaying?

Often referred to as a spay procedure, an ovariohysterectomy is a surgical operation to remove the female reproductive organs (the two ovaries, the uterine horns, and the body of the uterus). 

Benefits of Spaying

By having your pet spayed, you are eliminating the risk of unwanted litters of puppies or kittens. Spaying is especially important for outdoor female cats, since they can begin getting pregnant early in their development and have the highest risk of pregnancy. 

Spaying also helps decrease the chance that your pet will suffer from a disease that impacts the female reproductive system. The spay procedure also removes the risk of a severe uterine infection (pyometra), and there is some evidence that pets who are spayed when they are young have a lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life. 

The Spay Procedure 

Your vet will run the appropriate diagnostic tests before your pet's spaying surgery to ensure they are healthy enough to be sedated for the operation. The spay procedure will be completed while your pet is under general anesthesia. 

After your cat or dog has been anesthetized, the hair on their abdomen will be shaved down and the skin thoroughly disinfected. The organs are then removed, either with surgical lasers (a laparoscopic spay) or with a traditional scalpel. Both methods are safe. 

After your vet has performed the procedure, your pet's skin will be closed with sutures (stitches), skin glue, or surgical staples. Your veterinarian will need to remove these stitches or staples 10 to 14 days after your pet's procedure. 

How long does a spaying surgery take?

This procedure typically takes between 20 and 90 minutes to perform, depending on your pet's size and any special medical circumstances. The procedure can take longer for large-breed dogs or older pets and may require two surgeons to perform. 

Although the actual procedure is relatively quick, you can typically expect your pet to spend a few hours at the hospital, allowing time for check-in, an initial physical assessment, the surgery itself, and time for recovery from anesthesia.

How long does spaying take to heal?

You may wonder how long it takes the average pet to recover from spaying. While most pets will start to feel better in 24 - 48 hours, full recovery takes between 10 to 14 days. During this period you should aim to keep your pet calm and refrain from allowing them to jump, as this could cause the incision to reopen. The incision should be checked daily for signs of infection. If you notice redness, discharge, swelling, or a foul odor, contact your veterinarian.

You should also monitor your pet's behavior. If after 48 hours they still seem lethargic or are not eating or drinking it could be a sign of infection. Follow up with your veterinarian or bring them in for emergency care.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you thinking of spaying your cat or dog? Contact our vets at Voorhees Veterinary Center to find out how you can protect your pet's health.

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Voorhees Veterinary Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of New Jersey's companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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