FAQs

ABOUT US

WHY SPAY/NEUTER

SERVICES

IN HEAT OR PREGNANT

DAY BEFORE SURGERY

DAY OF SURGERY

AFTER SURGERY


Q. DO I HAVE TO QUALIFY TO USE YOUR CLINIC?

No. Our services are provided to the general public, rescue organizations and shelters. As a low cost/high quality spay and neuter clinic, we receive grant and subsidy funding that allows us to offer financial aid to clients that meet our eligibility requirements. To find out if you qualify for our financial aid, please fill out our financial aid application here.

Q. WHY DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF HIGH QUALITY?

  • We have the highest regard and concern for the animals in our care and treat each animal as if it was one of ours.
  • We perform sterilizations in a humane manner and strive to keep stress, pain, and the risk of complications as minimal as possible.
  • Our veterinarians are licensed in the State of Virginia and are highly experienced and skilled in high-quality and high-volume surgical techniques.
  • Our licensed veterinary technicians are our “surgical nurses”. They assist the doctor and help make sure the animals are well cared for.
  • Our instruments and supplies meet the highest standards. Each surgery is performed with an individually autoclaved (steam-sterilized) surgical pack. No instruments are reused without sterilization.
  • Our patients are anesthetized with safe anesthetic agents. They receive anesthetic monitoring via pulse oximetry which measures heart rate and oxygen levels.
  • Animals receive pain medication before they feel any pain.


Q. WHY ARE YOUR SURGERY FEES SO LOW?

One of the reasons our costs are low is because we are not a full service clinic. Our focus is on spaying and neutering. We do not have, nor are we paying for, many of the diagnostic and treatment equipment and supplies found in a full service veterinary hospital.


Q. WHAT IS SPAY/NEUTER?

The word “spay” refers to the sterilization of female pets. The term “neuter” is more commonly used to refer to the castration of male pets. In female dogs and cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. In male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles.


Q. WHY SHOULD I SPAY OR NEUTER MY PET?

Spay/neuter packs a powerful punch in the fight against pet overpopulation. Millions of cats and dogs are euthanized annually or suffer as strays. This is the tragic result of unwanted, unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

  • Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
  • Unneutered cats mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine.
  • Your male dog won’t need to roam away from home.
  • Your pet will live a longer, healthier life.
  • Spaying a female helps prevent pyometra (pus-filled uterus).
  • Spaying a female helps prevent breast cancer, which is often fatal.
  • Neutering a male prevents testicular cancer and prostate diseases.
  • Your pet will be much better behaved.


Q. IS SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY PAINFUL? CAN IT HARM MY DOG OR CAT?

During spay or neuter surgery, cats and dogs are fully anesthetized, so they feel no pain. Afterwards, most animals seem to experience some discomfort, but signs of discomfort disappear within a few days, and with pain management medication, pain may not be experienced at all. Serious harm as a result of spay/neuter surgery is extremely rare.


Q. WILL MY PET’S BEHAVIOR CHANGE AFTER SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY?

Spay/neuter will not alter your pet’s basic personality. It can result in some behavior changes – for the better! Pets may be less aggressive, more relaxed, and more focused on you. Freed from the urge to mate, cats and dogs tend to be calmer and more content after spaying or neutering. Spayed or neutered pets are more, not less, likely to show affection toward their human companions. A neutered dog protects his home and family just as well as an unneutered dog.


Q. WILL MY PET BECOME FAT AFTER SPAY/NEUTER?

Just like people, pets become overweight when they eat too much and/or exercise too little. An appropriate diet and sufficient activity will keep your pet slender and healthy.


Q. WILL NEUTERING PREVENT MY CAT FROM SPRAYING?

Urine marking is most common in unneutered males. Unneutered males usually start spraying or “marking their territory” when they reach sexual maturity (about 6 months). Male cats in multi-cat households or in close proximity to other cats may spray at a younger age. It’s best to neuter males before they reach sexual maturity and before they start spraying. If a cat has started spraying neutering may help. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the hormones to subside after the neutering so you may not notice an immediate difference.


Q. HOW OLD DOES MY PET HAVE TO BE FOR SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY?

Cats must be at least 8 weeks old and weigh two pounds. Dogs must be at least 8 weeks old.


Q. DO YOU PROVIDE VETERINARY SERVICES OTHER THAN SPAY/NEUTER?

No. We specialize in spay/neuter surgeries and offer some additional services while you pet is here for the surgery. If your pet is already spayed or neutered you will need to visit a full service veterinary clinic for vaccines and other wellness services.


Q. CAN I BRING MY PET FOR JUST VACCINATIONS?

No, we only offer vaccinations for our surgery patients.


Q. DOES MY PET HAVE TO BE VACCINATED PRIOR TO ITS APPOINTMENT?

For your pet’s protection we recommend dogs have their DHPP (parvo-distemper) and Rabies vaccine prior to appointment. For cats we recommend FVRCP (distemper combo) and Rabies vaccine prior to appointment. (Note: vaccine takes four weeks to take effect). If your pet is not vaccinated we will vaccinate for Rabies at time of surgery as required by law and you may opt for additional vaccines offered.


