Low-cost, high-quality, high-volume, spay and neuter (HQHVSN) programs like NHS Spay & Neuter Center (SNC) have a vital place in the veterinary profession and are essential to decreasing cat and dog overpopulation and shelter euthanasia. Preliminary research shows a reduction in shelter intake and euthanasia associated with HQHVSN programs. By providing care to underserved patient populations, spay and neuter work enhances the quality of life for animals and the humans who live with them. SNC adheres to the standards set forth in The Association of Shelter Veterinarians Veterinary Medical Care guidelines for Spay-Neuter Programs.¹
This document provides practical standards for high-quality, humane, and efficient care of veterinary patients in high-volume spay and neuter programs. These guidelines promote consistent, quality medical and surgical care for all patients in a variety of spay/neuter settings.
Veterinary medicine now requires a standard of care that incorporates pain relief for all patients undergoing painful procedures. Ovariohysterectomy and castration are both known to be painful procedures requiring treatment for pain. The current recommendations encourage the use of multimodal analgesic therapy. Our protocols reflect this data and include an opioid pre-operatively followed by a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug post-operatively.
We commonly use this knot on the ovarian pedicles and the uterine body. It is extremely secure, minimizing complications.
Upon isolation of the ovarian pedicle, the pedicle is feathered over the surgeon’s finger to allow identification of the individual structures. The suspensory ligament is located and can be cut with surgical instruments or torn with digital pressure. A mosquito forcep is then utilized to tie off the ovarian pedicle on itself.
SNC frequently utilizes a scrotal approach when neutering adult dogs.
Historically, a pre-scrotal incision has been utilized by both private practice veterinarians and veterinary teaching institutions, and although this approach arguably remains the most common, the scrotal technique is quickly gaining in popularity for a variety of medical reasons.
SNC joins a vast number of surgeons maximizing on the benefits of a scrotal neuter technique including expert surgeons in the field of spay/neuter as well as board certified veterinary surgeons. In fact, the scrotal technique is currently being taught as the preferred surgical approach in multiple veterinary schools across the United States.
The incision may be closed with a variety of techniques including absorbable suture and/or tissue glue.
All of these closure techniques utilize the body’s natural healing mechanisms, which means a small amount of clear to bloody discharge is expected and normal for the first few days following surgery. As with any surgical incision, it is important to ensure that the dog is not licking and that the surgery area is kept clean and dry.
Spay & Neuter Center (SNC) strives to remove roadblocks including cost, convenience, and perception that hinder animals from receiving sterilization in order to decrease animal intake and subsequent euthanasia at local shelters and rescues.
We do not want to “steal surgeries” from community veterinarians, when a pet would otherwise be sterilized at full price. In fact, if we attempted to target these clients (who can and would pay full price for a surgery), we would be doing our clinic and our mission a disservice as we would not be contributing to the overall increase of sterilization surgeries within our community.
Although cost of surgery is undoubtedly a big hurdle that must be addressed in order to increase spay and neuter in our community, it is far from the only element involved and is perhaps not the most important issue to consider. It is for this reason that SNC does not require proof of low income at this time in order to schedule a surgery. For example, the reason a pet remains unsterilized may be related to misguided perceptions or the cultural value of the spay/neuter service. Just because an owner has the means to purchase a full price surgery does not mean they will.
We work diligently to ensure that our surgery center will NOT lead to a decrease in procedures performed by private practitioners as some might fear. In a study of five communities with targeted spay/neuter programs, the total number of spays and neuters in the communities increased, including the number performed in private practices.
Our goal is to increase the number of sterilizations being completed in the communities we serve by specifically marketing to clientele that were otherwise not sterilizing their pets regardless of the motivations behind their choices.
Education is a key piece to motivating pet owners to seek out, pay for, and value routine vet care and lifesaving procedures like spay and neuter surgery. One of our fundamental goals is educating and advocating responsible pet care on behalf of our community veterinarians and the pets that you serve.
Your private practice vet clinic has no bigger advocate than NHS. We want nothing more than the pets of our community to come to your clinics on a regular basis and for these clients to partner with you for the behavioral and physical wellbeing of their pet. Our desire is for your clinic to spay and neuter as many pets as possible, but if a client is unable or unwilling to elect this service we would love to be a referral option for you to utilize at your discretion.
If you are interested in partnering with SNC to provide routine and lifelong veterinary care to the under served pets of the communities we serve, please let us know so we can include you on our list of veterinarians willing to provide post-surgery and routine vet services to the clients that utilize SNC.
We understand that many veterinarians may be unfamiliar with some of the advances in high quality, high volume surgery technique and innovative community solutions. At SNC, we love the opportunity to share our experience and passion with veterinary colleagues and discuss any concerns or questions regarding the follow-up care of our patients, general business practice, or overall mission and method. We invite you to call or stop by our clinic anytime during normal business hours.