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  • When is the SANS clinic open?
    The clinic schedule varies depending on veterinary staff availability but on average we provide four to six clinics per week. Potential clients should call for more details (315) 834-0141.
  • Do I need an appointment or can I just stop by the clinic?
    SANS does not accept walk-ins for spay & neuter services. All clients must make an appointment as spaces are limited.
  • What forms of payment do you accept?
    Credit/debit cards, cash. We do not accept personal checks or Care Credit.
  • When do I pay?
    Payment for all dog appointments is required one week in advance. You can do so by calling with a credit card or stopping by on a clinic day to pay with cash. Prepayments are due at the time an appointment is made and full payment for cat appointments is due in the morning when you drop your cat off.
  • Why can you do this so cheaply?
    For three reasons: 1) SANS is a non-profit organization. It is our mission to reduce the pet overpopulation problem in our community by providing low cost spay and neuter services for shelter animals, rescuers and animals belonging to low income people. Because we are non-profit, we benefit from donations that allow us to offer our services below cost. 2) We are a streamlined practice. Unlike a private veterinary practice, which provides a full medical service, we are single focused. We perform spay and neuter surgery, and basic vaccinations only. Anytime a business has a single focus, it can better maintain its overhead costs. 3) SANS will perform a physical exam but not perform a comprehensive cardiac exam, other diagnostic tests or blood-work prior to the procedure, which can be expensive and many other veterinary practices require before surgery.
  • When will my pet be ready for pick up on the day of their surgery?
    Pick up times range depending on your pet's recovery post-surgery. Our office staff will call you when your pet is ready to be picked up. If you cannot get there right away, that is fine. We are happy to monitor your pet's recovery post-surgery until you can get to the clinic. On clinic days we are usually on site until 4 pm. If you have not heard about your pet by 3 pm, you are welcome to call and check on your pet. Please do not show up to SANS unless we have confirmed your pet is ready to go home.
  • What if my pet is up to date on their vaccines?
    It does not affect the price but please make sure to bring the vaccination records for proof. Without proof we are required, by law, to vaccinate your pet for rabies.
  • Do you offer any other services?
    We only see animals at the time of their spay or neuter. During that time they will also receive their rabies and distemper vaccines, a flea treatment, nail trim and ear cleaning. We also offer a feline leukemia/FIV test for $20 and a microchip for $20 at the time of the spay/neuter appointment only.
  • How does the microchip work?
    A microchip is the size of a grain of rice. It is inserted like a vaccine between the shoulder blades. If your pet is ever lost or stolen and brought to a vet or shelter, your pet will be scanned with a universal microchip scanner which will pull up your pet's unique microchip number. Once your pet is microchipped you must go online and register the microchip number with your information so if this happens your information will come up when the microchip number is searched.
  • Can everyone bring their pet to SANS to be spayed or neutered?
    Our mission is to provide low-cost services to homeless pets, low-income households, students, veterans, and animal rescuers. In order to schedule with SANS you must meet specific eligibility requirements. You must show proof of eligibility on the day of your scheduled appointment as well.
  • How do I know if I am eligible to bring my pet to SANS?
    Please call the SANS clinic to inquire about eligibility.
  • What is spaying?
    Spaying is also known as an ovariohysterectomy. It is the procedure performed on female cats and dogs. General anesthesia is used. We use sutures which dissolve, so no return visit is required for removal of stitches. However, owners and caretakers are instructed to monitor the incision sites daily for at least a week post surgery.
  • What is neutering?
    Neutering is the surgical procedure performed on male cats and dogs. General anesthesia is used and no sutures (stitches) are used for male cats.
  • Can my pet eat before surgery?
    No. You will want to deny your pet food starting at midnight the night before their scheduled surgery. Water past midnight is okay.
  • Is the surgery painful?
    Surgical sterilization is performed under general anesthesia by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine and assisted by a licensed veterinary technician. The animal is asleep during the procedure and may experience mild discomfort after surgery. As part of our anesthetic protocol, SANS uses pain medication and an antinflammatory to reduce any post-op pain. Most animals return to normal activity within 24 to 72 hours.
  • Does/can my pet stay overnight after their surgery?
    No. Drop off for surgery and pick up will be the same day. Since we are not a 24 hour veterinary clinic, no one is here overnight and therefore your pet is better off at home with you where you can monitor your pet post-surgery.
  • Who performs the surgeries?
    Surgical sterilization is performed by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine and assisted by a licensed veterinary technician and two veterinary assistants.
  • How do I know if my female dog is in heat?
