Spay and Neuter

Spaying and neutering your pets is by far the most important step to prevent unwanted pregnancies.  Fixing you animal will reduce the number of animals that end up in shelters every year. Sterling Shelter Clinic offers low-cost options for spaying and neutering.  We also offer emergency procedures such as Caesarian Sections (C-sections) and Pyometra Spays. These procedures are performed in Sterling Shelter’s onsite veterinary clinic which is open to the public.

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Spaying & Neutering

spay and neuter

Sterling Shelter Clinic offers high-quality, low-cost spay and neuter procedures for cats, dogs, rabbits, and some pocket pets. These procedures prevent unwanted animal pregnancies.  They also decrease roaming behavior and protect your pet from reproductive illnesses later in life. Sterling Shelter Clinic highly recommends spaying and neutering your pets as soon as possible. Any pet over 12 weeks of age and 2 pounds body weight can safely be spayed or neutered through Sterling Shelter Clinic’s affordable pediatric spay/neuter program.
A spay procedure – also known as an ovariohysterectomy or OVH – is an abdominal surgery in which the veterinarian will remove a female pet’s uterus and ovaries. This means that your pet will no longer be able to get pregnant and will not go into heat. This procedure also decreases the amount of female hormones your pet’s body produces.  This reduces the risk of your pet developing hormone-related illnesses such as mammary tumors later in life. Because this is an invasive surgery, your pet will need to stay quiet for several days after the procedure to promote healing.

Male pets will undergo a procedure called neutering. In this procedure, the veterinarian removes the testicles, typically leaving the scrotum intact. Because of the location of the testicles, this can typically be done without entering the abdominal cavity. However, some male pets may have testicles that do not descend into the scrotum and are retained in the abdominal cavity. This condition is called cryptorchidism. If your pet is cryptorchid, your veterinarian will need to perform surgery in your pet’s abdomen to find and remove the retained testicle(s). This is more invasive than a typical neuter procedure but it will prevent the complications that can arise when a testicle is retained.

Following a spay or neuter procedure, your pet will need to be kept quiet for several days while the surgical incision is healing. For especially energetic pets, this may mean keeping your pet crated or leashed for a few days. Your pet will likely be sent home with an Elizabethan collar (also known as an e-collar or “cone”) to stop him or her from licking the surgical incision. Your pet will also be sent home with a medication for pain. While your pet is healing, you should monitor the surgery site for any swelling, bruising, or discharge and contact your veterinarian if these signs occur.

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Caesarian Section with Spay

Sometimes pregnant animals experience dystocia, or a difficult birth. This can occur because a fetus is incorrectly positioned, or simply because the fetus is too large for the mother to give birth naturally. In these cases, Sterling Shelter Clinic offers affordable Caesarian Section surgeries. In a Caesarian Section, or C-section, the veterinarian opens the abdominal cavity and removes the babies directly from the uterus instead of allowing them to pass through the birthing canal naturally. Once the babies have been successfully delivered, the veterinarian will then perform a spay surgery to remove the uterus and ovaries. This ensures that the mother cannot go into heat and will not get pregnant again. In most cases, the mother will still be able to nurse her babies naturally.

Although a C-section surgery is riskier and more complicated than a typical spay surgery, the recovery period is similar. Your pet will have a surgical incision on her abdomen and you will need to make sure that the incision is kept clean and dry. Your pet will likely go home with an e-collar to prevent her from licking the incision. You will also need to keep your pet quiet to allow the incision to heal. Your pet will be prescribed pain medications and may be sent home on antibiotics as well. You will need to monitor both the mother and the babies for several days following the surgery to ensure that they are all recovering well. If you have any concerns following the procedure, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Pyometra Spay


Female pets that are not spayed are at risk for developing a serious infection in the uterus called pyometra. When pyometra develops, bacteria ascend the vagina and infect the lining of the uterus, causing the uterus to fill with pus and fluid. This typically occurs 1-3 months after your pet’s last heat cycle. If your pet has pyometra, she will likely feel very ill and may experience symptoms such as fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, vomiting, and vaginal discharge. If your pet is showing these symptoms, you will need to seek veterinary care immediately. In severe cases, the uterus can rupture or bacteria can enter the blood stream and spread throughout the body. Without treatment, pyometra can be fatal, so it is important to take your dog to the veterinarian for diagnosis right away.

If your pet is diagnosed with pyometra, the recommended treatment is to surgically remove the infected uterus as soon as possible. Sterling Shelter Vet Clinic offers an affordable pyometra spay surgery to help both you and your pet. A pyometra spay is more complicated than a normal spay procedure because the uterus is swollen and full of fluid, making it heavy and fragile. Your pet will likely be placed on antibiotics both during and after the surgery. In some cases, your pet may need to be hospitalized overnight on fluids and medications to ensure she is able to recover from the procedure. The good news is that many pets feel much better once the infected uterus is removed and will show marked improvement within a day or two after the procedure. Following the surgery, your pet will be sent home on antibiotics and pain medications, and will need to stay quiet for several days while she recovers. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for follow-up care, and contact your veterinarian immediately if you have any concerns after the procedure.

Request a quote form Please note: We are located in Central Massachusetts.

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