Spay/Neuter

We recommend spaying and neutering pets AS EARLY AS

6-8 MONTHS OLD

once they have fully undergone their puppy or kitten vaccinations. The primary reason you should have your pet spayed or neutered early on is that female dogs and cats can begin their heat cycles as early as seven months and males can develop aggressive behaviors during puppyhood or kittenhood. Large breed dogs, in most cases, are recommended to wait until 12 months of age.

Spaying and neutering your pets comes with a myriad of health and behavioral benefits that allow them to live longer, happier lives. Some of the benefits of spaying and neutering your pets include:

Elimination of Heat Cycles

When a female dog or cat goes into heat, they can become highly uncomfortable, will seek attention and will likely attract attention from male dogs and cats in the area. Spaying eliminates heat cycles, making your pet more comfortable.

Behavior

For many pet owners, a major benefit of neutering their male cat or dog is that it reduces aggressive, destructive and territorial behaviors such as spraying, mounting and roaming. A male animal’s urge to wander in search of a female in heat is the single leading cause of animals being killed by vehicles. Neutered pets do not have the hormones that fuel the urge to wander, so they are far less likely to be injured by automobiles.

Overpopulation and Homelessness

There are approximately 6.5 million dogs and cats in shelters, and about 1.5 million of these animals are euthanized each year. Making the decision to spay and neuter your pets prevents overpopulation in shelters, saving the lives of animals in shelters.

Healthier Pets

Pets that are “fixed” live longer than those who aren't. This finding could be related to pets’ strong urge to roam when they are not “fixed,” putting them at high risk of being hit by a car and getting in fights with other animals. What’s more, altering pets greatly reduces their risks of certain cancers and disease. For females, pyometra, a fatal uterine infection, and mammary cancer can be prevented with spaying. For males, neutering prevents enlargement and infection of the prostate gland, and is the curative treatment for testicular cancer.

Spaying or Neutering Dogs

Our refined pre surgical, surgical and post op care will provide your dog with the safest and most comfortable surgical procedure.

If you have owned an animal, or if you know anyone who has, chances are you have heard of the terms spay and neuter. Spaying is a term that describes the ovariohysterectomy, or the removal of portions of the reproductive system of a female dog. Neutering is a term that describes the castration, or the removal of the testicles of a male dog. Veterinarians perform these surgical procedures, which render dogs incapable of reproducing.

Over the past several decades, our veterinary team has successfully performed spay and neuter procedures on countless male and female dogs of all breeds and ages. While we do not consider spay and neuter procedures to be “routine” and all general anesthesia procedures have a risk of complications, spay and neuter procedures are considered safe and are strongly recommended by all major veterinary organizations including the ASPCA and the Animal Humane Society.

We believe in compassionate dog care and therefore are adamant about educating people on why spay and neuter procedures are integral components of responsible dog ownership. We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions here to help you learn more about this very important service.

For most people the thought of their puppy undergoing a surgical procedure under sedation can be frightening. We understand that this can be scary for caring dog owners and want to assure you that your puppy will be cared for by the most capable and caring medical professionals.

From the time your puppy enters our doors, it will be treated with compassion and concern for its comfort. Our nurses will treat your puppy as their own. All puppies will receive pain medications before the procedure begins. Our anesthesia and patient care protocols will be tailored to your puppy’s breed and size. While your puppy is under anesthesia, our veterinary staff will monitor a number of vital signs including body temperature, blood pressure, oxygenation and anesthesia depth. The surgery will be performed by our veterinarians who have many years of surgical experience.

Postoperative nursing care and pain management medications will be administered to your puppy to ensure that their recovery is painless and they remain closely monitored until we feel it is safe to send them home. Our veterinary staff will review postoperative instructions with you at that time so you can feel comfortable bringing your puppy home to complete its recovery.

There are many valid reasons to spay and neuter your dog. Approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized at shelters annually, due to the sheer fact that there are not enough willing adopters. Spay and neuter procedures ensure that you are not adding to this number.

For any purebred dog owners who believe that purebred equals profit or desirability, please understand that approximately 25% of all shelter animals are purebred. Unfortunately, there are just not enough good homes for needy dogs, purebred or not.

At this time, there are no states with compulsory spay and neuter laws. However, spay and neuter procedures will insure that no unwanted puppies are produced and will make it easier to train you puppy.

