Frequently Asked Questions


What is spay/neuter?

Spay/neuter is a surgical procedure that prevents animals from reproducing. “Spay” is the sterilization of females and “neuter” can refer to the sterilization of males or females, but generally refers to the castration of males. When a female is spayed her uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision on the belly. When a male is neutered his testicles are removed through an incision on or above the scrotum, but the scrotum is not removed.

Our surgeries are performed by a licensed veterinarian and pets are placed under general anesthesia for their procedure. Pain medication is given before surgery to control pain before it starts. Some pets may feel discomfort after surgery and may be prescribed additional pain medication. Serious complications are possible just like any surgery, but are very rare. 

Why should I spay/neuter my pet?

Spay/neuter is the best way of reducing the pet overpopulation issue in the US. Millions of adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized yearly because there are not enough homes for all the pets born every year. Your pet will also directly benefit from several health and behavioral effects including:

Females

  • She’ll no longer go into heat or have an unwanted litter.
  • No risk of pyometra (potentially fatal infection of the uterus.)
  • Lowered risk of mammary tumors (breast cancer.)
  • She’ll live longer!

Males

  • He’ll be less likely to mark his territory and mount other pets or you.
  • He’ll be less likely to roam from home to find a mate (and incur injury in the process.)
  • No risk of testicular cancer.
  • Neutering can reduce aggression/behavioral issues in some dogs.
  • He’ll live longer! 

But…”

Spaying/Neutering will make my pet fat.

No, spaying/neutering will not make your pet overweight. Weight gain is caused by too much food and inactivity.

My pet’s personality will change.

Only annoying mating-related behaviors will change after your pet’s spay/neuter. These include roaming, marking, mounting, and in some cases aggression. Their basic activity level and personality will remain the same. Spaying/neutering will not make your pet less protective or able to hunt.

He’ll feel less like a man.

Dogs and cats do not have sexual identities and do not experience emotional distress due to neutering . No need to feel guilty, he’ll be better off without them and he won’t miss them when they’re gone.

My pet stays indoors/I only have one, so they don’t need to be fixed.

Aside from the fact that accidents happen (50% of pets are from accidental litters), the health and behavior benefits for spaying/neutering mean your pet will live a longer and healthier life!

We always find good homes for all the puppies/kittens.

You may have been lucky enough to find homes for yours, but there are not enough homes for all the puppies and kittens born each year in the US. The person who adopted your puppy or kitten could have saved an animal at a local shelter instead. The only way to end euthanasia is to end overbreeding. If you love raising puppies and kittens consider fostering through your local shelter instead. Check out our Foster Program.

It’s better for a female to have one litter before she is spayed.

Just the opposite. Females spayed before their first heat are less likely to develop mammary cancer later in life. No need to have a litter or even wait for her first heat cycle. 

What is heat?

Heat refers to when a female cat or dog is receptive to mating and can become pregnant.

Dogs

On average, dogs have their first heat cycle at 6 months of age, but this can vary by breed. Smaller breeds may come into heat earlier while large breeds may not have their first heat until 18 months of age. Dogs will typically be in heat for 2-3 weeks at a time and will go into heat every 6 months, but this can also vary by breed. Small breeds may cycle more often and large breeds less often.

Cats

On average, cats have their first heat cycle at 6 months of age, but can go into heat and become pregnant as young as 4 months. Cats will go into heat multiple times during the “breeding season” which is generally January to late fall in the US, however indoor cats and those in warm climates can cycle year round.  A cat will go into heat for up to a week at a time. If she has not mated she will go out of heat for 1-2 weeks and go into heat again. 

My female recently had a litter. When can she be spayed?

The mom needs to be 8 weeks post-delivery before she can be spayed and her milk should be mostly dry at the time of spay. The puppies/kittens should be weaned and eating and drinking well on their own. 

Do you declaw cats?

No, you will need to see a full-service veterinarian for this major surgery. Declawing cats is a surgical procedure where a cat’s toes are amputated at the last joint which removes bone, not just the nail. Declawed cats must be indoor only pets since they are less able to climb and defend themselves from predators. Physical and behavioral side effects can occur, so be sure to discuss this procedure thoroughly with your veterinarian if you are considering declawing. We highly recommend other solutions such as providing several appropriate scratching surfaces and trimming your cat’s nails often.

Need some tips? https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/cat-grooming-tips 

My pets are fixed and just need vaccinations, can I bring them to you?

Yes! We offer walk-in vaccination hours every Wednesday and Friday from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. Our walk-in vaccine hours do not include a physical exam (therefore we do not charge an exam) and are intended to provide low-cost preventative care for healthy animals. You can check our services here.

If your pet is sick/injured or you have other concerns please see your regular veterinarian or find one using our Veterinary Partners page. We do not make appointments for vaccinations. 

Why are your fees so low?

One of the reasons our costs are so low is because we are not a full service veterinary hospital. We do not diagnose sick animals, treat emergencies, or provide specialty surgery so we don’t need to pay for the extra staff or expensive equipment.

Our speciality is spay/neuter and our staff has trained at the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance, a world renowned spay/neuter facility, so we can provide the best care for your pet. Because of this, we can offer safe and efficient spay/neuter services to the East Tennessee area at a low cost, giving more pet owners the ability to spay/neuter their pets. 

I would like to get my pet fixed, but I can’t afford it. Can you help?

If you cannot afford our services, please call us. Financial assistance may be available depending on your situation. You can also follow our Facebook page for updates on specials. 

Do I need to live in Knoxville or Knox County to use your clinic?

No, our services are not restricted by region. Anyone is welcome to use our clinic. 

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