Some good information on pediatric spay/neuter from http://www.spayusa.org/media/pdfs/vets_learn_procedure.pdf
EARLY AGE SPAY/NEUTER FACTS
What makes a good candidate for early age spay/neuter?
“Early age spay/neuter” patients should weigh at least two pounds and be at
least two months old. The kitten or puppy should also be in reasonably good
health and be of appropriate weight for the animal‘s stature. If an animal does
not meet one of these criteria, then spay/neuter should be delayed until all
criteria are met, unless the animal would otherwise lose an adopter and be
euthanized at a shelter.
Isn’t it safer to wait until a kitten or puppy is at least six months old?
No. As long as the kitten or puppy is at least two pounds/two months, and is of
adequate weight for his or her stature and in reasonably good health, there is no
health, behavioral, or other reason to wait. Scott Linder, Director of Miami-Dade
Animal Control in Florida, says that in one year, his agency sterilized 12,000
patients, about one-half of them early age. Of those 12,000, two patients were
lost, and both were adults. Brenda Griffin, D.V.M, the Director of the Shelter
Medicine Program at Auburn State University School of Veterinary Medicine,
emphasizes that early age spay/neuter concerns are based only on anecdotal
speculation, with no scientific data to back up concerns. Dr. Griffin says scientific
data shows no greater risk of early age spay/neuter compared with later
spay/neuter. She says this is true of short-term and long-term effects. In fact,
she says, as long as the patient is healthy, early age spay/neuter is safer than
Do Veterinary Medical Associations endorse early age spay/neuter?
Yes! The American Veterinary Medical Association (“AVMA”) endorses early age
spay/neuter. The AVMA position states, “Early-Age (Prepubertal) Spay/Neuter
Of Dogs And Cats: AVMA supports the concept of early (prepubertal, 8 to 16
weeks of age) gonadectomy [sterilization of males and females] in dogs and cats
in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals of these species. Just as
for other veterinary procedures, veterinarians should use their best medical
judgment in deciding at what age gonadectomy should be performed on
individual animals. The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (“AVAR”)
in Davis, California, also supports and encourages early age spay/neuter.
What are the benefits of early age spay/neuter for the patient?
Pediatric patients have faster metabolisms than older patients; this makes the
anesthesia exit their systems more quickly and they recover much faster than
older patients. Early age spay/neuter patients are usually eating within 30 to 60
minutes after surgery, and are usually fully awake and happily playing less than
two hours after surgery. The faster digestive systems of pediatric patients makes
it unnecessary to withhold food and water the night before surgery the way it is
withheld for older patients; rather, pediatric patients can eat and drink the night
before and can eat one-half of their usual amount the morning of surgery. Early
age patients are still growing fast, so their incision tissue heals faster than if they
were older. And none of these early age patients will ever have to be dumped at
a shelter or tossed onto the streets for the crime of getting pregnant or spraying
as happens to so many unsterilized animals, nor will they suffer sex-related
illnesses such as breast or testicular cancer.
Can’t all licensed veterinarians already do early age spay/neuter without
Yes. But most veterinarians went to veterinary school before scientific data and
experience established the benefits of early age spay/neuter. These
veterinarians might not be comfortable with early age spay/neuter, or they might
not know the special protocols for early age patients, which make the procedure
safer. These veterinarians can update their professional learning about early age
spay/neuter benefits, surgical and anesthesia protocols, special concerns, what
makes a good candidate for the early age procedure, and special treatment of
the early age patient. The patients and their organs are usually so much smaller
than what these veterinarians are used to in surgery that it is advantageous and
safer to make the first attempts under the watchful eye of an expert. A related
benefit is that the veterinarians learn anesthesia, surgical, and recovery
procedures, which can also apply to other procedures involving pediatric
What can an individual or humane group do to encourage veterinarians to
offer early age spay/neuter?
If your veterinarian does not already offer early age spay/neuter, encourage him
or her to learn the procedure! AMRT encourages rescue groups to do business
with veterinarians who provide this much needed service, rather than with
veterinarians who force the group to release animals unsterilized simply because
the veterinarian does not provide early spay/neuter services. Rescue groups and
their in California counties with populations of 100,000 and their veterinarians
should be aware that California law requires all animals released by rescue
groups (and public shelters) to be sterilized before release unless a licensed
veterinarian certifies that the animal is too sick or injured or that spay/neuter
would otherwise be detrimental to the animal’s health.
How can my veterinarian participate in an early age spay/neuter wet lab?
You may refer your veterinarian to AMRT at (818) 707-2502 or
***@****, or to AVAR at (530) 759-8106 or ***@****.
Nancy, our clinics around here including the low cost spay/neuter clinic (Animal Birth Control) won't touch them until they are 4 mo old. Also they do not want them to have food the night before surgery. A little water is ok.
Unfortunately, a lot of "old school" vets still think that way. But the surgery is simpler and recovery faster when they are younger. And faster recovery means less risk of reaction to anesthesia and less risk of infection.
Ah! Great! I have two boys. My older one, Abby..Abster...Abboo...Abigail...I took him in for neutering when he was 4 months old. I got him when he was 3 months, so I waited a little bit less than a month to get him fixed.
My younger kitty, Dillan... Dilli.. Dill... Dills.....got neutered at 3 months at the county shelter, where I adopted him from.
But I do know for a fact that two months is perfect timing!!! Yet..recovery, especially for males is quick and easy, even if neutered at 6 months. I got a cat neutered when kitty was 1 y.o and he did great....just great.
The spay clinic (Animal Birth Control) in Waco said they have to be at least 4 mo, My kittens turned 4 mo the day we had them done. They have loose little pouches on their tummies. Maybe they could use a little tummy-tuck. They were done in Sept and they seemed so tiny.
We do them at 2 months and 2 pounds (whichever comes last) at the shelter where I volunteer. They are back out front within a couple of hours, eating, playing, etc. like nothing ever happened. I'm taking 6 of my fosters in today to get done (3 males, 3 females) and they are not quite 3 months and range from just over 2 lbs to a couple that are just over 2 1/2 lbs. Because the parts that are removed are still so small, the incision in smaller, so less to heal and less to sag, although I've not seen any sagging on older kittens we've done, only on ones that have had a heat or previous litter. I'm not saying they shouldn't be done when they are older, just that there isn't a reason to have to wait until they are older.
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