Frequently asked questions

Q. WHAT DAYS ARE YOU OPEN?

We are here Sundays from 10:00-2:00 and Wednesday Evening for Exams, Vaccines or any general veterinary care (ear infections, skin infections, blood work, etc.) During the week we have our surgery days, which are by appointment. Click here to see our office hours.


Q. WHY DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF HIGH QUALITY?

  • We have the highest regard and concern for the animals in our care and we treat each animal as if they were our own.
  • We perform all dental and surgical procedures in a humane manner and strive to keep stress, pain, and the risk of complications as minimal as possible.
  • Our Veterinarians are licensed in the State of New York and are highly experienced and skilled in high quality and high-volume surgical techniques.
  • Our instruments and supplies meet the highest standards. Each surgery is performed with an individually autoclaved (steamed-sterilized) surgical pack. No instruments are reused without sterilization.
  • Our patients are anesthetized with safe anesthetic agents. They receive anesthesia monitoring via respiratory monitors and pulse oximetry which measures heart rate and oxygen levels.
  • Animals receive pain medication before they feel any pain. All animals are pre-medicated before induction of anesthesia, as well as given a post-operative pain injection and sent home with oral pain medications. We do not want any pet uncomfortable!

Q. HOW ARE YOUR SURGERY PRICES SO LOW?

One of the reasons our costs are low is because we are not a full-service clinic. Our focus is on spaying, neutering, dentistry and wellness. We do not have, nor are we paying for, many of the diagnostic and treatment equipment and supplies found in a full-service veterinary hospital.


Q. WHAT IS SPAY AND NEUTER?

The word "spay" refers to the sterilization of female pets. The term "neuter" is more commonly used to refer to the castration of male pets. In female dogs and cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. In male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles are.


Q. WHY SHOULD I SPAY OR NEUTER MY PET?

  • Spay/Neuter packs a powerful punch in the fight against pet overpopulation. Millions of cats and dogs are euthanized  annually or suffer as strays. This is the tragic result of unwanted/unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
  • Your spayed female won't go into heat.
  • Un-neutered cats mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine.
  • Your male dog won't feel the need to roam away from home.
  • Your pet will live a longer, happier life.
  • Spaying a female helps prevent pyometra (pus-filled uterus).
  • Spaying a female helps prevent breast cancer, which is often fatal.
  • Neutering a male prevents testicular cancer and prostate disease.
  • Your pet will be much better behaved.

Q. IS SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY PAINFUL? CAN IT HARM MY DOG OR CAT?

During spay or neuter surgery, cats and dogs are fully anesthetized, so they feel no pain. Afterwards, most animals seem to experience some discomfort, but signs of discomfort disappear within a few days, and with pain management medication, pain may not be experienced at all. Serious harm as a result of spay/neuter surgery is extremely rare.


Q. WILL MY PET'S BEHAVIOR CHANGE AFTER SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY?
Spay/Neuter will not alter your pet's basic personality. It can result in some behavioral changes- for the better! Pets may be less aggressive, more relaxed, and more focused on you.  Freed from the urge to mate, cats and dogs tend to be calmer and more content after spaying or neutering.  Spayed or neutered pets are more, not less, likely to show affection toward their human companions. A neutered dog protects his home and family just as well as an un-neutered dog.


Q. WILL MY PET GAIN WEIGHT AFTER SPAY/NEUTER?

Just like people, pets become overweight when they eat too much and/or exercise too little. An appropriate diet and sufficient activity will keep your pet slender and healthy.


Q. WILL NEUTERING PREVENT MY CAT FROM SPRAYING?

Urine marking is most common in un-neutered males. Un-neutered males usually start spraying or "marking their territory" when they reach sexual maturity (about 6 months). Male cats in multi-cat households, or in close proximity to other cats, may spray at a younger age. It's best to neuter males before they reach sexual maturity and before they start spraying. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the hormones to subside after the neutering so you may not notice an immediate difference.


Q. HOW OLD DOES MY PET HAVE TO BE FOR SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY?

We recommend spaying and neutering at 6 months of age, however it can be done as early as 12 weeks of age, as long as the pet is over 3 pounds.


Q. DO YOU PROVIDE VETERINARY SERVICES OTHER THAN SPAY /NEUTER?

Yes! We provide low-cost dentistry as well as general veterinary services (e.g. vaccines, heartworm and lyme disease testing, blood screening, etc.) and sick appointments. Click here for a list of offered services or contact us for more information.

Q. DOES MY PET HAVE TO BE VACCINATED PRIOR TO SURGERY?  

For your pet's protection we recommend that pets are vaccinated for distemper and Rabies prior to your surgical appointment, however we will vaccinate on the same day as surgery if that is not possible.


Q. DO YOU CHARGE EXTRA FOR SURGICAL COMPLICATIONS?

Very rarely an additional fee may be required for non-routine surgical procedures that require longer, or more involved, surgery, such as instances in which the animal:

  • Is cryptorchid (undescended testicles)
  • Has pyometra (pus filled uterus)
  • Needs an umbilical hernia repair
  • Needs deciduous tooth extractions

Q. DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS TO ANIMAL RESCUE GROUPS?

Yes! Please contact us for details.


Q. DO YOU SPAY/NEUTER FERAL CATS?

Yes. Putnam Animal Wellness will work with local residents and organizations to spay and neuter feral cats.


