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Malignant Tumor: A cancerous growth that is capable of spreading to other parts of the body. Metastasis: The spread of cancer cells from the primary affected area to other parts of the body via the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Is a clinically relevant and practical manual designed as a guide for the safe and effective administration of cancer chemotherapy.
With background information for effectively communicating with clients, including coverage of veterinary cancer surgery and radiation therapy, the book provides specific strategies that address the challenging emotional issues surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets. Feline spaying (cat spay procedure) - otherwise known as spaying cats, female neutering, sterilisation, "fixing", desexing, ovary and uterine ablation, uterus removal or by the medical term: ovariohysterectomy - is the surgical removal of a female cat's ovaries and uterus for the purposes of feline population control, medical health benefit, genetic-disease control and behavioral modification. If blood work and radiographs are normal, proceed with CT to determine localized extent of disease with biopsy to follow.
Radiation followed by surgery: When surgery is performed on any residual tumor tissue left after radiation therapy, a median survival of 47 months compared to 19 months with radiation alone was recently reported. Coverage includes patient assessment, chemotherapy equipment, drug preparation, safety considerations, handling, administration, waste disposal, and management of chemotherapy side effects. Considered to be a basic component of responsiblefemale cat ownership, the spaying of female cats is a simple and common surgical procedure that is performed by veterinary clinics all over the world. An alphabetical listing of common chemotherapy agents offers information on their uses, indications, and toxicities, as well as administration guidelines for methods, routes, and speeds. This page contains everything you, the pet owner, need to know about spaying cats (female cat desexing). The disadvantages of desexing (the cons of spaying cats) - why some people choose not to spay their female cats.3. Spaying kittens - information about the early spay and neuter of young cats (kitten desexing). FAQ 5 - My pregnant cat needed a caesarean (C-section) - can she be spayed at the same time?8k.
FAQ 8 - My veterinarian offered a pre-anaesthetic blood screening test - is this necessary?8n.
Feline birth control method 1 - separate the tom from the queen and prevent her from roaming.10b. Feline birth control method 3 - "the pill" and hormonal female oestrous (heat) suppression.10d. Feline birth control method 4 - inducing ovulation to suppress feline estrus (heat).WARNING - IN THE INTERESTS OF PROVIDING YOU WITH COMPLETE AND DETAILED INFORMATION, THIS SITE DOES CONTAIN MEDICAL AND SURGICAL IMAGES THAT MAY DISTURB SENSITIVE READERS. The picture on the right shows a cat uterus that has been removed by cat spaying surgery - it is labeled to give you a clear illustration of the reproductive structures that are removed during surgery. Basically, the parts of the female reproductive tract that get removed are those which are responsible for egg (ova) production, embryo and fetus development and the secretion of the major female reproductive hormones (oestrogen and progesterone being the main female reproductive hormones).
The benefits of spaying cats (the pros of spaying) - why we spay female cats.There are many reasons why veterinarians and pet advocacy groups recommend the desexing ofentire female cats.
The prevention of unwanted litters:Pet overpopulation and the dumping of unwanted litters of kittens (and puppies) is anall-too-common side effect of irresponsible pet ownership. Every year, thousands of unwanted kittens and older cats are surrendered to shelters and pounds for rehoming or dumped on the street (street-dumped animals ultimately end up dying from starvation, predation or transmissiblefeline diseases or finding their way into pounds and shelters that may or may not beable to find homes for them). Many of these animals do not ever get adopted from the pounds and shelters that take them in and most end up being euthanased.
This sad waste of healthy life can be reduced by not letting pet cats breed indiscriminately and the best way of preventing any accidental, unwanted breeding from occurring is through the routine neutering of all non-stud (non-breeder) female cats (and male cats too, but this is another page). To reduce the spread of inferior genetic traits, genetic diseases and congenital deformities:Cat breeding is not merely the production of kittens, it is the transferral of genes and genetic traits from one generation to the next in a breed population. Petowners and breeders should desex female cats that have conformational, coloring and temperamental traits,which are unfavourable or faulty to the breed as a whole, to reduce the spread of thesedefects further down the generations. Picture: This is a close up image of the vulva of a bitch (?) with hermaphrodism (canine hermaphrodite). A uterine intussusception is a condition whereby one section of uterine horn telescopes into another section of the uterine horn. The telescoped uterine horn becomes strangled inside the other section of uterine horn (as seen in this image), causing it to die and rot and become necrotic (decaying tissue). You can see the dead telescoped section of uterus in this image - it is green in color and gangrenous.
