Jan08

SPAYING & NEUTERING YOUR PET, PART 2

Author // Tim Wheaton: Office & Media Manager Categories // podcast, My Pets Dr Blog, cat health, dog health

What Does It Mean To Spay Or Neuter Your Pet?

spay neuter pt 2

This is the companion article to our Pet Talk Podcast episode about this issue. You can listen to that first podcast episode by clicking here.

Originally envisioned as a single episode, the conversation with Dr. Matthew Wheaton became so robust that we didn't want to skimp out on any information just to make a single episode. So we broke it down into two somewhat longer episodes for our listeners to be able to digest all of this infomation and all of these different sides of the importance of spaying and neutering your pet. Whether you have a cat or a dog, we discuss what it means, and what the process is here, in surgery with the doctors at Alicia Pet Care Center.

If you want to listen before or after you read this, the actual podcast episode is available by Clicking Here.

Let's pick up where we left off from the first half of the conversation with Dr. Wheaton:

One of the most pervasive myths that I hear on this spay and neuter situation is, oftentimes, a suggestion that comes from the breeder of the individual's pet. They will tell them that the female dog that they are now selling to them, should be allowed to go through one heat cycle. This is the perfect example of a pervasive myth. I don't honestly know entirely what their reasoning is behind that. There are various things that they say as for why you would want to do that. But, you don't want to do that. That is not sensible. There is only one reason why you would even consider that, and I have had this conversation with several clients over the years. But when we weigh it all out, it doesn't make sense anymore.

Let's say you have a female dog that has a very small vulva that is not oriented in the proper direction and there is excessive skin that is around the vulva, creating a cave-like environment. The medical term for this is a cryptic vulva, which basically means a vagina in a cave. So the problem with the vagina in a cave is that the cave is very moist; it will grow a lot of bacteria. Constant large numbers of bacteria can sometimes overwhelm the local immune system. So there's basically a hole from the inside of this animal, allowing bacteria to go into the dog, and then creating a urinary tract infection. The problem with that urinary tract infection is that the predisposing factor never goes away. So you have a frequent, recurrent bladder infection story with a dog that has a cryptic vulva.

A valid question to ask is: what could we possibly do to minimize this problem? Well, if you allow your female dog to go through a heat cycle, the vulva will develop. It will get bigger and it will get really big when they're in heat, like a little baboon. But it will shrink down somewhat after that. However, it will still be larger after that first heat cycle than it was before the first heat cycle. Think of puberty: there are things that change permanently.

In theory, the vulva getting bigger will bring that vulva out of the cave more and will minimize the risk of that recurrent bladder infection story. But, here is another, much larger issue: cancer. You now have an 8% risk of cancer developing in that dog. I don't think that's a fair tradeoff. Especially because you could do a surgery to remedy the cryptic vulva. You can't necessarily take an 8% cancer risk -- and half of that is going to be malignant. So 4% of the dogs that you allow to go through that heat cycle (to increase their vulva size and remedy that issue) could die of a malignant cancer that you could have prevented. That just does not seem like a fair tradeoff to me. That’s why it just doesn't really make sense to allow any dog to go through a first heat cycle, regardless. Because you can fix the cryptic vulva story.
 
That's a surgery that I actually enjoy doing because it's detail work and it's very rewarding because the dogs that need it ask for it: they have multiple bladder infections, you do the surgery and then their bladder infections stop happening. That whole scenario is probably the most pervasive myth and I would imagine that it's possibly one of the reasons why they [breeders, etc.] would say to allow your new pet to go through one heat cycle. But, again… that doesn't make any sense to me.

Dr. Wheaton is asked at this point: So are they saying to allow the dog to go through a heat cycle as a preventative measure to that becoming an issue? Could they even know that that is going on with that female puppy?

