we're here to answer your q's
Please read below to see answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Spay Neuter Clinic of the Carolinas
Please don't hesitate to contact usif you have any further questions
If there are any questions that we have not addressed here, please contact our clinic, and someone will be happy to assist you. We are looking forward to meeting you and your pet!
How long will it take to get an appointment?
Appointment times will vary based on a few different factors. The size, age, breed, and sex of your pet all determine how quickly we can get your animal scheduled for surgery. Due to the amount of surgery time that it takes for larger pets, only a few larger breed dogs can be done each day. The wait time for larger animals may be slightly longer than for those smaller animals. Wellness and illness appointments are generally within a day or 2.
We will work with you on the day of the week that will work best for your schedule. Currently, you should be able to get an appointment for your pet within the same week that you contact us. Call today! 704-542-9997.
What time do I need to drop off my pet, and will my pet stay the night at your clinic?
Drop off for surgery is on the day of your appointment between 7:30 am and 8:00 am. Please make sure that your pet hasn’t had any food to eat since 8:00 pm the evening before and no water to drink since midnight. Please make sure to bring any vaccine records from your veterinarian that your pet has had. All other appointments are based on 20-40 minute increments and will be scheduled with you when you make your appointment.
Your animal will be ready to go home with you the same afternoon between 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm. We will set a tentative pick-up time with you in the morning when you bring your animal in. We do not want your pet left with us overnight at the clinic. We would much rather your pet be at home with you where you can monitor their recovery overnight. There will be no medical staff at our clinic after regular business hours to observe your animal. Please make arrangements to pick up your pet after their surgical procedure. There will be a $.60 per minute late fee if you pick up your pet after 5:00 pm. You will also be responsible for a $10.00 overnight charge if your animal is left at our facility. If your pet is not recovered to the point that we feel it is safe leaving your pet in our facility overnight, your animal may be transported to animal control or an overnight care facility, and you will be responsible for any fees and/or charges that those facilities may have.
Will my pet receive pain medication?
Yes! Every animal at our clinic for surgery will receive a pain injection and a mild sedative prior to having their procedure. Postoperative pain medication is also available for purchase when you come to pick up your animal and is recommended by our clinic to help your pet recover with as minimal discomfort as possible.
Does a licensed veterinarian perform my pet’s surgery?
Yes! NC law mandates that you must be a licensed veterinarian in order to perform surgery on any animal. Dr. Michelle Maalizadeh brings to you and your pet more than 24 years of experience in private practice and emergency, and has an extensive background in spay-neuter clinics. Please visit our Our Team page for further information on Dr. Maalizadeh.
Will you declaw my cat?
Sorry. Due to the required amount of postoperative care and follow-up appointments required for this type of surgery, we are not currently declawing cats at our clinic. Please see your regular veterinarian for their best recommendations for having your cat declawed.
Why do my pet’s vaccines have to be given by a licensed veterinarian?
It is a requirement, in order to have surgery at our clinic, that all distemper combo and rabies vaccines be given by a licensed veterinarian. It is required by law that a licensed veterinarian give a rabies vaccine, and the veterinarian then reports this information to the state of North Carolina.
Although it is legal for you to give your own distemper combo vaccines, these vaccines must be shipped a certain way, stored between certain temperatures, and given in a proper manner for them to be effective. Our clinic requirement that these vaccines be given by a licensed professional is for the protection of your pet and the other pets in our clinic. We want to ensure that your pet is protected as well as possible against contagious and potentially life-threatening diseases.
If you do not have current rabies and/or distemper combo vaccine for your pet given by a licensed veterinarian, then you may purchase them at our clinic to be given by our veterinarian on the day of your pet’s scheduled surgery. If your pet has current vaccines, please bring a copy of your vaccine records or a receipt from your regular veterinarian on the morning of your pet’s appointment. Handwritten health cards are not accepted. We will only accept records from a licensed veterinarian. Records from breeders, technicians, pet stores (that do not have a veterinarian on staff), rescue groups, and owner given vaccines will not be accepted. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this manner. We are trying to protect your animal.
