Shots, Spays, Neuters

Shots, Spays, Neuters – three terms that seem quite simple and inexpensive. Are they? Let’s investigate. The so-called “shots” are vaccines that protect our pets from diseases, some of which are deadly. Vaccines have increased life expectancy in dogs and cats; however, each time a vaccine is given, something else should happen that the street corner doc does not provide: an EXAM. This head-to-toe exam could extend your pet’s life or improve the quality of their life. With cats and dogs aging the equivalent of approximately seven years for every one of ours, these exams are critical. Don’t shortchange your pet’s health for a cheap shot.

A spay is an ovariohysterectomy. In other words, the entire reproductive system of a cat or dog is removed in the spay procedure. This entails an incision into the abdomen and the clamping and tying off of major blood vessels attached to the ovaries and uterus. The neuter is the removal of both testicles. This surgery is performed through a skin incision through which each testicle is exposed, clamed, and blood vessels ligated or tied off to prevent serious bleeding and possible death. Both of these procedures are considered major surgery. Both surgeries are performed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with the pet under general anesthesia and use of appropriate monitors and assistance from Certified Veterinary Nurses. Nothing about these procedures is simple. Under-priced maybe, but not simple.

Shots, spays, and neuters are terrible terms for very important and technical procedures that should be performed by highly qualified veterinarians and their equally qualified staff.


David J. Smith, VMD

Bay Road Animal Hospitals