Dr. Wheaton: You know, you're opening the door for me to say something that I love saying. And I'm fine being on record to do this. This is tough. Because we, as veterinarians, went to school for 4 years of undergrad. We worked really hard to actually allow ourselves to be accepted at the top of the heap by our hard work to get into vet school. We did 4 years of vet school; which is basically the most intense college experience that you could ever imagine. Frankly, it is very difficult with lots of learning, brain exploding kind of stuff. I’m proud to say that every veterinarian here at Alicia Pet Care Center has done this next part: an additional 1-year internship, which is usually somewhere around 80 hours a week of getting huge numbers of patients under our belt and lots of additional learning. Then, what we have learned and are saying as medical fact gets compared in a false equivalency to what a breeder recommends to someone that is potentially buying a puppy from them. And the baseline of what got the breeder to be what they are --

-- I will say this disclaimer: there are incredible breeders out there. There are very conscientious breeders out there, and some of these people may have some good insight to give to their customers. --
 
But the way that a breeder develops a long, positive history from reviews and word-of-mouth is by allowing their dogs to have sex in the backyard and then they sell those puppies to people. That is how they garner their longevity of being a reputable breeder. Comparing their knowledge to that of a veterinarian is a false equivalency. They [breeders] oftentimes give out completely opposite information of what is true and right and they frame it in a way of: “Your veterinarian is going to recommend that you spay your dog and you absolutely should not do that. You should allow them to go through a heat cycle” despite all of these things that are very easy to find, if you just do a tiny bit of reading.

So I know I went off the rails a little bit there. But it's a little frustrating to have that kind of scenario go on. Because, again, the pet owner is going to this breeder that they’ve done their research to find. They think that they're awesome because they have a nice website and not that many negative reviews; and they give them way more credit than they should. Sometimes we find out about the recommendations of the breeders based on what our clients tell us during those first couple visits with their new puppy.

So let's talk about the real brains in this whole situation: which are a lot of researchers. There are some really cool topics to talk about, honestly, because this is not your father's podcast. Or, should I say: “not my father’s podcast”? Because my father was a veterinarian. And my father, if he was doing this podcast right now, would not be talking about the next topic that we are going to discuss. This was completely unknown at the time that my father was in practice. He graduated from UC Davis vet school in 1955 and practiced veterinary medicine in South Orange County into the late 1980’s.

The first study I want to discuss is the one study that I think really messes with peoples’ heads that go down the road of reading everything out there. It's the study that was done in Europe not too long ago that looked at a bunch of Rottweilers. Now, in Europe, a lot more intact dogs exist than in the United States. They have a little bit better responsibility on the pet ownership there: a lot less roaming dogs, so they don't have the overpopulation issue nearly as badly as we do here. They have done a significant study on a large number of dogs that they divided into four different sub groups. They didn't really look at a whole lot of variables that might have changed things (i.e.: where they lived, what they fed their dogs, etc.). But they carved this large number of Rottweilers into four different groups and they measured how long they lived.

The four categorizations were: neutered male dogs, unneutered male dogs, spayed female dogs and intact female dogs. The intact female dogs had the longest lifespan of all of the groups. Which is going to mess with people. Because what that tells us (which is what we've already known on the human side) is that ovaries are somehow life-protective. There is something about having ovaries that extends a dog's (or a person’s) life: hormonal influences, whatever it may be. And that is going to fly in the face of everything else. At the end of the day, I've had some very thoughtful clients in our practice that have had this long conversation with me and it puts people into a yucky place. I think if you are looking at everything, there is that thought of: “Do I do this or not? Because I could have my dog live longer, etc.”

Well, I've recently been managing a situation like this in a 9 year old German Shepherd that now has had three different surgeries to remove mammary tumors. Finally, during the third surgery, the dog was spayed. But it's kind of water under the bridge at this point and this dog has had multiple opportunities kind of take the wrong path. The owner has been extremely on top of it and they’re trying really hard… but none of this really would be happening if the dog was spayed younger.

