Spaying is one of the most common surgical procedures performed by vets. It involves the removal of an animal's reproductive organs. There has been much debate on whether spaying your kitty is worth the possible complications. According to the ASPCA, pediatric spaying is both safe and effective.
Much like humans, cats can experience adverse reactions to anesthesia used during the spaying surgery. While these reactions are extremely rare, pre-operative blood work performed by your vet may detect any pre-existing conditions that could affect the kitty's ability to handle anesthesia. Aspiration pneumonia is also a concern if your cat has not fasted prior to surgery. Vomiting while under anesthesia allows food to enter the lungs, due to the closing of the windpipe when your furry patient is put under.
Internal bleeding is a rare occurrence during the spaying procedure. Ligatures are firmly tied around blood vessels during the surgery. Occasionally, one of these ligatures can slip off or break once the abdomen has been closed. Internal bleeding is more common if your kitty is extremely active. If your no-longer-frisky feline experiences weakness, a distended abdomen, depression, pale gums or anorexia, he may be suffering from internal bleeding. If you suspect that your cat is bleeding internally, call your vet immediately.
Once your kitten has been successfully spayed, your vet will keep him warm using a heat lamp to prevent hypothermia. Within an hour of waking from surgery, kitty should be offered a small meal to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia. Post-operative infections can occur around the incision wound, especially if your cat has a habit of licking the area. In most cases, these infections can be controlled with antibiotics. According to the ASPCA, a small amount of Nutri-Cal – a high calorie dietary supplement -- can nourish your cat during recovery.
In highly rare cases, your cat may suffer from a bad reaction to the suture material used during the spaying surgery. Pet parents may notice a draining wound that appears within several weeks of spaying. In minor cases, the sutures may be left in place until the main wound has time to heal. If your cat is severely allergic to the sutures used, your vet may need to operate once again to remove the material. Antibiotics are often prescribed to reduce the risk of infection as Fluffy heals.
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