Spay and Neuter
of Orange County

Before You Arrive and FAQ's

Before You Arrive for your Spay or Neuter Appointment:


  • Please download the Client Information Packet, fill it out and bring with you to your surgery appointment. This will greatly decrease time spent on the necessary paperwork at the clinic in the morning and will allow us more time to answer questions and address concerns as we check in your pet for surgery.
  • Please withhold your pet's food after 10pm the night before surgery to help ensure an empty stomach.  Having water available until morning is acceptable, but please restrict access to water as soon as you awaken in the morning. Young puppies and kittens (8-12 weeks) may have a small meal in the morning before 6 am.  Do not restrict access to water. 
  • We will be discussing the option to do pre-anesthetic blood testing for your pet at check-in. Our staff will share with you the importance of doing these blood tests as an evaluation of the overall health and function of the internal organs responsible for processing the anesthesia and medications. Although there are always inherent risks associated with surgery and anesthesia, these tests can help detect problems that may alter anesthetic protocols, or even re-evaluate your pet as a candidate for surgery and reduce the risk factors involved.  These tests are one way to have a look at the internal health of your pet. Please see the pricing and services page for more detailed information on the different tests available and recommendations for your pet. 
  • We would like to help to identify certain conditions prior to surgery that may need attention during your pet’s procedure, if indicated.  For example:

· Retained deciduous teeth – this is when the “baby” teeth remain and the adult teeth are already coming in, usually around 4-7 months.  You will see both teeth present adjacent to each other. The canine teeth (fang teeth) are most commonly affected.  This condition is more common in toy and small breeds.

· Cryptorchid (in males) – this is when one or both of the testicles is not present in the scrotum.  You     will find only one or no testicles present in the scrotum when you look (or feel!) for them. Males that are cryptorchid will need an Exam with the doctor prior to surgery, and surgery would be scheduled on a different day. (Surgery will not be part of Simply Spay and Neuter of OC)

· Umbilical (belly button) hernias – this will present as a “lump/bump” at the belly button.  The size can vary; small as a pea or as large as a golf ball(or even bigger!).  Some, if small enough, can be insignificant and require no treatment and others will be large enough to recommend surgical repair.  Doing so at the time of the spay/neuter procedure is very common, since your pet is already undergoing anesthesia.

This list is not complete, but identifies a few of the conditions more commonly found on physical exam.  We may be able to help remedy the above, as well as other situations that may be present, so please mention to the staff in the morning if you have questions regarding your pet’s conditions.  There will never be procedures performed or added fees without your knowledge and authorization. 




Are the Veterinarians & Staff licensed and experienced?

Our doctors are fully licensed veterinarians in California. The clinic staff has licensed Registered Veterinary Technicians as well as trained Animal Health Technicians.  Dr. Lisa, one of our Veterinary Surgeons, brings over 14 years of experience as a Veterinarian and has personally performed over 3,000 spay and neuter procedures here in Orange County over the past 2 years alone and is looking forward to continuing here with Simply Spay and Neuter of OC to provide these services for our community!

How old does my pet need to be in order to be spayed or neutered?

We require that puppies and kittens be a minimum of 8wks of age and weigh at least 2 lbs and that adult dogs and cats be 6 years or younger.  Pets over the age of 7 will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.  It is recommended that older pets receive a full pre-anesthetic work-up which may include, but not limited to, a full physical exam, a chest xray, an EKG, full comprehensive bloodwork and urine tests to help identify any underlying medical problems that may exisit.  We do not make age a 'disease', but it is known that with age, organ systems begin to slow and dysfunctions are more likely.  We feel that it is important to your pet's health and safety and to ensure the safest procedure possible. 

At what age and how frequently will my dog or cat go into heat?

Dogs start their heat cycles between the ages of 8-12 months average, however some may start as early as 6 months or as late as 18-24 months. Smaller breeds tend to start heat cycles earlier than larger breeds.  Dogs will go into heat about every 6 months and will last about 2 weeks (vary from 1-3 weeks).
Cats generally start heat cycles as young as 6 months of age.  They are ‘seasonally polyestrous’ meaning they will go into heat a multitude of times during the spring/summer and very little during late fall and winter (but still possible).  Cats just seem to be in heat all the time!

Is it better to let my dog have one litter of puppies before getting her spayed?

There is no study or evidence to support the notion that having a litter of puppies or kittens will benefit the physical health or emotional well being of your pet.  In fact, evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat cycles have significantly reduced risk of mammary cancers.

Can litter mates get pregnant?

Yes, they most certainly can.  And do. Let’s prevent this one!!

How long after my dog/cat has puppies/kittens can she be spayed?

We recommend waiting 2-3wks after weaning the puppies or kittens (6-8 weeks if not nursing at all).  The uterus and mammary glands will have the time to ‘shrink’ back toward normal.

Does my pet have to be current on its vaccines in order to have surgery?

Yes, we ask that your pet's vaccines be current or are going to be updated on the day of surgery.

Will there be stitches that will need to be removed?

Yes. Stitches will need to be removed in 10-14 days. Some pets will not need sutures to be removed. In this case, self-absorbing sutures are placed under the skin. A receptionist will inform you on release.  If you are having dewclaws on a dog removed, there will be bandages that will be in place for 4-5 days and we recommend having them removed at the clinic (no charge appointment).

Will my pet be required to wear one of those big round E-collars?

It is highly highly recommended to place an E-collar on your pet during the recovery and healing time post-surgery. These collars serve as protection to prevent self-trauma from pet's licking and chewing at their own incisions.  This may cause redness, swelling, infection and most importantly, dehiscence (breaking open) of the incision, the latter of which can be a very serious, life threatening complication and warrant emergency medical care.  This is a more serious situation in females, as they have had abdominal incisions for their surgeries.  We will strongly urge all owners, but especially those with females, to purchase an E-collar ($10) to help prevent this situation.  Oftentimes, the wait and see approach does not work in this case, as a significant amount of damage can occur in a very short time.

If my pet becomes “ill” in the days just before his/her surgery, should I call and cancel?

Yes, please give us a call at (949) 837-7660 and ask to speak to a Technician and a recommendation will be made based on your individual condition.  It is always better to ask ahead of time, as being sick or ill could increase the potential for anesthetic/surgical complications and may warrant rescheduling surgery until your pet is feeling well again. 

Will my pet need to spend the night? What time will my pet be discharged? 

No,  your pet will go home in the afternoon following surgery.  Patients check-in between the hours of 7am and 
10am depending on the procedure being performed.  Patients will be able to go home beginning as early as 1pm through 6pm, depending on time of surgery and individual recovery.  We will call just after your pet has recovered from anesthesia to give you an update on surgery and schedule a convenient discharge time.   We will be staggering discharge appointments to facilitate an easier check-out process.

Do you spay/neuter feral cats? What is a feral cat?

Yes, we will be providing services for feral cats (cats that are so wild that they are not able to be handled or even touched). Please follow the link to the ASPCA’s website, as there is a wealth of information on this subject.  This is not something for the light-hearted!  It can be a very complicated undertaking, as these cats can be very strong and furious and can inflict an amazing amount of injury to itself and to you if not done properly.  We do not advocate attempting this if you are not experienced with handling feral cats, however, there are resources to help you learn and/or refer to if you have a cat(s)in your neighborhood needing assistance. 

Is there a difference between a stray and a feral cat?

A stray cat is one that is, or was at one time, someone's pet and has been handled by humans.  These cats are much more friendly and will often even approach, but are just lost or wandered from home or may have actually been abandoned.

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