Early spay-neuter: clinical considerations

Clin Tech Small Anim Pract. 2002 Aug;17(3):124-8. doi: 10.1053/svms.2002.34328.


Early spay-neuter is ovariohysterectomy or castration of puppies or kittens 6 to 14 weeks of age. Pediatric animals may have an enhanced response to relatively low doses of anesthetic agents. Animals should be fasted no more than 3 to 4 hours before surgery to prevent hypoglycemia, and hypothermia should be avoided. Heart and respiratory rates must be monitored carefully throughout anesthesia. Pediatric gonadectomy surgeries are quick with minimal bleeding. Anesthetic recovery is rapid. No significant short-term or long-term effects have been reported. Prepuberal gonadectomy is most useful for humane organizations and conscientious breeders wishing to preclude reproduction of pet dogs and cats while placing animals at a young enough age to optimize socialization and training.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / veterinary
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cats / physiology
  • Cats / surgery*
  • Dogs / physiology
  • Dogs / surgery*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Orchiectomy / methods
  • Orchiectomy / veterinary*
  • Ovariectomy / methods
  • Ovariectomy / veterinary*