Maybe these dogs in Europe are having multiple surgeries for breast cancer, and they're very on top of it. But that's a thing to consider too: is it fair to give them a longer lifespan with the fact that they've had two, three or four surgeries to remove breast cancer? I want to just make sure that I'm not hiding any information that's out there and telling the real story here and being fully transparent.

So anybody that's dead set on keeping their female dog intact: there may be a benefit to you on that. But… you may have to deal with the pyometra story eventually or breast cancer.
 
Four studies have come out over the last ten years or so that looked at certain breeds of dogs. There was a study that was done in Rottweilers out of Europe, there were two studies on Vizslas, and there was one study that was done on Golden Retrievers by UC Davis. The landmark Golden Retriever study by my alma mater was probably the scariest, honestly, of all of these stories that came out of these studies. The studies looked at the consequence of early spay and neuter in dogs. The study out of UC Davis reflected what the other studies showed, which was basically: you have a negative consequence of spaying or neutering dogs that are young, that are still growing. So, if you do it before six months, you're going to basically change the dog’s growth.

Ten years ago, at Alicia Pet Care Center, our recommendation was akin to what everybody else in the United States was saying: at 4 to 5 months of age (maybe 6 months at the most), we should spay or neuter your dog. Unfortunately, a lot of the shelters and the rescue groups have this consequence of what they're trying to accomplish: they have to get those dogs spayed and neutered because telling a potential adopter/new owner: “you can adopt this dog, but you have to get it spayed and you have to do it by a certain time”… that fails. History has shown us that it just does not work. For a multitude of reasons, people don't do it and then the dog has a litter and then you just completely jacked up your numbers because you now have ten dogs out there. You were trying to just decrease the overpopulation issue and, sadly, you just unintentionally assisted in making it worse.

Everybody's going to spay and neuter their dog or cat if they're in rescue or shelter work to get these animals out there, already sterilized and not adding to the population problem. So, we've set aside that group and let’s say it's the nature of how it has to work when you're dealing with an overpopulation issue, stray pets, homeless pets, etc. On an owned pet that's intact, this is where you know there may be some deviation out there. Because not every veterinarian is going to have read these studies, not every veterinarian is going to have changed their protocols with these studies, because, quite honestly, it's quite inconvenient for all veterinarians to do so. It's much better to acknowledge that your puppy or kitten is done with its vaccines at 4 months. And now that they are finished with their puppy series, they don't really need to see their veterinarian again. But we're going to do the spay in the next month, so let's just do your lab work now and have you come back within the next month to spay or neuter your dog. It's much easier to do it that way for a veterinary hospital. It's very inconvenient to say: “We're going to have the big, long conversation and do something that you're going to hear different ways of doing things.” And, on a male dog, we would recommend, honestly, that they be allowed to grow up until about a year of age before they're neutered. For a female dog, we recommend spaying right at eight months to preempt that first heat cycle.

The fun part of the study was: if you spay or neuter a growing puppy and it's still early in its growth, what will happen is you change the way that that pet grows. They grow differently. Interestingly, dogs grow taller… so they have longer limbs. It would be the opposite effect of what most might guess. But they grow taller and what that does is it stretches out the knee joint. It literally elongates the limbs. The joint can't really elongate, so it makes the bones longer and it stretches tendons and ligaments tighter and that has a real consequence. Because what that does is it increases the risk of torn anterior cruciate ligaments, commonly referred to as ACL’s. People have heard about this in the human population; it is really common. If you do that spay or neuter young, it doubles the risk of a torn ACL. A torn ACL for an 80 pound dog is going to result in a recommendation for a surgery called a TPLO. A TPLO surgery, in most places within the U.S., is going to set an owner back about $5,000. And even with doing that surgery, the dog is basically guaranteed a life of mild arthritis at the minimum. They also have a 60% chance of the other side tearing some time down the road. This is a really significant issue, albeit not life-threatening, of course. But it is a quality of life issue. If you have all of your dog patients being spayed or neutered at 3-5 months, you're going to have a very significant population of animals coming in for torn cruciates. At Alicia Pet Care Center, we are currently a six doctor practice so we have a lot of patients. We probably diagnose around 2-3 ACL’s per week from within our patient population. It's a frequent thing and it's not something that you can really prevent if the leg gets stretched out. So one of those big issues of spaying or neutering too young would absolutely be doubling the ACL risk. Within different breed groups of dogs, you also see an increase in the risk for hip dysplasia.