Q. DO YOU CHARGE EXTRA FOR SURGICAL COMPLICATIONS?

Additional fees may be required for non-routine surgical procedures that require longer or more involved surgery, such as:

• Dogs over 60 lbs.

• Pregnant

• In heat

• Cryptorchid (undescended testicles)

• Umbilical hernia repair


Q. DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS TO ANIMAL RESCUE GROUPS?

A $6 discount per surgery will be applied for clients or rescue groups bringing 5 or more animals for spay/neuter services.


Q. DO YOU SPAY/NEUTER FERAL CATS?

Yes. Please take a look at our Trap Neuter Return (TNR) page on the website for additional information about feral cats.


Q. DO YOU MICROCHIP?

Yes, if requested we will implant a microchip at the time of surgery. There is a fee to do this.


Q. DO YOU DECLAW?

No, absolutely not! Declawing is a controversial elective surgical procedure. Declawing is amputation of a cat’s toes at the last joint. A portion of the bone (not only the nail) is removed. Declawing is the equivalent to a person losing the entire tip of every finger at the first knuckle. After the surgical wounds have healed there are often permanent physical and psychological complications. Declawing can destroy the bond between a pet owner and pet.

There are much kinder solutions than declawing:

1) Provide your pet with an appropriate scracthing post.

2) Consider using Soft Claws. Developed by a veterinarian, Soft Claws are vinyl nail caps that glue on to your cat’s claws. The nail caps cover the claw tips so no damage occurs when your cat scratches.

3) Trim your cat’s nails on a regular basis – it can really make a difference. If claws are kept blunt, a cat that strays from the scratching post will do little to no damage.

Q. SHOULD FEMALE ANIMALS BE SPAYED PRIOR TO THEIR FIRST HEAT CYCLE?

Yes, to greatly reduce the chance for mammary cancer.


Q. WHEN DO ANIMALS FIRST GO INTO HEAT?

Cats normally go into heat around six months of age but it can be as early as five months of age. It varies for dogs. Small breed dogs can be 6 months. Larger breed dogs are usually later – on average between 6-12 months of age.


Q. WHAT ARE THE SIGNS MY CAT/DOG IS IN HEAT?

Your cat will be more affectionate. When you’re petting her, she may raise her hind end in the air, get low to the ground, and purr like crazy. She will begin calling. This yowling can go on around the clock. She will lift her tail and sprays urine on vertical objects, like walls, doors and furniture rather than on the floor or carpet. For dogs, the vulva swells and there is a bloody vaginal discharge.


Q. HOW LONG DO HEAT CYCLES LAST?

Cats – Usually about 7 days; Dogs – Usually about 9 days.


Q. HOW OFTEN DO ANIMALS GO INTO HEAT?

Cats can be as often as every 2-3 weeks. Dogs usually twice a year – every 6-8 months.


Q. CAN ANIMAL BE SPAYED DURING HEAT CYCLE?

Yes, but there may be an extra charge.


Q. IS IT HEALTHIER FOR MY PET TO HAVE ONE LITTER BEFORE BEING SPAYED?

No, females spayed prior to their first heat cycle are at less risk for breast tumors.


Q. SHOULD I LET MY PET HAVE A LITTER SO MY CHILDREN CAN WITNESS THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH?

No, absolutely not. Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping teaches your children irresponsibility. Anyone who has seen an animal euthanized in a shelter for lack of a home knows the truth behind this dangerous myth.


Q. CAN AN ANIMAL BE SPAYED IF IT IS PREGNANT?

Yes. The sooner you can bring them in, the better. There may be an extra charge.


Q. CAN ANIMALS BECOME PREGNANT DURING THEIR HEAT CYCLE?

Yes.


Q. CAN ANIMALS BECOME PREGNANT BY THEIR SIBLINGS?

Yes, they can create their own litters. You don’t want that to happen.


Q. HOW LONG DOES PREGNANCY LAST?

Cats usually 64 days; Dogs usually 65 days.


Q. HOW LONG AFTER DELIVERING KITTENS/PUPPIES CAN AN ANIMAL BE SPAYED?

Eight weeks. Puppies and kittens should be 8 weeks of age and must be eating and drinking on their own prior to their mother’s surgery.

Q. CAN ANIMALS HAVE FOOD OR WATER THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY?

Adult Animals: All animals over four months must have food withdrawn the night before surgery at 12:00 midnight. This will ensure that the animals’s stomach has emptied by the time he’s put under general anesthesia. This lessens the chances that your pet will vomit and aspirate the vomit into his lungs. If your pet has eaten on the morning of surgery, we will refuse surgery. Do not withhold water prior to surgery.

Pediatric Animals: Animals four months or younger should have food available until 6:00AM on the morning of surgery to avoid decreased blood sugar level. Do not withhold water prior to surgery.