Q. DO YOU MICROCHIP?

Yes!  


Q. DO YOU DECLAW?

​No, we do not perform this surgical procedure. 

Alternatives to declawing are listed below:

  • Provide your pet with an appropriate scratching post.
  • Trim your cat's nails on a regular basis, it can really make a difference. If claws are kept blunt, a cat that strays from the scratching post will do little to no damage.
  • Apply Soft Paws, which are an excellent alternative to declawing. They are easy to apply at home, or here at the clinic. They are completely safe and humane and can be used on cats of all ages. Soft Paws are vinyl nail caps that are glued on to your cat's existing nails. They look like a cat's nail, only hollow.  

Q. SHOULD FEMALE ANIMALS BE SPAYED PRIOR TO THEIR FIRST HEAT CYCLE?

On average, animals fist go into heat at 6 months of age. Spaying female animals prior to their first heat cycle greatly reduces the chance of your pet getting mammary cancer. Animals may be spayed during their heat cycle.


Q. HOW LONG DO HEAT CYCLES LAST?

Cats: May go into heat as often as every 2-3 weeks and lasts usually about 7 days. Dogs: Go into heat usually every 6-8 months and lasts approximately about 9 days.


Q. CAN AN ANIMAL BE SPAYED IF IT IS PREGNANT?

​Yes, as long as it is early on in the pregnancy. The gestation period for cats and dogs is 65 days on average.​


Q. HOW LONG AFTER DELIVERING KITTENS/PUPPIES CAN AN ANIMAL BE SPAYED?

Ten weeks. Puppies and kittens should be 8 weeks of age and must be eating and drinking on their own prior to their mother's surgery. Be sure that lactating animals do not nurse for at least 2 weeks before the day of their surgery.


Q. CAN ANIMALS HAVE FOOD OR WATER THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY?

​All pets must have food taken away the night before surgery at 12:00 Midnight. We suggest picking up your pet's food dish when going to bed. This will ensure that the animal's stomach is empty by the time he/she is put under general anesthesia. If your pet has eaten on the morning of surgery, we may need to reschedule your appointment. PLEASE DO NOT WITHHOLD ANY WATER FROM YOUR PET.


Q, WHAT TIME DO I NEED TO BE THERE IN THE MORNING?
Your pet needs to be dropped off in the morning between 8:00-10:00 AM. Please plan on being here for approximately 10-15 minutes to fill out paperwork.


Q. WHAT TIME DO I NEED TO BE THERE FOR DISCHARGE?

This is same-day surgery. We typically discharge patients at about 4 PM, but you will be given a "pick-up" time when yo drop off your pet in the morning. Please be here on time and plan to be here for approximately 15 minutes to go over discharge instructions. A late fee will be added onto your bill if a pet is not picked up by the specified discharge time.  


Q. DO YOU PERFORM AN EXAM ON MY PET BEFORE SURGERY?

Yes, our Veterinarians perform a pre-operative physical examination to make sure that your pet is a good candidate for surgery. If your pet is too fractious to handle, a physical examination will be performed under anesthesia. If your pet is showing signs of illness or if there are any concerns (such as a heart murmur, upper respiratory infection, obesity, food in stomach) we may refuse surgery if we feel surgery is a health risk.


​Q. DO YOU USE ANESTHESIA?
Yes. The comfort and safety of the animal is of the utmost important to us. Our patients are anesthetized with safe anesthetic agents. They receive anesthetic monitoring via respiratory monitors and pulse oximetry which measures heart rate and oxygen levels.


Q. DO YOU USE PAIN MEDICATION?
Animals receive pain medication before they feel any pain. All patients receive pain medication before surgery, after surgery and upon discharge.


Q.  DO YOU USE LICENSED VETERINARIANS?
Yes. Our Veterinarians are licensed in the State of New York and are highly experienced and skilled in high quality and high volume surgical techniques.  


Q. WHAT IS THE RECOVERY PERIOD LIKE?

The recovery period is 7-10 days. You need to restrict your pet's activity and keep him/her indoors. You also need to watch their incision closely. We will give you a complete list of post-op instructions when you pick your pet up.


Q.  DO I NEED TO BRING MY PET BACK TO HAVE STITCHES REMOVED?
No, unless you are told otherwise, your pet does not have external sutures. All sutures are absorbable on the inside. The very outer layer of skin is held together with surgical glue. If you are told that your pet has skin sutures or skin staples, he/she will need to return in 10-14 days to have those removed. Male cats do not have any sutures.


Q. SHOULD I BE WORRIED THAT MY PET IS LICKING THE INCISION SITE?
YES. This could cause the wound to re-open and become infected. 


Q. WHAT SHOULD I DO TO KEEP MY PET FROM LICKING THE INCISION?

All pets are sent home with an E-Collar. Please keep the collar on at all times during the recovery period. If you are having difficulty with the collar we send home, Putnam Animal Wellness has alternative collars for an additional price.


Q. WHAT IF I NOTICE SOMETHING UNUSUAL OR HAVE A PROBLEM AFTER SURGERY?

It is VERY important you follow the after-surgery instructions provided to you at discharge during the post-op period. Please contact us immediately if you think your pet is having a problem related to the surgery. 


Q. WHAT TYPE OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?

We accept cash, all major credit cards and Care Credit. We do not accept checks.

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