Some entire bitches develop follicular cysts on their ovaries (also termed polycystic ovaries - ovaries with too many actively-secreting ovarian follicles), which produce excessive amounts of oestrogen, well above the quantities usuallyseen in a normal entire bitch.
This is probablybecause this species cycles almost continuously all year round (as opposed to the bitch who only cyclesonce to twice a year) and has thus developed a much greater tolerance towards its own reproductivehormone fluctuations than the dog. Diseases such as vaginal hyperplasia, mammary neoplasia, cystic endometrial hyperplasiaand pyometron are much less common in the cat than the dog. This reduced incidence of hormonally-associated disease is, however, no excuse notto get this species desexed. Although not as commonly seen in the cat as in the dog, cats do stillget mammary tumors, the development of which is likely to be affected by the presence ofovarian reproductive hormones. Similar to the situation described in the dog, early desexing of cats may have some protective effect in preventing the development of mammary cancers in cats. Note - one reference (23) suggested that the breast-cancer-preventative effect of desexing in cats was not quite as strong as the preventative effect seen in dogs, however, another reference (2) suggested that it was greatly preventative. I would err on the side of caution and have the animal desexed early in case there is value in having the procedure done. For mammary cancer is a condition that cat owners should seek to minimize where possible - the vast majority of mammary cancersin the cat are very nasty (>80% are malignant and have the potential to spread throughout the cat's body, resulting in death). Progesterone inhibits the action of insulin onthe body cells' insulin receptors, producing a condition called 'insulin resistance' and Type 2 diabetes (similar to parturient diabetes or 'pregnancy diabetes' seen in women).
Caninsulin, Actrapid and others) given to the pet to manage its diabetes does not work as effectively in the presence of progesterone. This can make the animal's diabetes very difficult to control every time it has a season and it is one of the main reasons why vets recommend the desexing of diabetic cats as part of the management of the disease. It is the ovaries that make female catsexhibit the kinds of "female" hormone-dependent behaviors normally attributed to the entire animal.
Cats cominginto season can also be moody and unpredictable (PMS?) and they may bite and scratchowners and other household pets who get too close to them or touch them on the rump. Some of the more dominant cycling females will even display unwanted dominance and territorial behaviors such the marking of territory with urine (although much more commonly exhibited by entire tomcats, some dominant females will also exhibit urine spraying in the house).
Additionally, entire, in-heat female cats are more likely than neutered animals areto leave their yards and roam the countryside looking for males and trouble. The spaying of entire female cats may help to reduce some of these problematic hormone-mediated behaviours. Author's note: Fighting between cats is more common when cats are left entireand undesexed.
Although fighting is much more common between entire male cats, fighting canalso occur between male and female cats when a male attempts to mate with a female whois not yet receptive to his advances.

Owners of fighting cats often spend many hundreds of dollars treating theirpets for fight wounds and cat-fight abscesses.
The reduction of tom cat attraction:When a female cat comes into heat, she releases pheromones and hormones in her urine thatnotify male cats of her increased fertility. At the peak of her cycle, she will alsocall and wail, notifying males of her desire to mate. For these reasons, it is not uncommonfor the owners of undesexed female cats to have tom cats constantly coming into their yardsat all times of the day and night.This is a problem for many reasons. Firstly, the wandering toms willfight amongst themselves and wail back to the female from outside, thereby producing a lot of ruckus in themiddle of the night.
Secondly, the toms will fight with the house owner's cats, resulting in costly cat fightabscesses and the spread of diseases.
Third, the toms will void urine and faeces in the female-cat owner's yard, which kills the plants and grass and leaves behind a pungent and noxious odor. Sometimes, the tomcats will even venture into the female-cat owner's house (they certainly will if there is a cat flap), where they will steal food and mate with the in-heat female in question. If the female cat does escape the house, she is almost certain to be mated and to fall pregnant. By spaying all of the female cats in your household, there will be nothing to attractthe tom cats into your yard and, consequently, the problem of trespassing tomcats willbe solved. A spayed cat potentially costs less to feed than an entire animalof the same weight and, therefore, neutering your animal may well save you moneyin the long run. Desexing equates to a loss of breeding potential and valuable genetics:There is no denying this. In an era where many unscrupulous breedersand pet owners ("backyard breeders" we call them) will breed any low-quality cat, regardless ofbreed traits and temperament, to make a quick buck, the good genes for breed soundness, breedtraits and good temperament are needed more than ever. As an elective procedure, spaying is risky:Certainly, female cat desexing is a more risky and invasive procedure to perform than male cat desexing is. If the animal gets lost prior to this age, the unchipped cat may fail to find its way home.
