ARL’s Dr. Schettino answers to frequently asked spay/neuter questions

Schettino fix a feral

Dr. Schettino “in action” at a recent ARL Fix-a-Feral Clinic, where feral cats in greater Boston are spayed or neutered and given other veterinary care.

When the ARL’s Dr. Schettino, director of veterinary medical services, sat down with us to discuss spay and neuter, he wanted to help pet owners understand why it’s hip to snip!

As Dr. Schettino points out, a large portion of the animals coming to ARL shelters every year come from unplanned or abandoned litters of puppies and kittens.  By increasing spay/neuter rates, you can help prevent pet overpopulation in a very humane way.

In part I of his chat with us, he cut through common myths about spay and neuter.

Read Part I

Today in part II, Dr. Schettino shreds through lingering concerns pet owners may have about having their pet spayed or neuter by answering the frequently asked questions he hears from clients at the ARL’s Boston Veterinary Care clinic and Spay Waggin’.

Here’s what he had to say…..

ARL Blog: What do you say to a pet owner who’s concerned that spay or neuter surgery is painful?

DS: Pain is associated with every surgery.  At the ARL, we use pain medication before, during, and after surgery to make the procedure as pain-free as possible. The majority of dogs and cats are acting 100% normal by the next morning. In fact, the challenging part to the surgery is trying to keep the dog or cat rested when they feel so good.

ARL Blog: Is spay or neuter surgery expensive? What are the local low-cost options/clinics in the area?

DS: Spay/neuter surgeries vary in price depending on location and provider – here’s a link with some great resources – The ARL offers free spay and neuter services for feral cats in greater Boston through our Fix-a-Feral trap-neuter-release clinics. Our Spay Waggin’ provides spay and neuter program created to assist clients in financial need on the South Shore and Cape Cod. You can also check with your local veterinarian.

ARL Blog: At what age should dogs/cats be spayed/neutered?

DS: Many veterinarians now spay and neuter dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. You should check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures. And remember, it’s never too late to spay or neuter your pet!

spay neuter dog

During Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the ARL is raising awareness with the “It’s Hip to Snip” campaign.

ARL Blog: Should pet owners be concerned that their pet’s behaviors will change after the surgery? Will a male dog, for example, be less of a protector?

DS: Your pet’s behavior will not change. A dog’s personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones. It is a dog’s natural instinct to protect the home and family.

ARL Blog: What can people to do help end animal overpopulation?

DS: Spay and neuter your pet! Always talk to family and friends and explain to them the benefits of spay/neuter–tell them it’s hip to snip! Help them understand that this will benefit their pet as well as help prevent animal overpopulation. Additionally, people can donate to their favorite animal welfare charity to help support  spay/neuter efforts.

Join the conversation! On World Spay Day, February 24, World Spay Day, Dr. Schettino and the ARL will host an #ARLAskaVet Twitter chat at 12 PM (EST). Follow the ARL on Twitter @arlboston and submit your questions using the hash tag #ARLAskaVet.