Over the years, many dog owners have come to us with misconceptions about the effects of spay and neuter procedures on dogs. While these misconceptions generally have no factual basis, a couple of them are prevalent enough that we would like to address them for you here:

Misconception #1: Spay and neuter procedures cause dogs to become overweight

Neutering a male dog will reduce the levels of testosterone in their body which have a positive impact on weight control. However, it is very possible to keep neutered and spayed dogs very fit simply with portion control and a regular exercise program. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your dog to pack on the extra pounds, not spaying or neutering. Keeping your dog fit is very much in the control of its owner.

Misconception #2: Spay and neuter procedures will cause severe changes in demeanor

Although aggressive tendencies in male dogs will be reduced through neutering, the fear that you will be getting back a dog with a significantly different personality after surgery is just not true.

The generally accepted age for neutering a dog is between 4-6 months. We recommend that you wait closer to 6 months.

Recently, clinical evidence has suggested that male dogs of certain large breeds may benefit from waiting to neuter until the dog has reached 10-11 months of age. There has been some evidence that this can reduce the risk of some types of cancer in certain large breeds, however there are a number of other factors such as aggressiveness, potty training and reproduction that must also be taken into consideration. While these updated guidelines have given us cause to extend the acceptable age for neutering some large breeds of dogs, the recommendation to eventually neuter the dog remain.

Neutering a dog consists of the following surgical steps:

  • Pre anesthetic exam
  • Pain medication is administered
  • Our veterinary team will induce your dog into a safe state of general anesthesia
  • The attending staff monitors vital signs including breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, state of anesthesia, oxygenation levels and body temperature
  • The surgeon makes a small incision in the front of the scrotum
  • Each testicle is removed and the blood supply and vas deferens (spermatic cord) are tied off
  • The veterinarian closes the incision with surgical glue or sutures
  • Postoperative medications are given and postoperative care continues until your dog completely recovers from the anesthesia
  • We will keep your dog hospitalized until he completely recovers and is safe to send home with after care instructions

Our veterinary staff will also provide post-operative instructions for you to follow at home. This home care includes a continuation of pain management to minimize post op discomfort. Some of the steps you can take at home to help facilitate a safe and comfortable recovery include:

  • Providing your dog with a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals
  • Preventing your dog from running and jumping for five to seven days following surgery
  • Preventing your dog from licking the incision site, which may cause infection, by monitoring your dog, utilizing his crate, and utilizing an elizabethan collar if licking can not be prevented otherwise
  • Avoiding bathing your dog for at least seven days after surgery
  • Checking the incision site daily to confirm proper healing
  • Looking for any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision is open, contacting your veterinarian
  • Call us if your dog is lethargic, has a decreased appetite, is vomiting, and has diarrhea, or if you have any other concerns following surgery

The generally accepted age for spaying a dog is between 4-6 months. Spaying a dog once she is an adult is acceptable as well, although there’s a slightly higher risk of postoperative complications in older dogs, as well as in dogs that are overweight or that have existing health problems. Therefore, spaying a dog when she is still a puppy is recommended in most cases.

Spaying a dog consists of the following surgical steps:

  • Pre anesthetic exam and pain medication are administered
  • Our veterinary team will induce your dog into a safe state of general anesthesia
  • The attending staff monitors breathing and heart rate blood pressure, anesthetic plane of anesthesia, oxygenation levels, and body temperature
  • The surgeon makes a small incision near the umbilicus on the abdomen
  • The ovaries and uterus are removed
  • The veterinarian closes the incision with surgical glue or sutures
  • Postoperative medications are given and postoperative care continues until your dog completely recovers from the anesthesia
  • We will keep your dog hospitalized until she completely recovers and is safe to send home with after care instructions

Our veterinary staff will also provide post-operative instructions for you to follow at home. This home care includes a continuation of pain management to minimize post op discomfort. Some of the steps you can take at home to help facilitate a safe and comfortable recovery include:

  • Providing your dog with a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals
  • Preventing your dog from running and jumping for seven to ten days following surgery
  • Preventing your dog from licking the incision site, which may cause infection, by monitoring your dog, utilizing her crate, and utilizing an elizabethan collar if licking can not be prevented otherwise
  • Avoiding bathing your dog for at least ten days after surgery
  • Checking the incision site daily to confirm proper healing
  • Looking for any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision is open, contacting your veterinarian
  • Call us if your dog is lethargic, has a decreased appetite, is vomiting, and has diarrhea, or if you have any other concerns following surgery

Cat Spaying & Neutering

We provide a safe and painless surgical experience for your cat.

