Spay and Neuter Surgery
Ovariohysterectomy is the medical term for spaying a female dog, cat or rabbit. It is commonly called a “Spay” and consists of the surgical removal of both the ovaries and uterus. Both are removed because if the ovaries are not removed, the heat periods still will occur even though pregnancy is impossible. Though this surgery is routinely preformed, it is a major abdominal surgery requiring general anesthesia and sterile operating technique. The surgery usually is done between 6 and 9 months of age. Prevention of pregnancy and curtailing heat cycles is the main reason for Spaying, but the procedure is often necessary in treating severe uterine infections and ovarian and uterine tumors.
Scratching with the front claws is a normal instinctive behavior for cats. They do this to remove the worn, old pieces of the nail to keep them sharp. Unfortunately, this can pose a problem when indoor cats choose their owners’ furniture or curtains on which to sharpen their claws. Regularly trimming the nails can often diminish the destruction caused by your cat’s scratching. However, owners often choose declawing as a means to end destructive scratching in the home Proponents say that declawing has no more negative effects than does any other surgical procedure, and that by ridding unwanted behavior, it could increase the chances for a cat to enjoy a safe, permanent indoor home. Declawing or Onychectomy is a surgical procedure performed while the cat is under general anesthesia.
Usually, only the cat’s front claws are removed since the rear claws are rarely used for scratching. Since the use of general anesthesia is required, blood work may be recommended prior to surgery. Hospitalization for one or two days is necessary after surgery. It’s best to declaw cats at a young age because they tend to recover more quickly and adapt more easily to the loss of their claws.
Just like other surgical procedures, declawed cats require special care immediately after the surgery. Pain medications are administered for three to five days after surgery. Although difficult to do, owners need to restrict their cat’s activity, especially jumping, for several days. Until healing is complete, the cat should be kept indoors, and shredded newspaper or non-granular litter should be used. Most cats will walk fairly well within two to three days, although the feet will be tender for about a week or two after surgery. The cat should be seen by a veterinarian if any of these signs occur: swelling, discharge from the toes, loss of appetite or some other change in the cat’s health or behavior. It is normal for a cat to initially limp or favor a paw following surgery. However, make sure to contact your pet’s doctor if this behavior stops and then resumes again. Be aware of bleeding, although some spotting after surgery may occur and is normal, if bleeding persists, the cat should be rechecked by the doctor.
Most declawed cats will resume normal activities, including performing scratching motions. With rear claws intact, cats can still climb small trees, hunt and even defend themselves when necessary.