Laytonsville Veterinary Practice
Laytonsville Veterinary Practice

Spay & Neuter


In addition to helping to quell the homeless pet population, spaying and neutering your pets has been shown to have several health and behavioral benefits.

Benefits of spaying

  • Lowers risk of mammary (breast) cancers

  • Prevents potentially deadly uterine infections (pyometra)

  • Eliminates heat cycles / estrus and accompanying behavioral issues

Benefits of neutering

  • Prevents testicular cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis

  • Curbs territorial urine marking

  • Can curb aggression + mounting behaviors

  • Less roaming behavior / escaping the yard


Your pet should be fasted for at least 12 hours prior to their procedure. That means no food or water starting the night before your pet’s spay / neuter, and no breakfast the day of the procedure.

Drop off for your pet’s procedure is between 8 - 9 in the morning, to allow us enough time to get your pet safely prepared for his or her procedure, run any blood work, place an IV catheter, and start fluid therapy. More often than not, this procedure is a pet’s first surgery, so it is beneficial to get baseline blood work at this time.

During the procedure, we will closely monitor your pet’s vital signs, keep them warm with one of our table warming units, maintain fluid therapy and administer injections of pain medication that will keep your pet comfortable as they wake up from anesthesia.

Recovery is closely monitored by our staff, who are trained to identify complications and assess for pain.

Hospitalization for one night is included with all spay / neuter procedures, to monitor healing and make sure your pet stays quiet, resting, and comfortable. Pets are usually ready to go home the next morning.

At home, your pet will need to be kept calm and quiet while they continue to heal. Pain medication may be given for the first several days following a procedure to keep your pet comfortable. Pets with sutures require an e-collar (cone) to keep them from licking at their incision site, which should stay on for the duration of their recovery until the sutures are removed.

Current Spay / Neuter recommendations FOR DOGS

When should I spay or neuter my dog? There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to when dogs should be spayed or neutered, which is why it’s always important to consult your veterinarian before scheduling your dog’s procedure. There are several different factors at play that may affect your dog’s ideal age, including breed, genetic predisposition to certain cancers, and behavior. In some breeds that are genetically predisposed to orthopedic injury and disease, waiting a little bit longer to neuter may reduce the risk of these issues down the road. On the other hand, some dogs that are displaying early behavioral signs, such as mounting or marking, should likely have their procedure sooner to reduce the likelihood of these behaviors becoming lifelong habits. In general, these procedures should typically be done when your dog is between 6 - 14 months old.

Should I allow my dog or cat to go through a heat cycle?

The American College of Veterinary Surgeons and AAHA have conducted research suggesting that the risk of a dog or cat developing mammary tumors increases significantly if they are allowed to go through at least one heat cycle (and this risk increases with each estrus). This risk should be discussed and weighed against other factors (such as orthopedic risk) when consulting your veterinarian prior to scheduling your dog or cat’s procedure.