Spay and Neuter Surgery

Spaying and neutering are two of the most common surgeries our experienced veterinarians perform nearly every day. There are many reasons to spay and neuter pets but most importantly these surgeries reduce pet overpopulation and reduce the risk of some diseases. Our veterinarians can help you determine the best timing for spaying or neutering your pet.

Surgery is performed under general anesthesia following guidelines put forth by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association).

Before any surgery at Midtown Veterinary Medical Center, an examination, bloodwork and on some pets, an ECG test are performed to check that your pet is a good candidate for anesthesia. Once ready for surgery, we give your pet a medication to make them sleepy and decrease pain.

We monitor your pet’s oxygen level, ECG, blood pressure, respiratory rate and heart rate throughout their procedure. Typically, the procedures are fairly short, though spays take a bit longer than neuters. After surgery, patients are monitored closely and warmed with blankets and a warming BAIR hugger.


Spaying, or Ovariohysterectomy (OHE), involves surgically removing a patient’s uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, which results in the patient’s sterilization. The benefits of spaying include:

  • Prevents pregnancy
  • Decreases the risk of mammary tumors
  • Eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine tumors
  • Eliminates the risk of uterine infections


Neutering, or castration, removes a patient’s testicles, which results in the patient’s sterilization. The benefits of neutering include

  • Preventing pet from reproducing
  • Eliminating the risk of testicular and prostate tumors
  • May reduce certain unwanted behaviors like aggression, humping or roaming


An incision is made just below the navel into the abdomen, then the reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries) are removed. The incision is closed with several layers of stitches beneath the skin that will dissolve over time and be absorbed by the body. The skin is closed with skin glue, staples or stitches. Surgery takes about 20-60 minutes. A female in heat will take longer.


An incision is made through the scrotum at the base of the penis. Both testicles are removed and the incision is closed with stitches underneath the skin. These sutures will dissolve over time. The skin is closed with skin glue. Surgery generally takes about 5-20 minutes. Undescended testicles that are within the abdomen will require more time.


All patients are given pain medication before surgery and as needed during recovery, and also sent home with oral pain management medications. Our goal is to keep them comfortable throughout their surgery and healing process. All patients are monitored closely post-operatively by technicians and doctors. Once they leave the surgical suite, they are placed in a kennel with comfortable bedding and a technician stays with them until they are extubated (the breathing tube is removed). Generally, they recover quickly and are able to go home within a few hours.


Young, healthy animals are at low risk for complications from surgery. However, it can be challenging to keep these energetic youngsters quiet during the recovery period, which can lead to complications. Pets with underlying health conditions and older animals have a higher risk of complications, as do females in heat. If you have any concerns, please bring them to our veterinarian’s attention.

Common complications include:

  • Inflammation (redness or swelling) around the incision site
  • Discharge at site of incision
  • Opening of the incision
  • A lump or swelling anywhere around the incision site
  • Bleeding

Complications can be caused or worsened by a patient licking their incision or by allowing too much activity during the healing process. Our team strongly recommends your pet wear a cone, or E-collar, at all times.


On the evening prior to your pet’s surgery, withhold all food, treats and snacks after midnight, but do allow access to fresh, clean water. Do not give your pet breakfast or any medications unless specifically directed by our veterinarian. If your pet is on insulin for diabetes, please alert us for instructions.


Our veterinarians will likely send home medications for you to help alleviate your pet’s pain and may include medication that has sedative effects to keep them quiet and calm, but all medications are specific to each pet.

  • Set up a comfortable, quiet place for your pet to recover in your home. This should be away from other animals and should not allow for them to jump or move around too much.
  • Do not allow your pet to run or jump for two weeks following their procedure, or longer if recommended by our veterinarian.
  • Prevent your pet from licking the incision by using a cone (or E-collar) and/or a shirt.
  • Check the incision each day for signs of infection. It may be helpful to photograph the incision for easy comparison. Let us know if you notice any increased redness, swelling or discharge that is yellow or green, or if the incision opens.
  • Do not bathe your pet for at least 10 days after surgery, or until our veterinarian gives the all clear.
  • Call us if your pet becomes painful, lethargic, won’t eat, has vomiting or diarrhea, or anything else concerns you.
  • Sutures are within the skin and will dissolve over time. The sutures do not need to be removed.

You are welcome to call our clinic with any questions. Our office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, and Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm. We are closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. If you have concerns when our clinic is closed, please reach out to a nearby emergency veterinary hospital.

  • Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency & Rehabilitation: 970-484-8080
  • Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists: 970-800-1106
  • Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital: 970-297-5000.
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