The Golden Retriever study out of UC Davis has some special characteristics about it, primarily related to the fact that Golden Retrievers are cancer factories. They have a 60% chance of getting cancer at some point in their life. That's all genetically based. I, personally, don't really understand the science behind this… truly, there may not be anyone who does: but you increase the risk of hemangiosarcoma; which is a very aggressive tumor-type, usually affecting the spleen. Most of the time it’s a terminal illness. It also increases the risk of osteosarcoma, which is a very aggressive bone cancer in dogs. This is a debilitating disease that is frequently terminal as well. So that's a bad thing. We don't want to increase cancer. Honestly, every veterinarian would and should say that. The problem with that, again, is that we have things that we do very early on that we might see as kind of a normal course of a dog or cat's life that we have to be thoughtful about. And we have to make sometimes tough decisions to act in the best interest of the patient, even if it might make things a little inconvenient for the pet owner. If we're being advocates for our pets, I think we have to make sure that we tell the full story to these people.

Those are the recent studies. These are all things that you can find online. There is a link on our website to a write-up that I did a couple years ago that has citations for these studies and links, etc. Again, you can visit our website at www.mypetsdoctor.com if you want to go and do some additional reading.

I will say, there is one important caveat that I feel compelled to include here. Let’s just say you obtained your intact dog or puppy from a rescue group. If the rescue group was saying that you need to have the dog spayed or neutered at a certain time: I'm a big fan of adhering to contracts. So, that's basically what you've done. If you've gotten a rescue dog that's not yet neutered or spayed, you’ve likely signed an agreement that you were going to have that procedure taken care of at a certain time. I think you should adhere to that contract. I'm not a fan of causing big arguments with rescue groups and owners that recently adopted a dog from them.

So, we are trying to get the point across that it's important to spay and neuter your pets for a number of different reasons. If you don't do it, you are basically embracing some negative consequences that are extremely likely to play out. We've talked about how important the timing of it all can be, as well. We have mentioned several diseases, issues, and problems that can come from not spaying or neutering your pets. I want to just make sure that we give you an opportunity to head some of these financial hits off at the pass. Get pet insurance. We encourage every pet owner to just do the sensible thing. We all know that when we get a car, we get car insurance. Even though you don't know if you're going to get into a car crash. You assume that you will not, yet you gladly (most of the time) pay your insurance knowing that you have protection financially from some possible issue. Every single pet is going to have a “car crash”. Every single one of them. They are oftentimes going to have multiple car crashes and they are going to be unpredictable and expensive. You can't necessarily just “total it” and move on to the next one without a significant negative consequence emotionally to your family. You need to get pet insurance if you have a pet. Our favorite insurance company is called Petplan. We do not own stock in the company, we do not sell their insurance… it's a third party. I am very passionate about protecting my clients and patients, and I think that Petplan offers very extensive coverage that doesn't have a lot of hidden negatives for pet owners. For those of you who use Twitter, check out @Petplan and take a look at their posts with “Petplan Claim of the Day” attached to it. These posts show how much money they paid out to a pet owner to cover their dog or cat for whatever situation it had. It's pretty mind-blowing sometimes to see how much money people are recovering on their claims for these "car crashes" that your pet may get into.

