Benefits & Best Practices of Pediatric Spay/Neuter

Courtesy of ASPCA


Benefits of Pediatric Spay/Neuter

  • Veterinarians who are familiar with the surgery and anesthesia agree that pediatric surgery is much less physiologically stressful for younger patients.

  • Animals should be fasted for only 2-4 hours in order to prevent them from developing hypoglycemia, and this can be an advantage for clients who may forget to withhold food for several hours prior to surgery. (Many surgeons still recommend an overnight fast for adult dogs, although this practice is also falling out of favor.)

  • Animals are awake and ambulatory usually within an hour of completion of the surgery, so they can be fed a small meal and then sent home the same day, avoiding an overnight stay in the hospital.

  • Experienced veterinarians report that the surgery is faster, easier, and less stressful on both the patient and surgeon.

  • There are fewer perioperative complications associated with pediatric neutering.  

  • Spaying a female before her first estrus has a strong protective effect against development of mammary gland neoplasia later in life.

  • Pediatric surgery is less expensive because of the use of fewer materials, and because less staff time is needed for surgery and pre- and post-operative prep and monitoring. 

  • Embracing the concept of “one health” that promotes the link between animal and human health and welfare requires veterinary participation in solving community problems. Studies have shown that intact animals are much more likely to be relinquished to shelters than neutered ones. Pediatric neutering is an essential component of a comprehensive community strategy to end the euthanasia of unwanted companion animals in the United States.

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