Since 1991, the dedicated and compassionate veterinary team at Harlingen Veterinary Clinic have successfully performed spay and neuter procedures on many female and male cats of all breeds and ages. We have also helped educate cat owners throughout NJ about spay and neuter procedures. These include when to spay or neuter a cat, what to expect during and after surgery, and why cat spaying and cat neutering is essential to helping control the pet population problem in the state of NJ.

We strongly believe that responsible cat ownership is synonymous with spay and neuter procedures. Therefore we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions here to help you learn more about this important service.

Cat neutering refers to the castration, or the removal of the testicles of a male cat so that he cannot impregnate a female cat. Only a veterinary surgeon can properly and safely perform cat neutering surgery.

Cat neutering surgery includes the following procedures:

  • Your veterinarian will use general anesthesia for the procedure to avoid any discomfort felt by the cat
  • The attending staff monitors his breathing and heart rate oxygen levels, blood pressure, plane of anesthesia, and overall health during the anesthetic procedure
  • The surgeon makes a small incision in the front of the scrotum
  • Each testicle is removed and the blood supply and vas deferens (spermatic cord) are tied off

Your veterinarian will provide postoperative instructions for you to follow.

Although cat neutering could result in some discomfort right after surgery, your veterinarian will take various measures for pain relief. Additional steps taken at home will facilitate a safe and comfortable recovery including:

  • Providing your cat with a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals
  • Keep your cat indoors and attempt to limit running and jumping
  • Preventing your cat from licking the incision site, which may cause infection, by monitoring your cat and utilizing an E-collar if licking can not be prevented otherwise
  • Checking the incision site daily to confirm proper healing
  • Looking for any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision is open, contacting your veterinarian. Also, calling your veterinarian if your cat is lethargic, has a decreased appetite, is vomiting, and has diarrhea, or if you have any other concerns following surgery

Spaying a cat refers to the ovariohysterectomy, or the removal of portions of the reproductive system of a female cat so she cannot get pregnant and give birth to kittens. Cat spaying is a surgical procedure that a veterinary surgeon can properly and safely perform. Spaying a cat is a very routine surgical procedure, and it carries a minimal risk for serious medical complications.

Spaying a cat includes the following procedures:

  • Your veterinarian will utilize general anesthesia to avoid any discomfort during the procedure
  • The attending staff monitors your cat’s breathing and heart rate oxygen levels, blood pressure, plane of anesthesia, and overall health during the anesthetic procedure
  • The surgeon makes a small incision in your cat’s abdomen and removes the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus
  • Your veterinarian closes the incision with sutures

Your veterinarian can also provide post-operative instructions for you to follow. Although spaying a cat could result in some discomfort right after surgery, your veterinarian will take various measures for pain relief. The steps to ensuring your cat has the most comfortable and safe recovery possible from spaying surgery are identical to the recovery recommendations provided above for neutering.

If you are concerned about spaying your cat, we urge you to ask the veterinarian at your next visit for help making an informed and responsible decision.

There are many valid reasons to spay or neuter your cat. Approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized at shelters annually because there just are not enough willing and able adopters for them. Spay and neuter procedures ensure that you are not adding to this number, and that no offspring your cat has ends up a fatal statistic.

To support this unpleasant reality, consider the fact that, according to Feral Cat Project, a non-spayed female cat can be responsible for producing up to 100 other cats throughout her lifetime, including the litters of kittens her un-spayed kittens will eventually go on to have. This incredible number can be prevented though, simply by caring enough to spay or neuter your cat.

We recommend spaying and neutering between 4-6 months of age. In some cases, male cats can become sexually mature before 6 months of age, which means waiting to neuter a cat can cause accidental pregnancy. Also, kittens tend to be more resilient to minor surgical procedures than adult cats. Therefore, undertaking cat neutering surgery sooner rather than later helps ensure minimized risk and quicker recovery time. If you are not sure when to neuter a cat, please consult the veterinarian at your next visit.

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Harlingen Veterinary Clinic will be closed on the following days due to staffing shortages. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Saturday, October 8th 

Saturday, October 22nd 

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Saturday, December 31st