As a veterinarian, myself, I do have pet insurance on our family pets. Primarily, I got woken up to this issue when we decided to get a golden retriever. Funny enough, right? We said this breed has a 60% cancer risk. Yet, Golden Retrievers are the most common breed for veterinarians to have because their personality is so reliable and great. I told my wife to just anticipate that we're going to have to use the services of another veterinarian at some point for our retriever, named “Fezzik Hodor”. So, if and when Fezzi gets cancer, I'm going to end up needing a specialist to treat him. I don't really want to expose myself financially to that and make it so I have to make a decision between: “Do I treat him for his cancer, which (most of the time they do really well with treatment), or do I not?” I don’t want that to be a purely financial decision. So I'm trying to not be a hypocrite, as well. But, I'm very glad that I have pet insurance because I've actually already used it a couple times for several of my pets. There are many good companies out there. The point really is to get insurance for your pet.

The Procedure of a Spay or Neuter at Alicia Pet Care Center

This is a great time for us to remind you of our podcast episodes that introduce you to our doctors. You can hear them tell their stories of what led to them being a part of our staff at APCC by clicking right here.

T
o be clear, we are talking about Alicia Pet Care Center here… not the entire world, not all of California, or even Orange County. Everybody does it differently. At Alicia Pet Care Center, when we have a procedure that's actually under anesthesia, it's all going to be the same high level of care. That goes for a male cat neuter -- which takes about two to five minutes of doctor and surgical time -- or a much more difficult procedure: an intact female dog who's overweight. Let’s say that means an 8 year old Golden Retriever that weighs 100 pounds, but should weigh 70 and she's getting spayed. This is probably the ‘double black diamond’ of reproductive surgeries that we do. Every one of those cases and everything in between is all going to have the same protocol here.

We make sure that everybody does lab work as a pre-anesthetic test to make sure the liver and kidney function is normal, that the pet’s not anemic or has any other condition. Basically, we're making sure that the pet can tolerate the anesthesia and should heal nicely and come through the surgery okay. We have our clients drop off the patient in the morning on the day of their scheduled surgical procedure. The patient gets a pre-med injection, which is a pain medication that's somewhat sedating. It takes the edge off of them… definitely makes them a little sleepy and a little more cooperative for the process of getting an intravenous catheter placed (aka an IV). Every patient has an IV, which is really important so that we have access to a vein and don't have to find a vein in the middle of the procedure if there's a problem or if we need to give some kind of supportive medicine. But, we also need a place to give intravenous fluids. So that IV is started and then the patient will be anesthetized.

Here at APCC, we use a combination of midazolam (which is like valium) and propofol (which is actually an incredible and very safe anesthetic). Those two medications are given as an injection that will quickly anesthetize our dog and cat patients and allow for them to have an endotracheal tube placed in their trachea (their throat) that provides an airway. That airway allows us to give them inhalant gas anesthesia. The gas anesthetic that we use here is called sevoflurane. Sevoflurane is well recognized as the safest gas anesthetic out there. It's frequently used in pediatric human patients. Sevoflurane would be the gas that a human hospital would use for preemies needing to go under anesthesia to have some interventional surgical procedure done. It's extremely safe. That sums up the anesthesia side of things.

Once a patient is anesthetized, we give them supportive things in lots of different categories. They are getting heat support through a heated surgical table. Oftentimes, we use something called a ‘Bair Hugger’, which is a sort of a fancy pillow device that delivers heated air that's pumped around the patient. That heat keeps their core temperature normal, which is really critical for them to have a safe anesthetic episode. The patients are given intravenous fluids, which is really critical for normal function of blood pressure-oriented cardiovascular status. We're supporting their normal flow of blood and circulation; if you don't do that, oftentimes the patients become low with their blood pressure. That drop in pressure is not good for the kidneys and it increases mortality.

So, everybody gets intravenous fluids and we typically do an antibiotic injection at the beginning of the procedure. That's probably it, as far as the medicine side of things with support. They are also hooked up to a machine that is a monitoring device.