What this means is that early age desexing is now compulsory, regardless of any (minor) anaesthetic risks to the animal, andveterinarians who advise desexing at 5 months of age onward are breaking the law. This role in feline population control is why most shelters choose to neuter early.Cats spayed very early will not attain sexual maturity and will therefore be unable to fall pregnant.
Consequently, owners of female cats will not have to deal with the dilemma of having an 'accidentally' pregnant pet and all of the ethical issues this problem poses (e.g.
Likewise, veterinary staff also benefit from not having to perform desexing surgery on pregnant animals, a procedure that many staff find very confronting.
This again helps to reduce the incidence of irresponsible breeding - cats sold already desexed cannot reproduce. In particular, breast cancer (mammary cancer)in dogs (and maybe cats) is almost non-existent in animals that are desexed prior to their first season.From a veterinary anaesthesia and surgery perspective, the duration of spay surgery and anaesthesia is much shorter for a smaller, younger animal than it is for a fully grown, mature animal.
I take about 5 minutes to neuter a female kitten of about 9 weeks of age compared to about 10 minutes for an older female and even longer if she is in-heat or pregnant. More early age neuters can be performed in a day than mature cat neuters and less anaesthetic is used on each individual, thereby saving the practice money per procedure.Routine, across-the-board, early spay and neuter by shelters avoids the need for a sterilization contract to be signed between the shelter and the prospective pet owner.
A sterilizationcontract is a legal document signed by people who adopt young, non-desexed puppies and kittens, which declares that they will return to the shelter to have that dog or cat desexed when it has reached the recommended sterilization age of 5-7 months.
The problem with these sterilisation contracts is that, very often, people do not obey them (particularlyif the animal seems to be "purebred"); they are rarely enforced by law and, consequently, the adopted animal is left undesexed and able to breed and the cycle of pet reproduction and dumped litters continues.
Many of these disadvantages were outlined in the previous section (3a)when the reasons for establishing the 5-7 month desexing age were discussed and include: Early age anaesthesia and desexing is never going to be as safe as performing the procedure on an older and more mature cat. Regardless of how safe modern anaestheticshave become, the liver and kidneys of younger animals are considered to be less mature than those of older animals and therefore less capable of toleratingthe effects of anaesthetic drugs and less effective at metabolizing them and breaking themdown and excreting them from the body. Even though it is very uncommon, there will always be the occasional early age animal that suffers from potentially life-threateningside effects, in particular liver and kidney damage, as a result of young age anaesthesia. Thishypothermia predisposition is caused by the young animal's increased body surface area (larger area for heat to be lost), reduced ability to shiver and reduced bodyfat covering (fat insulates against heat loss). The predisposition towards hypoglycemia is the result of a reduced ability to produce glucose from stores of glycogen and body fat as well as the fact that these stores of fat and glycogen are smaller in the young animal. Early neutering may result in retained juvenile behaviours inappropriate to the animal's age later on. Early neutering may result in urinary incontinence later on (but so can later neutering too). Because shelter policy was not to add tothe numbers of litters being born irresponsibly by selling entire animals, all cats, including kittens, were required to be desexed prior to sale. Consequently, it was not unusual for us to desex male and female puppies and kittens at early ages (anywhere from 8 weeks of age upwards).
Hundreds of puppies and kittens passed under the surgeon's knife every year on their way to good homesand I must say from experience that the incidence of intra- and post-operative complications that were a directresult of underage neutering was exceedingly low.
Cat spaying procedure (spay operation) - a step by step pictorial guide to feline spay surgery.As stated in the opening section, spaying is the surgical removal of a female cat's internal reproductive organs. During the procedure, each of the female cat's ovaries and uterine horns are removed along with a section of the cat's uterine body. And, to be quite honest, from a general pet owner's perspective, this is probably all of the information that you really need to know about the surgical process of desexing a female cat. There are many surgical desexing techniques available for use by veterinarians, however, I have chosen to demonstrate the very commonly-used "midline incision procedure" of feline spaying.
