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Feline Neuter

Views: 11399 - Comments: 9

Jenny Mitchell, DVM, and Carolyn Tran, CVT, perform a neuter on a cat.

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Jenny Mitchell's picture
Jenny Mitchell

Enrolled: 12/2011

Carolyn Tran's picture
Carolyn Tran


Enrolled: 05/2012

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Adrianne Fairbanks's picture

I feel like they should have a small drape placed over the sterile field. This is easy to add to the pack and decreases the amount of hair contact with sterile hemp stats and gloves. - Dr Fairbanks

Tracy Howard's picture

I know this is a common technique but what happens if/when the clamp pops off?

Lee Herold's picture

Dr. Fairbanks: I completely agree, ideally a small overdrape should be used. Elective neuters are considered clean procedures with infection rates reported to be 0-4% but infection is always minimized with good surgical asepsis! We don't do many elective neuters here at Dove but I'd love to get an active dialogue going using our reader's greater numbers and experience with neuters, so...How many of you guys use a drape with your kitty cat neuters? If you do not use a drape- why not? If you do use a drape-have you seen lower infection/inflammation rates? Do you routinely use antibiotic prophylaxis in this clean procedure? -Lee

Lee Herold's picture

Tracy-That's a great question. A couple of things can happen. If you have retracted and stripped the soft tissues off of the spermatic cord well, even if the hemostat fails while making the figure eight knot, the cord may not retract fully back into the inguinal canal or the abdomen meaning you can still grasp them and place your knot. If they do snap back in where you are not able to locate them, then it is most appropriate to perform a small ventral midline incision and explore the inquinal canals and abdomen for the cords to ligate them and achieve hemostasis. A trick that I learned a long time ago, is to use a two hemostat technique for just the problem that you describe. One hemostat is clamped on the spermatic cord closest to the scrotal incision as a fail-safe, so if the hemostat that you are using to tie fails then the cord is assured of not snapping back into the abdomen. It takes a fraction of a second to place the second hemostat but it's worth the piece of mind. Lee

Tracy Howard's picture

Thank you for the response. I'm going to bring up the second hemostat trick to one of my doctors.

Jennifer Jones's picture

So I have a cat who was neutered over a year ago. I was a pre-vet student and naturally curious to see what it looked like afterwards. I gently took a look, but there remained all of his fur. Is it normal to not pluck or shave the scrotum, and could this have potentially caused issue?

Rachel Medo's picture

Hi Jennifer,

Great question! I checked in with one of our surgery technicians here at DoveLewis to get an answer for you.

It is most common to shave or pluck the hair before doing a neuter or spay procedure, and how we prep surgical patients here at DoveLewis. But, depending on the practice, it may not be a step that all veterinarians take. Shaving or plucking the hair can help keep the surgery site clean, and allow owners to monitor the area better after surgery. If there is swelling, redness, or discharge, it may be more difficult for someone to monitor if there is hair surrounding the area.

Let me know if you have any additional questions!

Carly Reilly's picture

Hi there! I am a vet student preparing to do a feline neuter. After the second spermatic cord is cut and put back into the body, do you suture the incision closed or leave it open for second intention healing? Thanks!

Holly Hayes's picture

Hi Carly,

Thank you for your question! My name is Holly and I am the Client Engagement Specialist for atdove. I passed your question on to our Directory of Surgery Services, Dr. Coby Richter and her response was as follows.

"Hi Carly,

Thanks for your question. We leave the feline neuter incision open to heal. Make sure there are no tags of subcutaneous tissue protruding beyond the skin edges. The skin and subcutaneous tissue in the scrotal region is delicate in cats. Any suture is prone to increase inflammatory reaction and delay healing rather than promote a complication-free healing.

Coby Richter"

Please feel free to reach out to me directly via email at, with any further questions.