A cat spay is technically an ovariohysterectomy of a female cat. The uterus and ovaries are surgically removed resulting in the inability of a cat to reproduce. A spay, while not an especially long, difficult, surgical procedure, is still a major abdominal surgery.
What are the steps involved in a cat spay?
- Your cat should be given a thorough physical exam by a licensed veterinarian.
- Pre-anesthetic blood work should be performed to be sure your cat is an ideal surgical candidate.
- Anesthesia is administered – first by an injectable “induction” agent, then maintained by a modern gas anesthetic such as Isoflurane or Sevoflurane.
- An antiseptic surgical scrub is performed after shaving your cat’s abdomen.
- A sterile surgical pack is opened while the surgeon performs a sterile scrub/prep procedure followed by gowning and gloving.
- Your pet is placed on the surgical table and surgical lights are aimed at the sterile field.
- An anesthetic monitor should be used to monitor heart rate, oxygen saturation of the blood and other parameters.
- Ideally fluids are administered to your cat.
- The abdomen is opened, the uterus and ovaries are exposed, the arteries to these structures are tied off with suture and the organs are removed.
- The abdominal muscles are closed with sterile suture followed by closure of the subcutaneous tissue and the skin.
- Your cat will then be “recovered” from anesthesia by removing her from gas anesthesia, monitoring vital signs and keeping her warm with blankets or warming pads.
- Pain medications should be administered to reduce your pet’s discomfort.