About Surgery

Here you will find important information you need to know about preparing for surgery and additional services available to your pet. This preoperative information should be followed carefully. Please take a few moments to review the materials and let us know if we can help clarify anything prior to your pet’s procedure.

What to Expect

As pet owners ourselves, we at Nutmeg Spay/Neuter Clinic understand that you only want the best for your loyal companion. By choosing to spay/neuter your furry friend you are giving her/him the chance to live a longer, healthier, and happier life. We know how stressful it can be when you decide to go ahead with a procedure for your pet. They are family, and while it may be an ordinary day for us, your day is filled with anxiety. Our clinic staff will do everything possible to make the day of your pet’s spay or neuter run smoothly for you and your loved one.

Cats, and most dog breeds, must be at least 3 months old and 3 pounds to undergo spay or neuter surgery. State law requires that ALL companion animals be up to date on rabies vaccines. If your pet is up to date on the rabies vaccine, please bring the certificate with you on the morning of surgery. To save time, in advance of surgery day, you or your veterinarian can email the certificate to info@nutmegclinic.org or send it via fax to 203-690-1552. If your dog or cat is not up to date, we will vaccinate him/her the same day as surgery at an additional cost.

or FAX the certificate to 203-690-1552

Preparing for Surgery & After-care

Keep your pet indoors. Your pet can eat until midnight, then take away food. Water should be taken away the morning of the procedure. The exceptions to this rule are puppies and kittens below 16 weeks of age and toy breed dogs less than 6 lbs. These little ones can have a small breakfast (one or two teaspoons) before they are dropped off for their appointment. Please do not overfeed your pet the day before surgery- they will be fine with their normal diet.

This is a good time to gather information and make notes about any medications your pet is currently taking or has taken within the last month, any injections in the last two weeks, vaccination records, or health conditions your pet has experienced recently. Our staff must be made aware of these conditions because they may affect the anesthetics and other drugs we will be using for surgery.

To facilitate morning admissions, we request that you adhere to your given time slot. This will expedite your check in process. Cats should be dropped off at 8:00 am. Dogs should be dropped off at 8:30 am. Remember to bring any medications your pet is taking and your notes about other medications, vaccinations, or health conditions.

Please keep your pet safe! All dogs need to be on leash. All cats should be in a sturdy hard carrier with a clean towel inside. For safety reasons, soft, fabric carriers or cardboard carriers are not permitted. Please, only one pet per carrier. If you do not have a carrier, contact us in advance of your surgery date for information on borrowing a carrier with a deposit.

Cat owners: Bring your cat inside the clinic with you to check in at 8 am. Cats must be brought in a clean, secure, hard-plastic carrier with a towel inside. Only one cat per carrier. Feral cats must arrive in a humane trap lined with a towel or newspaper and covered with a sheet or towel; only one cat per trap is allowed.

Dog owners: At 8:30 a.m., leave your dog in your vehicle (please crack a window for air) and come in to review your admission form. We will notify you when to bring in your dog. Please let the staff know if your dog has special needs, i.e., does not do well with other dogs, cats, or people, or needs to be muzzled, etc.

We perform multiple spay and neuter surgeries throughout the day. We do not routinely call clients unless we need to. This enables us to serve more clients throughout the day and keep our focus on anesthesia and surgery. However, if you are worried about your loved one, of course you may call us to check in on your pet.

Your pet will be examined by a veterinarian in the morning to make sure he/she appears to be in good health. Our doctors reserve the right to cancel a surgery if we think your pet is not a good anesthesia candidate and needs to be seen by your local veterinarian for an existing health problem.

Shortly after examination, your pet will be sedated and anesthetized for the procedure. We use a combination of drugs that produces excellent pain management with minimal stress to the patient. When your pet is asleep, we administer oxygen and additional gas anesthesia. The surgery is short, varying from 5 minutes for a cat neuter to 20 minutes for a large dog spay. At the end of the procedure, your pet will receive a tattoo. This will ensure that if your pet is ever lost and found by somebody else, they know without a doubt that your pet was already spayed or neutered. This is required. We are adhering to a national standard of care that is supported by organizations like the ASPCA. An Elizabethan collar (e-collar) will be placed on your pet and must remain in place for up to 14 days. As your pet recovers from anesthesia, more pain medication will be administered, and your pet will be watched closely for the duration of recovery. The anesthesia we use does wear off quickly; you can expect that your pet will be able to walk by the time he/she goes home.

Pick up occurs at 4:30 pm daily unless directed otherwise. If you have questions regarding discharge time please refer to your confirmation email. You are expected to arrive as directed. At the time of discharge, our staff will review with you  the discharge instructions and go over any questions and/or concerns.

A spay or neuter is a common surgery, but it is still general anesthesia and major surgery. Just as with people, animals feel pain and surgery is not pain-free. We have the most modern pain management methods. All animals are given pain medication before surgery starts and then as needed after surgery. The goal is to keep pets as comfortable as possible. Your pet may be lethargic, have a poor appetite, and/or appear anxious. The most important thing is to let your pet rest and realize that these effects are temporary. You may offer your pet a small meal and water. If your pet is not hungry, it is no cause for concern that night unless you have a very young puppy or kitten. Please advise small children not to bother your pet; they are still recovering! No running, jumping on furniture, and minimize the use of stairs. We recommend shredded newspaper litter for all cat neuters for 24 hours. All pets must go home with an e-collar to help prevent self-trauma to the incision. Please be sure to bring the collar with you when dropping off your pet. You will be given thorough discharge instructions when you pick up your pet and can view them here. Our staff is always happy to answer any questions you may have.

It is important that you monitor your pet and follow discharge instructions closely after their spay and neuter. They are not fully healed for 2 weeks! During this time your pet should be kept quiet and exercise should be limited. Larger adult dogs do take longer to heal and generally have more swelling and bruising. If there are any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call our clinic at (203) 690-1550 or email us at info@nutmegclinic.org during regular business hours. If there is a concern outside of our business hours, please refer to one of our recheck veterinarians. There is no charge for a recheck vet visit unless additional treatment or medication is administered. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact your regular veterinarian or any of the following 24-hour emergency hospitals:

  • VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center (Shelton) 203-929-8600
  • VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center (Norwalk) 203-854-9960
  • New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine 203-865-0878
  • Newtown Veterinary Specialists 203-270-8387

Nutmeg Spay/Neuter Clinic