Learn more, then enter the Spay Day Pet Photo Contest, presented by Zazzle.
February 22, 2011
Today is Spay Day!Dear Friend,
Today is the 17th annual Spay Day -- with critical spay/neuter events taking place across the nation and abroad. More than 50,000 animals were reported spayed or neutered in 2010, including Jack Jack, shown at left with members of his loving family.
Help support the hundreds of organizations helping to fight pet overpopulation this year as part of Spay Day 2011.
Learn more about Spay Day here. Then, enter the Spay Day Pet Photo Contest to show your support.
Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO
Safe Harbor Farm
"Curious as to what happens when your pet gets spayed?
"This page is dedicated to all those folks who call to schedule an "evening" spay appointment... and ask if they could wait while it was done!... Say that again?!
Read on for a little tour of what happens after all the patients of the day are dropped off...
Step One: Each pet is checked for signs that she may not be up for surgery at this time. Their weights are noted in the anesthetic log.
Step Two: An anesthetic protocol is chosen for each pet. This is a combination of drugs that includes a sedative, a pain-killer and one or more anesthetics, some given by injection, some by inhalation. Dogs & cats usually receive different medications, and an older animal may get different drugs than a younger one.
Step Three: When it is your pet's turn for surgery, her medications are administered - sometimes one at a time, sometimes in combinations. Under certain protocols, patients are intubated and hooked up to an anesthetic machine. Five to ten minutes later, your pet is sleeping peacefully, completely unaware of her surroundings.
Step Four: A surgical assistant puts a lubricating ointment in each animal's eyes to protect them during surgery. She then clips the hair off the abdomen, and the pet's bladder is gently expressed to empty it. Your pet is then positioned on the surgical table, on her back. Tamed iodine soap and alcohol are used to scrub the surgical site in a circular pattern, a minimum of three times.
Step Five: After opening up a sterile pack of surgical instruments, together with a suitably sized sterile suture pack & scalpel blade, the surgeon positions a sterile drape over the pet's abdomen, chest & legs, leaving an opening centrally. Towel clamps are utilized to hold it in place.
Step Six: An incision is made in the skin, roughly 3/4 inch for young cats who haven't had their first heats, an inch for cats who have, or larger for dogs or pregnant animals. A similar incision is made between the two major muscles of the abdomen.
Step Seven: A specialized instrument is used to locate the V-shaped uterus, which is then followed cranially on one side, then the other, until the ovaries are located. The blood supply to each ovary is tied off twice (once to do the job; the second time to be doubly sure no suture slippage could occur). This is especially important in obese animals, where the extra fatty tissue makes surgery much, much harder to accomplish smoothly.
Step Eight: The body of the uterus, where the 2 horns of the uterus meet, is also ligated with 2 separate sutures. The ovaries and uterus are then removed, leaving the cervix behind. The pictures above are of a young cat spay. The uterus of a dog is naturally much bigger and more covered with adipose tissue (fat).
Step Nine: The abdomen is checked for signs of hemorrhage (Note to those who think surgery is, by necessity, bloody: excess bleeding is rare unless an animal is in heat. Most surgeons will spay cats in heat. Most surgeons are understandably unwilling to spay dogs in heat for this reason.)
Step Ten: Three separate layers of sutures (body wall, subcutaneous tissue, and then skin) are carefully put in place.
Ta da! Time to wake up, princess!
The finishing touches: At the Kindness Clinic, all pets get their ears cleaned, their coats combed for fleas and, when requested, samples are taken for internal parasites, feline leukemia/FIV and heartworm. A few hours of beauty sleep later, these girls are up and, although a bit groggy, looking forward to seeing their folks again. The sedative that keeps them groggy for awhile also provides pain relief, so additional medications usually aren't required.
A cat's uterus compared to a dog's uterus. Note the fat in the broad ligaments (the filmy tissue attached to both uterine horns) of the dog.
Now, for what often happens when a pet is NOT spayed...
mammary tumors + uterine infection + post-op, after 2 1/2 hours of surgery that saved her life
See how clever dogs can be, with love and training:
Today, Jay and I worked on the "dreaded" window.
We squashed ridges of the piece of siding that came out of the other window.
We cut out the right side of the problem window and moved it over, and then unscrewed the corner of the trailer and slipped the piece of siding in, under the trim. It isn't finished yet, and even when/if it is, Ray will have to use his painting magic on it.
I am still not happy with it.
We had two interruptions, first my granddaughter, Michelle came by to pick up some very old handmade quilts that her deceased grandfather had brought from Arkansas. Her father, my son Kevin, didn't want them, in fact he had even used one for covering an engine, until I rescued it.
Then a family drove about 50 miles round trip, to see a bathtub that I have for sale. Now, in the ad, I was very specific, posting the exact measurements, pictures, and that it is a right hand drain. They said it was too long, and the drain was on the wrong side!
So I met another one that is born every other minute, today.