What Do Vets Do When They Spay A Dog? – All You Need To Know

 There are some common questions every dog owner would like to educate themself with, particularly about “what do vets do when they spay a dog.”What Do They Do When They Spay a Dog?

If you are a beginner, you might have some burning questions you want to be answered, ranging from the spaying and neutering procedures and what vets do when they spay a dog.

What’s The Difference Between Spaying And Neutering?

Spaying is a medical procedure involving removing a female dog’s reproductive organs.

When male dogs undergo the same procedure, it is referred to as neutering.

In female dogs, ovaries and uterus are removed, resulting in a lack of ability for the dog to reproduce. This procedure, in medical terms, is called Ovariohysterectomy (when both ovaries and uterus are removed).

It is called Ovariectomy when only ovaries are removed.

Both procedures are pretty safe and effective.

Regarding neutering, both testicles are removed, making a male dog impotent.

What Do Vets Do Before Spaying/Neutering Your Dog?

Your dog undergoes a complete checkup before spaying and neutering to ensure it has no health issues.

And thus, the vet performs a pre-surgical blood test.

Make sure that you keep the complete medical history of your pet, like underlying conditions or any current medications the pet may be undergoing.

All this information may also affect the choice of anesthesia.

Moreover, it is essential to note that your dog should not eat for at least eight hours before the surgery.

Drinking water may be fine but check out everything with your vet if you get confused.

What Do Vets Do During Spaying/Neutering your Dog?

Before the surgery begins, the vet gives your pet a dose of anesthesia after calculating all the critical factors.

Anesthesia helps keep your pet motionless and free from pain during surgery.

Your vet may administer the anesthesia through an injection or other gaseous anesthetics, which your dog can take through inhalation.

How Is Anesthesia Given During Spaying?

Administering anesthesia involves inserting a small plastic tube into the dog’s airway for continuous breathing.

In turn, the tube is linked to an anesthetic gas machine so that there is an uninterrupted flow of anesthetic gas and device.

The veterinary team must continuously monitor your dog’s heart rate, breathing, and oxygen flow.


As soon as the dog becomes unconscious, the pet’s abdomen is shaved and rubbed well using a germicidal solution.

The surgical area is covered with a sterile cloth to keep it clean.

All the members involved in surgery, including all the assistants, wash their hands repeatedly with germicidal soap.

The gowns, gloves, caps, and masks are also adequately sterilized.

Sterilization is a critical step in the surgical procedure as it prevents any infection that may be fatal post-surgery.

Spaying And Neutering – The Operative Procedure

The surgical team performs the process by making a small incision near your dog’s belly button.

Sometimes, veterinarians prefer using laparoscopic surgical equipment to perform the spay surgery.

A laparoscope is a surgical tool connected to a long tube with a tiny camera attached at its tip.

The vet inserts this sterilized device into the dog’s abdomen through a tiny incision; then, they would perform the whole surgery.

During the surgical procedure, both ovaries and uterus are removed from female dogs, testicles for male dogs.

Throughout the surgery, the vet must observe that there is no affected blood vessel.

In case there is any, the vet closes it off to prevent bleeding.

The whole point is to keep your pet safe during the surgery and post-surgery.

When the ovaries and uterus, or the testicles, are removed, the vet checks your dog again to ensure no bleeding.

It is followed by the closure of the incision site.

And then, this surgical area is cleaned again.

When the anesthesia finally wears off, your pet might be awake again.


Meanwhile, the vet continuously monitors your dog until awake and is stable enough to return home.

At this time, they will prescribe some pain medications post-surgical care.

There may be some hospitals that would recommend overnight stay so to give your dog extra care.

Point To Remember

Always remember that even the most successful surgery may result in complications if you ignore postoperative care.

Therefore, make sure that you follow all the instructions your vet gives you.

Why Spay Your Dog?

We have written in detail what do vets when they spay a dog and they do this for an immense number of reasons.

But, of course, the key is to prevent pet overpopulation.

Hundreds of thousands of dogs are euthanized in shelters every year just because of overpopulation.

Approximately 6.5 million animals enter rescue homes, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Apart from these, other advantages include the following:

  • You lessens the risk of your dog getting various diseases like mammary gland cancer. As a result, your dog will live a longer and healthier life.
  • It helps in dealing with male dogs wildly attracted to your dog in heat. And thus, you do not have to deal with the offensive odor associated with a dog in heat.
  • Your pet will also behave much better, not making them fat, which is the most cost-effective option.

Post-operation Instructions

Now that you know what do vets do when the spay a dog, ensure that you follow all the instructions they give for post-surgery care.

You can expect some clinics would allow you to take your dog back home on the same day of the surgery.

Meanwhile, others may keep your pet overnight for extra care.

Sometimes even when your vet gives your dog pain medication, your dog may turn away from food due to nausea for the first few days.

So, do not panic and overdo it.

At the same time, you need to check out if some fluid is coming out from the incision site.

If yes, ensure your pet does not make many movements, as it may cause swelling.

Make a point that you do not give your dog a bath for ten days post-surgery.

You need to observe when the stitches are getting healed continually.

It generally takes 7 to 10 days for the wounds to heal.

If you feel the healing process is not going well within the average time, you should always check with your vet.

Additionally, ensure that your dog does not lick the incision site by using a cone, also known as a ‘cone of shame’ or any other method, as your vet advice you to do.