Where are you located?
Our address is 8045 Providence Road. Suite 450 in the Arboretum Office Park. Charlotte, NC 28277. We are behind Mega Nail Bar and Spa if you come in from Providence Road. We are on the backside of the building behind Sola Salon if you are coming into the office park from Hwy 51. Look for the red Wells Fargo signs at the entrances to the Arboretum Office Park.
Does my pet need any other vaccines?
We require a distemper combo and rabies vaccines for all dogs and cats. However, they can administer them here on the day of surgery. These are considered “core” vaccines and are recommended for all dogs and cats to prevent common and deadly diseases. Depending on his lifestyle, other “non-core” vaccines might be right for your pet.
For dogs who are boarded, go to the groomer, or meet other dogs on a regular basis (on walks, at the park), a Bordatella (kennel cough) vaccine is recommended. Kennel cough is a nagging bronchitis-type infection that is highly contagious. Most boarding facilities and groomers will require this vaccine. It is typically given as drops in the nose (no needle) once a year.
For cats who go outside, a Feline Leukemia (FELV) vaccination series can help prevent the Feline Leukemia virus. This virus can cause an AIDS-like infection in cats (not transmissible to people) and can cause early death from immune suppression. It can be transmitted by sharing water and food bowls, nose-to-nose contact, and from mother to kitten. This vaccine is given as a series of two shots 3-4 weeks apart initially, then once a year after that. We require your cat to have a negative FeLV blood test before the vaccine is given, which we can do here on the day of surgery, and you will need to follow up with your daytime veterinarian for the booster vaccine in 3-4 weeks. If your cat is older and has already been vaccinated for FELV, we can give a yearly booster vaccine (without testing) if you supply proof of vaccination each year from your veterinarian. Please note this vaccination is not considered 100% effective, but aside from keeping your cat completely indoors, it is the best way to help prevent the disease.
Although these are the two additional vaccinations we carry here, there are many other vaccinations available for cats and dogs, all of them considered “non-core” at this time. Please see your daytime veterinarian for more information on Lyme disease vaccination, Canine Influenza vaccination, Leptospirosis vaccination, FIV (Feline AIDS) vaccination, and others.
Why should I spay or neuter my pet?
There are many reasons to have your cat, dog, or rabbit spayed or neutered.
Reasons for Spaying Pets
Females who are spayed have a decreased risk of mammary cancer. If spayed before the first heat (usually around 5-6 months of age), the risk is nearly 0%! On the other hand, 25% of dogs spayed after the second heat cycle will get mammary cancer at some point in their lives. Did you know that 90% of cat mammary tumors are cancerous, and 50% of dog mammary tumors are cancerous? There aren’t too many things in life you can prevent so easily!
For females, another life-threatening illness that you can easily prevent by spaying is pyometra. Pyometra is a bacterial infection in the uterus, typically occurring shortly after a heat cycle. Treatment is spaying, but this is not your typical spay…this involves IV fluids, antibiotics, bloodwork, hospitalization, significant money, and still, there’s a risk of death due to massive infection or kidney failure.
Reasons for Neutering Pets
For male dogs, the main reason to neuter is to prevent prostate problems. The prostate enlarges in unneutered males, which predisposes dogs to infection, abscess formation, and cysts. Once the infection is present in the prostate, it is difficult to eliminate without neutering in addition to long-term antibiotic treatment.
Male cats have a particularly strong urine odor if not neutered. Many of these cats will end up outdoors due to this offensive odor. Unneutered male cats tend to fight to defend females and territory, and abscesses are very common results of catfights.
Behaviorally, both male and female pets benefit from spaying and neutering by reducing hormone-related aggression and mate-seeking activity.
Why does it cost more to spay my pet if she is in heat or pregnant?
