What is a Spay?
Spay/Neuter July 08, 2016

What is a Spay?

Short Answer: A spay “fixes” female pets.

A “spay” is a general term used to describe the ovariohysterectomy of a female animal so that she can no longer have litters.

The procedure is done with the animal under general anesthesia and consists of a small incision in the abdomen to remove the reproductive organs (ovaries and uterus). Recovery is generally prompt. Most cats and dogs can go home the day of surgery and are back to normal within five to seven days.

Pets are typically spayed to eliminate the possibility of reproduction and as a proactive measure to avoid future health concerns such as ovarian cancer. In addition to pet health benefits, spaying your pet has also been found to improve cat and dog behavior.

Pets are typically spayed to eliminate the possibility of reproduction and as a proactive measure to avoid future health concerns such as ovarian cancer.

Spays can be done on pets as early as eight weeks of age. Pets older than six years of age are generally advised to get blood work done to ensure there will be no complications.

While a spay is considered to be a routine surgery and done by a licensed veterinarian, the procedure is not without risk. Complications are very uncommon, but it is important to know that like any surgical procedure, there is always the risk of anesthesia reaction, excessive bleeding, bruising, and infection. Overall, the prognosis for a full recovery is excellent in healthy patients.


The Michelson Found Animals Foundation's mission of saving pets and enriching lives is made possible by the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson.

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