Diagrammatical images are provided to illustrate the process and I have included links to myphotographic step-by-step pages on feline spaying procedure and pregnant cat spaying procedure.
Any food that the animal fails to consume by bedtime should be takenaway to prevent it from snacking throughout the night. Do remember that your vet has the right to refuse to admit your pet for surgery if you arrive late. Her gum color will be assessed, her heart and chest listened to and her temperature taken to ensure that she is fit to operate on.
This pre-surgical examination is especially important if your pet is old (greater than 7-8 years). In addition to the routine health check, your cat will also be examined in order to determine whether or not she is in-heat or pregnant.If she is, the vet will discuss the added costs and risks of the spaying procedure with you and you can decide whether you want to continue with the operation or post-pone it. This is a simple blood test that is often performed in-house by your vet in order to assess your cat's basic liver and kidney function. It may help your vet to detect underlying liver or kidney disease that might make it unsafe for your cat to have an anaesthetic procedure. Old cats (>8 yrs) in particular should have a pre-anaesthetic blood panel performed (many clinics insist upon it), but cautious owners can elect to have young pets tested too. Things happen (very rarely, but they do) and you need to be aware of this before signing an anaesthetic consent form. Remember that the costs of spaysurgery will increase if your cat is in-heat (in season) or pregnant.

As with human medicine, it is becoming more and more common these days for pet owners to sue vets for alleged malpractice. Vets today require clients to sign a consent form before any anaesthetic procedure is performed so that owners can not come back to them and say that they were not informed of the risks of anaesthesia, should there be an adverse event. Vets may need to call owners if a complication occurs, if an extra procedure needs to be performed on the pet or if the pet has to stay in overnight. It is often best if you ring the veterinary clinic before picking your pet up just in case it can not go home at the time expected (e.g. The sedative calms the feline makingit slip into anaesthesia more peacefully; the sedative often contains a pain reliefdrug (analgesic), which reduces pain during and after surgery and the sedative action resultsin lower amounts of anaesthetic drug being needed to keep the animal asleep. General anaesthesia is normally achieved by giving the cat an intravenous injection ofan anaesthetic drug, which is then followed up with and maintained using the same injectabledrug or, more commonly, an anaesthetic inhalational gas. The animal has a tube inserted down its throat during the surgery to help it to breathe better; to stop it from inhaling any saliva or vomitus and to facilitate the administration of any anaesthetic gases. The surgery:In order for you to properly understand the process of cat spaying surgery, I have to take a second to explain the anatomy of the female cat's reproductive organs. Image: This is a diagram of the reproductive anatomy of a female dog as it appears whenthe abdomen is incised and entered from the abdominal midline.
This anatomy also holds true for the female cat except that the suspensory ligaments, important in the bitch, are of little significance in the cat. I have not drawn in the intestines or bladder (aside from the stump of the bladder neck - bottom), which would normally overlie the animal's reproductive structures when the animal is positioned on its back (thereproductive organs occupy the roof of the abdomen, near the animal's spine and kidneys).Of particular importance, when it comes to feline spay surgery, are the fatty ovarian pedicles (the tubes ofdense fat and connective tissue containing the ovarian arteries and veins) and the uterine body, just ahead of the animal's cervix.
These are the highly vascular sites that must be tied off securely with sutures (so that they do not bleed) and cut in order for the uterus and ovaries to be removed. Image: This is a diagram of the reproductive anatomy of a female dog as it appears from theside. This anatomy also holds true for the female cat except that the suspensory ligament, important in the bitch, is of little significance in the cat. I have drawn this view in order to give you a three-dimensional idea of where the uterus sits in the dog or cat (it is located very high within theabdomen). This is the anatomy that would be encountered if the veterinarian performed a flank spay(a spay technique whereby the veterinarian enters the animal's abdominal cavity via an incision madethrough the muscles of the animal's flank). These are the highly vascular sites which must be tied off securely with sutures (so that they do not bleed) and incised (cut) in order for the uterus and ovaries to be removed from the animal.
Photograph 1: A small incision (usually around 1cm long, but can be up to 3-4 cm long) is made in the cat's skin, approximately 1 inch below the umbilical scar on the abdominal midline.