Let’s take another little trip down the veterinary memory lane, to the time when my Dad was a veterinarian. In the days of my experience at my father's Veterinary Hospital (back in 1989-1990), it was not very high-tech. My dad had one piece of equipment that he was using during his spays and neuters (and any other anesthetic procedure). It was a little machine that went into the breathing line that would measure the patient’s breaths. So, it would beep when the animal breathed; no blood pressure, no EKG, no pulse oximetry, no temperature regulation, no temperature support, no intravenous catheter, no IV fluids. Frankly, with how much we know and do now, it’s close to amazing that these animals survived, honestly.

Anyway… back to the current time period and not the dark ages. These machines we use now monitor so much; all of those things that I mentioned: pulse oximetry, entitled CO2 (which is how much carbon dioxide they're breathing out), temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure. Blood pressure being probably the most important one to keep in the right ranges because it can really be a harbinger of problems coming. So that allows us to make changes. We can make changes very easily because we already have an IV catheter in place. We have fluids going and we can easily administer anesthetic supportive medications to make sure that we have a successful outcome.

The surgery, of course, is being performed by skilled and experienced veterinarians that are using proper equipment and techniques. We do not use inexpensive, cheap surgery equipment or suture material. On that end, to some extent, no expense is spared. Because we're really just going to do this the exact same way that I would spay or neuter my own dog. I'm going to extend that to everybody else. I'm going to make sure that everybody gets top-notch care. There's really no way at Alicia Pet Care Center that you can downgrade that care. And that gives us a good outcome almost every single time. We have fantastic experiences and the animals wake up very quickly and smoothly and then they're able to walk out of here 2-3 hours later. That’s because we're not using anesthetics that last all day and really spin the animal sideways, forcing it to endure a prolonged anesthetic recovery period. That's how all of this takes place in our hospital.

So the final touches for Alicia Pet Care Center patients: we do recommend an Elizabethan collar for every patient going home so that they don't chew their sutures open and have a second procedure. You also may know of that as an E-Collar…or even as “The Cone of Shame”. The dreaded lampshade which everybody hates, but it definitely helps to make it so that we don't have extra drama. We also send every patient home with pain medication one way or the other. That all comes with the package.

I won't go into depth on this other story of how I went through this period of enlightenment with my own stance on spaying and neutering and how important it is. That may be for another podcast at some point. But, that has led to us being compelled to offer a very inexpensive price tag with this high-end procedure that we're doing. That has also led down the road to us launching our program that we call Practically Free Spay and Neuter.

The Practically Free Spay and Neuter program is offered by Alicia Pet Care Center for new clients. It’s reserved for new clients only. So, for anyone that hears about this program and they're ready to spay or neuter their pet, they can tap into that high quality spay or neuter service at a ridiculously low price. We basically have the same price as the high-volume low-cost spay and neuter facilities in our area, doing it well below what it actually costs us to do. However, we feel so passionate about this that we feel good about offering this as a service. We want to help everybody get to that point of allowing them to do their part to reduce the pet overpopulation issue and it's a better scenario for the pets overall.

So we feel good about offering a low cost associated with that. And, here’s the bonus: if these new clients end up staying with us as a client, they will get that spay or neuter for free. Let’s explain the details of that. What happens with that program is: if you come in and let's say that we spay your Chihuahua who weighs 10 pounds. A less than 20 pound dog spay will generally run somewhere around $130. You do also have to get pre-anesthetic blood tests, which the prices vary on that, but let’s just say the cost of the actual spay is $150 for the sake of this conversation. You pay us for the spay and the pre-anesthetic bloodwork, you have a fantastic experience, you take your pet home, you get to experience Alicia Pet Care Center and the high quality that we offer. You meet our friendly and helpful staff which should show through on your first visit. We'll invite you to come back for a second visit. On that second visit, that exam is now free and you get to try us out again for whatever it is that you're needing to do for your pet: it might be vaccine boosters, it might be that your pet has a problem. Let's say it's an itchy dog with allergies. So you come back in, within a year of having your dog or cat spayed or neutered, and you will have a credit of that $150 that you spent on that procedure. You'll have that credit from that procedure for things that do not leave the hospital. So that gives you an opportunity to do a wellness blood test, a vaccine, any sort of treatment in the hospital… anything that's not a tangible thing that's leaving the hospital. So you can't use that credit for, say, pet food or flea control. But, not only are you getting a great price on that spay or neuter, but if you are a new client and are able to take advantage of the program, you are basically getting that procedure for free! There is some small print involved, of course. We encourage you to read all about that program by clicking here for practicallyfreespays.com.
 
