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Spaying, or medically termed ovariohysterectomy, is a simple yet effective way of population control for our canine and feline populations. It is also a solution to many problems seen especially in our canine pals. The procedure involves the removal of the female reproductive organs under anesthesia. As practicing professionals, we always advise, if you do not intend on breeding your female dog or cat, to spay them! For clients, the question arises as to why this is so important. Well, there are quite a few benefits to spaying your pets.


Our shelter is home to unwanted pets and strays due to lack of control of animals at breeding age. Many sexually mature dogs roam and return home with a surprise for some owners. Often, owners are unprepared to care for newborns and the financial burden they carry, resulting litters being dumped or relinquished to shelters. Remember, pure bred animals contribute to overpopulation too and even they require spaying!


No intention to breed your pet but not spaying because you have a secure yard? Pyometra, also known as infection of the womb, is a common occurrence in middle aged to older dogs who have not been bred. Owners complain that there is a discolored vaginal discharge, sometimes foul smelling and their dog is not doing so well. In more severe cases your pet may just succumb to severe illness without warning. Although some pyometras can be medically treated, they are best treated by removing the reproductive organs, but, prevention is always better than cure!


When dogs start to “call” or are “in-heat” they show this off by passing blood from the vagina. This can be messy especially for our indoor kept companions. Additionally, this discharge may attract flies and can result in maggot wounds if not monitored closely. Spaying completely stops the estrous cycle that promotes “calling” and red vaginal discharge.


Yes, your dog and cat can get “breast cancer”, or better coined, mammary gland tumours. It has been proven that older, un-spayed, female dogs and cats especially have a higher likelihood of developing mammary tumors. Spaying before the first heat greatly reduces the chance of getting breast cancer. The risk increases to 8% and 26% after the first and second heat respectively. Unfortunately, mammary tumours can be very aggressive, and after initial detection the dog may have less than a year to live.


When can my puppy/kitten or dog/cat be spayed? Traditionally the surgery is done around six months of age, however surgery can be done in pets as young as 10 weeks old.

What do I need to do prior to surgery? Your pet should be fasted from food and water for 8 to 12 hours prior to surgery.

How do I care for my pet after surgery? We advise you keep your pet rested for at least 5 days with wound care as needed to allow for healing of the incision and to observe for any abnormal discharges or swelling.

Because the health and well-being of our furry companions are our priority, the TTSPCA Tobago Clinic is offering Spay and Neuter services at a reduced price on the last Tuesday of every month. We aim to not just reduce our stray population, but also to provide a better quality of life for our four-legged friends. For further information or appointments please call 639-2567 or 309-0219. Check out our Facebook page TTSPCA Tobago Shelter. Book your appointment for the next SPAY TUESDAY today and be part of the solution.

Author: Veterinary Clinician at TTSPCA Tobago Clinic, Kalidia Millette DVM, BSc.
Last Updated: 2018-06-12T17:01:37.066Z