Byron Center Animal Hospital

Canine Spay FAQ

Q: What is “spaying”?

A: “Spaying” is the everyday term for surgical sterilization of a female dog. Your dog’s uterus and ovaries will be surgically removed through an incision in the abdomen.

Q: What does the procedure involve?

A: At Byron Center Animal Hospital, we will spay your dog in a completely sterile environment to prevent infection, with a licensed technician monitoring her vital signs closely throughout the surgery. We will use the highest quality absorbable suture to close the spay incision. Your dog will spend the day at the hospital with us under close supervision and monitoring. Once she is up and walking, usually by the afternoon, we will discharge her and she will finish her recovery in the comfort of her own home.

Q: Is the procedure painful?

A: Yes – it is a major abdominal surgery! At Byron Center Animal Hospital, we aim to minimize the discomfort your dog feels. We will provide pre-surgical pain relief so she awakens from surgery comfortably. We will also send home pain medication for your dog to have for up to 5 days after surgery. This will ensure she recovers with as little discomfort as possible.

Q: What are the physical benefits of spaying my dog?

A: A female dog that is spayed prior to her first heat cycle has nearly 0% chance of developing mammary cancer (a common cancer seen in intact females). It also prevents her from suffering from pyometra (a common, life-threatening infection of the uterus that requires emergency surgery). Also, it prevents you from having to clean up the bloody (often smelly) vaginal discharge associated with your dog’s heat cycle.

Q: What are the behavioral benefits of spaying my dog?

A: An intact female has breeding on the brain – spaying her stops those hormonal surges so that she is better able to socialize and concentrate on tasks and commands. Those same hormonal surges can cause an intact female to behave aggressively and in an unpredictable manner while in heat. Spaying your dog also ensures that she doesn’t have any unexpected litters and doesn’t contribute to the population of unwanted dogs.

Q: How long will it take my dog to recover?

A: While your dog may feel like nothing happened 2 days after surgery, it is essential to keep her as quiet as possible for 5-7 days after surgery to allow the incision to fully heal.

Q: Where can I go for more information about spaying my dog?

A: We know there are many questionable resources on the internet. A reputable website with many articles written by veterinary professionals is We would also be happy to answer any questions you may have.