Picture 2: In this image, the veterinary surgeon is removing some of the fat (termed subcutaneous fat, sub-q fat or SC fat) from the incision line region. The fat is the white, shiny substance in the center of the incision line.There is generally a lot of fat located between the cat's skin and its abdominal wallmuscles. The veterinarian aims to cut along a central line of scar tissue that joins the right and left sides of the animal's abdominal wall musculature. This line of scar tissue is called the linea alba (literally meaning - "white line").By cutting through scar tissue, rather than the red muscle located either side of the linea alba, the veterinarian reduces the amount of bleeding incurred in entering the cat's abdominal cavity. Photograph 2: This is a close-up picture of the incision line after the lineaalba has been incised. Image: This is the same diagram that I presented earlier, showing the reproductiveanatomy of the female dog or cat. In this diagram, the sections of the reproductive anatomy that are ligated (tied closed with sutures) and incised (cut through) are indicated with green lines.
This tying-off and cutting procedure needs to be performed with great care, otherwise there is the risk of severe internal bleeding occurring or a section of ovary being left behind (ovarian remnant), which could result in the animal returning to heat (showing signs of heat) after it has been 'desexed'. In this diagram, the sections of the reproductive anatomy that are ligated (tied closed with sutures) and incised (cut through) are indicated with orange lines. This procedure needs to be done with great careotherwise there is the risk of severe internal hemorrhage occurring or a section ofovary being left behind (ovarian remnant), which could result in the animal returning to season(showing signs of heat) even though it has been 'desexed'. Because the linea alba is essentially a tendon-like, collagenous structure (made of collagen), it has less blood supply than red muscle and, therefore, takes longer to heal than muscle would. To take this slower healing into account, the veterinarian often uses a longer-lasting suture (a suturethat is slower to lose its strength and slower to absorb) to close the linea alba. They look like a line with no suture material showing.They are useful because cats find it harder to chew them out.
A Photographic Guide to Spaying a Pregnant Cat:As will be discussed in the FAQs and Myths section (section 8), it is possible to desex afemale cat who is already pregnant. What should be understood, however, is that the desexingof pregnant animals carries with it a much higher risk than the desexing of non-pregnantfemales does (the ovarian and uterine blood vessels are much larger and bleed a lot more and the uterusitself is greatly enlarged and much more friable and prone to tearing apart, compared to the non-pregnantuterus). In viewing this page (which does contain images of surgical abortion) what shouldbe clear to you is that there is added danger and risk and pain (a bigger surgical incision) to the female animal in desexing her whilst she is pregnant and that, for this reason, the emphasis shouldbe placed on having a female cat desexed well before she manages to become pregnant. If you would like to view a complete, step-by-step, photographic guide to pregnant cat spaying surgery, please visit our informative Spaying a Pregnant Cat page. Spaying After Care - all you need to know about caring for your female cat after spaying surgery.When your cat goes home after spay surgery, there are some basic exercise, feeding,bathing, pain relief and wound care considerations that should be taken into account to improve yourpet's healing, health and comfort levels.
1) Feeding your cat immediately after feline spaying surgery:After a cat or kitten has been spayed, it is not normally necessary for you to implement anyspecial dietary changes. Unless your veterinarian says otherwise, it is normally fine to feed your cat the night aftersurgery. Offer your pet a smaller meal than normal in case your pet has an upset tummyfrom surgery and do not be worried if your pet won't eat the night after surgery.It is not uncommon for pets to be sore and sorry after surgery and to refuse to eat that evening. If your cat is a bit sooky and won't eat because of surgery-site pain, feel freeto tempt her with tasty, strong-smelling foods to get her to eat. Many cats also like strong-smellingfishy foods like fish-containing tinned food, tinned tuna or salmon or cooked fish filletsand small prawns. Avoid fatty foods such as mince, lamb, pork and processed meats (salami, sausages, bacon) because these may cause digestive upsets. Some catsgo home on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Carprofen(trade names include: Prolet, Rimadyl, Carprofen tablets) and Meloxicam (tradenames include Metacam)after surgery.
Do not give these drugs if your cat is refusing to eat.Most cats that get spayed are not normally off their food for more than a day.
It is therefore recommended that running-around exercise be avoided or minimized for a minimum of 2 weeks after surgery to allow the skin the best chance of staying still and healing.
Restrictingyour cat's exercise will also reduce the risk of a large seroma forming (section 6b) andreduce post-operative spay-site pain.

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