    A female dog in heat will have an enlarged vulva and drip blood. If this is the first heat cycle, it will usually last 7-10 days. Dogs go into heat two times per year.
  • Can you spay a dog in heat?
    Yes, but SANS will not (too risky...too much blood loss). Dogs must wait 3 months post-heat cycle to be spayed.
  • Can you spay a cat in heat?
  • Can you spay a pregnant cat?
  • Can you spay a pregnant dog?
    You can, but SANS will not (too risky...too much blood loss).
  • How do I tell if my female cat is pregnant?
    It can be difficult until the pregnancy is pretty far along. Her sides should be showing at approximately 45-50 days. Earlier than that, if you can feel your cat’s tummy, you may be able to feel little hard lumps and her nipples may be a little pinker than normal. Gestation period is approximately 60-63 days.
  • Should my female have a litter before she is spayed?
    There is no medical evidence to justify allowing an animal to have a litter before spaying. Spaying eliminates the possibility of developing cancers associated with the reproductive organs.
  • When can a cat that has recently given birth be spayed?
    At least 8 weeks after delivery (6 weeks of nursing) and 2 weeks for the milk to dry up.
  • How old does a puppy/kitten have to be in order to be spayed/neutered?
    At SANS, they must be 14-16 weeks and at least 4 lbs.
  • What will my male pet look like after he has been neutered?
    Like a deflated furry balloon! He’ll check back there looking for what was familiar, then forget about it and wash himself normally after a couple of days. If what was there before seemed to be a little hard and round, it will now be more elongated (droopy), softer and flatter.
  • My female cat has a lump on her belly by the spay scar. What is this and should I be concerned about it?
    No, this is not uncommon, and it is typically a reaction to the suture stitches. The lump typically appears along the incision line, and can be the size of a nickel. Typically, it will subside in about 3 weeks, but it may take as long as 5 to 6 weeks to disappear completely. As long as everything else about the surgery looks fine (no puss, no redness, no infection), and the cat is eating and acting normally, the owner should not worry. If the lump does not begin to diminish in size, the owner can either take the cat to a regular veterinarian who might prescribe an antibiotic, or the owner may bring the cat back to us on a clinic day WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF THE SURGERY and our vet will re-examine the incision.
  • How long for female cat to completely recover from spay surgery? Also, what does a “normal” healing process look like? What do I need to be concerned about?"
    You really should allow about two weeks for complete healing. There should be no redness, oozing or any signs of infection. The cat should, after a day or two, resume its normal feeding schedule and begin to act normally. Some female cats will experience some swelling in the incision area, and this should slowly subside.
  • When can I bathe my cat/dog after surgery?
    It would be best to wait at least 2 weeks, especially for a female pet.
  • Will my male cat stop spraying after he is neutered?
    Maybe, or at least not do it quite so much. If it is an established habit (an older cat), he may continue to spray but the strong odor should disappear after 10-14 days or so. For a young cat that has not developed the habit, it might stop altogether. (There are specialized products available at a pet store than can help to correct areas where your pet has previously sprayed which will help to keep him from spraying there again.)
  • Will my animal’s behavior change by surgery?
    Behavior changes as a result of sterilization surgery are positive. Male cats reduce territorial spraying. Neutered animals fight less and do not wander in search of a mate.
  • Does my pet need pain medication to go home with?
    Your pet will get an injectable pain medication on the day of surgery that stays in their system for 24 hours. Past that, most pets do not experience pain. However, we like to send home oral pain medications for 1-3 days after surgery.
  • What if my pet has complications post-surgery?
    We offer free rechecks for patients up to two weeks after surgery if there are concerns related to surgery. You can call the clinic to schedule this. We are not open every day so if you cannot reach SANS and your pet seems severely ill; please call your regular vet or one of the emergency vets in the area.
  • My pet was neutered/spayed here last year? Can I bring him/her in again to get more shots?
    No, we can only give distemper and rabies shots as part of our spay/neuter clinic package; you will have to take your pet to a regular vet or vaccination clinic for follow-up shots.
  • Can I buy some (more) prescription medications from you?
    No, they are only prescribed as part of our clinic program if the vet determined it was medically necessary that day.
  • How long do the flea meds work?
    Approximately 30 days, then they may need to be reapplied, at least until fleas are completely gone. If you don’t know your pet’s weight, weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding your pet, and subtract to get the difference.
  • Do you sell anything over the counter?
    Yes. We sell flea treatment for cats and dogs: Frontline Gold and ParaDefense.
Frequently Asked Questions
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