Spaying & Neutering

If you choose to spay or neuter your pet at Small Door, you can rest assured that their surgery is in the best hands, thanks to our experienced vets and state-of-the-art surgical suite.

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Cat & Dog Spaying & Neutering FAQs

  • What are the risks?


    As with any type of surgery, there are small risks associated with the anesthetic and surgery itself. However, it’s worth remembering that spaying and neutering are extremely common, routine surgeries, with very high safety and success rates. Our veterinarians will also conduct pre-operative tests before the surgery to ensure your pet is healthy and a good candidate for surgery.

  • Will my pet’s personality change?


    Many pet owners are worried that their pet’s personality will change after they are spayed or neutered, and while you may see some behavioral changes, they are considered overwhelmingly positive by most pet owners – such as reduced aggression and territory marking. Your pet will not lose their ‘joie de vivre’ when they are spayed/neutered; they will be just as playful and loving as before.

  • Will my pet stop urine marking or be less aggressive if I spay/neuter them?


    For many pets, spaying and neutering has positive behavioral effects such as reducing urine marking and aggression. However, while spaying and neutering often fixes these issues, some pets may still continue to urine mark or show aggression, and additional training may be required. Our vets can provide behavioral counseling, and teach you how to discourage these unwanted behaviors.

  • Should I wait until my pet has been in heat to spay her?


    For small dogs, there is no evidence that waiting for a heat cycle is beneficial. However, larger dogs may benefit from waiting until they are a little older, as mentioned above, and so they will likely go into heat before this time.

  • Can you spay my pet while she is in heat?


    For dogs in heat, we recommend waiting two months to spay them, as spaying during heat significantly increases the risk of bleeding during surgery. For cats in heat, there is a slightly higher risk of bleeding, however it’s much safer than for dogs, and cats are spayed during heat fairly routinely. As cats tend to stay in heat all spring/summer, some owners may not wish to wait that long.

  • What are the signs of being in heat?


    Your pet’s vulva may look swollen and larger than normal. They may experience bloody discharge and more frequent urination. Some behavioral changes may occur, like becoming more restless and vocal.

  • My pet just gave birth. How long should I wait?


    If your dog or cat has recently given birth, it’s best to wait 2 months after the puppies or kittens have been weaned before spaying your pet.

  • Can other surgical procedures be done at the same time?


    Yes, some surgical procedures, such as airway surgery for brachycephalic dogs, or hernia repairs, can be done at the same time as a spay or neuter, to avoid the need for your pet to undergo anesthesia twice. However, this will depend on the complexity of the procedure in question; if it is particularly lengthy or invasive, it may be better for your pet to undergo the surgeries at different times. Our vets will be able to advise on the best recommendation for your pet during a pre-operative appointment.

  • How should I care for my pet’s incision?


    While you don’t need to clean their incision, you should monitor it for any swelling or discharge, and send us a picture via the app if you have any concerns. It’s also important to ensure your pet wears their e-collar (or surgical suit, depending on the pet and surgery type) at all times until their follow-up appointment/when their stitches are removed.

  • Can I give my pet a bath or let them go swimming during recovery?


    No, it’s not safe to bathe your pet or let them go swimming while their incision is still healing, because water, dirt or soap could get inside. We recommend keeping your pet inside as much as possible during their recovery, which should hopefully lessen the likelihood of them needing a bath (and of any swimming!) If you think your pet may need a bath during recovery, give us a call for advice.

  • Does my pet need a pre-op appointment?


    Yes, it’s important for our vets to examine your pet before they undergo surgery, to ensure they’re in good health and there are no unforeseen risks. At your pet’s pre-op appointment, we’ll conduct a physical examination, collect bloodwork and an ECG to make sure your pet is ready for anesthesia.

  • How much will it cost?


    Spay and neuter surgeries are unique to each pet, and the requirements and cost may vary depending on your pet’s sex, weight, reaction to the procedure, and other factors. The cost may also vary depending on your membership plan (as some costs are included in certain plans), and we’ll also perform a pre-operative exam to ensure your pet is ready to undergo anesthesia. Please email to inquire about costs for your pet.

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From the Learning Center Choosing whether to spay or neuter your pet is a personal decision. Find out more about the pros and cons to make an informed decision about your pet.