Alicia Pet Care Center has a different sort of philosophy overall. We really are trying to help our community out. We don't just say it, we actually have lots of things that we do. We put our money where our mouth is and we'll pretty much pay you to spay or neuter your dog or cat. In a way that's exactly what we're doing. We feel that passionately about not adding to the problem and allowing people to have a reasonable way to spay or neuter their pets. And we don't want that to be a financial thing that then adds to the pet overpopulation issue. That is a nutshell summation of our Practically Free Spay and Neuter program.

One of the big things that we like to do at Alicia Pet Care Center is to logically think about things and problem-solve. So, in the spirit of that, we can absolutely see that there is a huge reason to spay or neuter your pets. There are significant negative consequences that you are embracing by not doing so. More likely than not, you will have to deal with things that are going to be financially negative for you and potentially negative for the health of your pet. That can even go so far as possibly leading to a terminal illness. We've made it pretty clear. Additionally, we've allowed for finances to not really be the determining factor on a pet owner acting out the need to spay or neuter their pets. We are hopeful that will compel you to do the right thing. I hope that some of the people that are reading this right now are future clients of Alicia Pet Care Center that can tap into the Practically Free Spay and Neuter program. I do feel very strongly about making sure that all of the choices that we make for our pets are wise. We're really important in their lives, obviously. We can make or break their longevity and their quality of life. There are so many things that you can do to affect that positively. On the other side of that, some things that pet owners don’t act upon can lead to very negative consequences. So we're helping set you up for success here. Honestly, I feel we really have, in these two podcast episodes and articles, done as much as we possibly can to make this black and white and make it super clear for everyone. That coincides with us also providing our community with a way to do this that basically doesn't cost them any money. I'm very proud of what we have here and the way that we offer our services to people.

This is where the conversation came to an end. Remember, this is only the second half of the spay & neuter conversation. So, make sure you go back to the first half of this episode’s conversation on the podcast as well as on the blog, if you haven't already!

Again, you can listen to this podcast episode directly on an Apple device by clicking here.

You can also access this episode by visiting the Pet Talk Podcast website by clicking here.

If you would like to see more of how the spay and neuter process works at Alicia Pet Care Center, we have multiple videos on our Youtube channel of our Annual Ford Petersen Spay Days that we hold to honor a former employee.
Click on any of these links below:

2nd Annual Ford Petersen Spay Day

3rd Annual Ford Petersen Spay Day

4th Annual Ford Petersen Spay Day

 

About the Author

Tim Wheaton: Office & Media Manager

Tim WheatonA part of the APCC team since September of 2013 as the Office Manager and Media Manager.  His career previously had been steeped in the Title Insurance Industry for over a decade. He has managed staffs in multiple industries, locally and overseas. His marketing and Social Media skills were learned as he manages his own photography business & podcast called "Daddy Unscripted" about being a dad.

There is no coincidence in the shared last name. Tim is Dr. Wheaton's younger brother and has been around APCC and the staff since its inception. Life has come full-circle in that way, as Tim and his brother used to spend nearly every day during summers in their youth at their Dad's veterinary practice in Corona Del Mar.  Dr. Wheaton was always the son destined to follow in their father's footsteps, while Tim was always the more creative-minded one of the two. 

Tim and his wife have two kids of their own and two furry children (Rusty & Audrey), sibling cats adopted from The Pet Rescue Center in 2011. 

Tim will be keeping you up to date with APCC happenings via social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram – with pictures, pet health tips, travel tips and ways to keep your babies happy and healthy.

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