Q. WHAT TIME DO I NEED TO BE THERE IN THE MORNING?

We check-in patients after the previous days patients are discharged. Cats need to be here at 8:00am and dogs at 8:15am. We have a very strict surgical schedule that must be followed so it is very important that you arrive on time. If you are late we may need to re-schedule your appointment. Plan to be here 20-30 minutes in the morning.


Q. WHAT TIME DO I NEED TO BE THERE FOR DISCHARGE?

We discharge dogs at 7:15am and cats at 7:45am. It is very important that you arrive on time. Plan to be here 20-30 minutes. Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies at the clinic there may be a longer wait upon discharge.


Q. WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING THE MORNING OF MY APPOINTMENT?

IF YOU ARE BRINGING A CAT…

1) If your pet has current vaccination records please bring them. If your pet has a current rabies vaccine, we need to see the actual rabies certificate.

2) Cats must be in a clean secure pet carrier commercially manufactured for the purpose of transporting cats. We do not accept cats in cardboard boxes, plastic totes, laundry baskets, or other non-standard or homemade devices.

3) Cats must be in separate carriers. If you have multiple cats in one carrier when you arrive, you will be asked to transfer your cat(s) to one of our cardboard carriers to go home ($5.00 each).

4) Payment: We accept cash, credit or debit card (no personal checks).

IF YOU ARE BRINGING A DOG…

1) Please leave your dog in your vehicle while you come in to fill out registration paperwork. Dogs must be under control on a leash or in a pet carrier.

2) If your pet has current vaccination records please bring them. If your pet has a current rabies vaccine, we need to see the actual rabies certificate.

3) Payment: We accept cash, credit or debit card (no personal checks).


Q. DO YOU PERFORM AN EXAM ON MY PET BEFORE SURGERY?

Our veterinarians perform a pre-operative physical examination to make sure that your pet is a good candidate for surgery. If your pet is too fractious to handle, a physical exam will be performed under anesthesia. Feral cats get their exam under anesthesia. If your pet is showing signs of illness or if there are any concerns (such as a heart murmur, severe upper respiratory infection, obesity, food in stomach) we may refuse surgery if we feel surgery is a health risk.


Q. DO YOU USE ANESTHESIA?

Yes, of course we do. The comfort and safety of the animal is important to us. Our patients are anesthetized with safe anesthetic agents. They receive anesthetic monitoring via pulse oximetry which measures heart rate and oxygen levels.


Q. DO YOU USE PAIN MEDICATION?

Animals receives pain medication before they feel any pain. All patients receive pain medication before surgery. Additional pain medication is sent home with dogs and cats receive a 72 hour pain medicine injection.


Q. DO YOU USE LICENSED VETERINARIANS?

Our veterinarians are licensed in the State of Virginia and are highly experienced and skilled in high-quality and high-volume surgical techniques. Our licensed veterinary technicians are our “surgical nurses”. They assist the doctor and help make sure the animals are well cared for.


Q. WHAT IS THAT EXTRA GREEN INCISION?

This is a tattoo. All sterilized animals receive a small green tattoo on the incision line. This permanently identifies animal as sterilized.


Q. WHAT IS THE RECOVERY PERIOD LIKE?

The recovery period is 7-10 days. You need to restrict your pet’s activity and keep him/her indoors. You also need to watch their incision closely. We will give you a complete list of post-op instructions when you pick your pet up.


Q. DO I NEED TO BRING MY PET BACK TO HAVE STITCHES REMOVED?

Unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures. All sutures are absorbable on the inside. The very outer layer of skin is held together with surgical glue. If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, he/she will need to return in 7-10 days to have those removed. Male cats do not have any sutures.


Q. SHOULD I BE WORRIED THAT PET IS LICKING THE INCISION SITE?

Yes. This could cause the wound to re-open and become infected.


Q. WHAT SHOULD I DO TO KEEP MY PET FROM LICKING HIS INCISION?

You can buy Bitter Apple or Lickguard (we sell them or you can buy at Walmart/PetSmart). If that doesn’t work, you need an E-collar (we sell them for $8 or you can get at your veterinarian, PetSmart, PETCO).


Q. WHAT IF I NOTICE SOMETHING UNUSUAL OR HAVE A PROBLEM AFTER SURGERY?

It is VERY important that you follow the after-surgery instructions provided to you at discharge during the post-op period. Please call us immediately if you think your pet is having a problem related to spay/neuter surgery. Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery.

We will make an appointment for you to bring your pet in for us to take a look at it. There is no charge for us to re-check your pet but there may be a minimal cost for medication if needed (such as antibiotics) or an e-collar.

If the problem occurs outside of our normal business hours or if there is an emergency , please call our emergency line at (540) 250-3558 and leave a message. One of our veterinary technicians will call you back as soon as possible.  In case of emergency please call your regular veterinarian or one of the following 24-hour veterinary emergency hospitals for medical assistance.

Town and Country Veterinary Services 1605 North Franklin St. Christiansburg, VA   (540) 382-5042

Emergency Vet Services 4902 Frontage Rd. Roanoke, VA (540)563-8575


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