Dogs and cats in heat or pregnant have huge changes in their blood supply and size of the uterus. This increase in blood supply increases the risk of bleeding and amount of time surgery takes. Keep in mind that dogs who have bleeding with their heat cycle are still “in heat” for a few weeks after the bleeding stops (this is when they will mate and get pregnant), and cats that do not mate will continue to cycle in and out of heat for several months. Sometimes we can tell if a dog or cat is pregnant or in heat before surgery, but sometimes it is only evident when surgery is performed, and the veterinarian sees the size of the uterus.
What does cryptorchid mean?
Normal male dogs and cats have two testicles in the scrotal sac. These testicles start out in the belly before birth and move into the scrotum at birth or shortly after. Cryptorchid means that one or both of the testicles did not find their way to the scrotum. These testicles can be retained in the belly or found in the groin area, depending on how far along the journey they were before they stopped moving. Surgery to remove the retained testicle(s) can involve an extra incision in the groin area or into the abdomen. It is very important to remove both testicles as a cryptorchid testicle has a much higher risk of developing cancer or twisting on itself and needing emergency removal.
What is an umbilical hernia and why do I need to fix it?
An umbilical hernia is an “outie” belly button on a dog or cat. They are very common. Most of the time, these hernias contain a little bit of fat from the belly and is poking out through a very small hole (“closed” hernia). But sometimes, the hole is large enough that the fat (or other things like intestines) can move in and out depending on the position of the animal (“open” hernia). These are the hernias it is important to fix because if a piece of the intestine gets stuck in the hole, it could lose its blood supply and die, which is very serious. If you are unsure if your pet’s hernia is open or closed, we can usually tell at the time of surgery. While it is important to repair an open hernia, we can also repair a closed hernia for cosmetic reasons or just to be on the safe side.
What are dewclaws and why would they be removed?
Dewclaws are the “thumbs” on a dog or cat’s feet. Cats usually have no problems with dewclaws, but dogs sometimes have floppy dewclaws with nails that get caught on things and tear or break the nail. If your dog has this problem, the dewclaws can easily be removed at the time of surgery. Unattached dewclaws are only attached by skin to the foot; attached dewclaws are attached to the foot by bone. Your pet may go home with a temporary bandage if the dewclaw(s) are removed.
What are deciduous teeth and why would I have them removed?
Dogs and cats have baby teeth and adult teeth. It is very common, especially in small breeds of dogs, for some of the baby teeth to stay in the mouth after the adult teeth have come in. This can cause the adult teeth to grow in crookedly, and because the adult and baby teeth are so close together, tartar will rapidly form between them. It is important to remove the baby teeth so that the adult teeth will be as healthy as possible. We will extract baby teeth in dogs less than one year of age. Dogs older than one year of age may need a dental cleaning due to the tartar buildup and should have this done with your daytime veterinarian along with deciduous tooth extraction.
Does my dog need an ear pluck or anal gland expression?
If your dog has hair growing out of his ears, like many poodles or curly-haired breeds of dogs, he will benefit from having the hair plucked out. This will keep the ears free of wax and debris buildup and will help to prevent ear infections. This can be uncomfortable for your dog, so we offer it while your dog is under anesthesia. Keep in mind that the hair will grow back, and your groomer can remove this hair during grooming.
Anal glands are pea-sized glands in the rectum that accumulate a musky, foul-smelling fluid. Typically, this fluid is squeezed out during a bowel movement, but for some dogs, the fluid builds up and causes the glands to swell in size. Typical symptoms of this swelling are scooting of the bottom on the floor, licking the anal area, and a foul, musky odor. We can empty anal glands to help them become healthy again. Many dogs need this done on a regular basis by your groomer or veterinarian. We do not recommend expressing your dog’s anal glands if he does not have any problems with the glands at this time.
What is a fecal?
Most other worms (parasites) that we see in pets are found in the intestines and are diagnosed by a fecal exam (stool check). Hookworms and roundworms are common puppy worms. Whipworms, giardia, and coccidia can cause bloody diarrhea. Tapeworms can be from fleas as well as other sources and can cause anal itchiness and scooting. Keep in mind that a fecal exam may miss some worms or worm eggs that may not be present in that particular sample. Tapeworms are particularly hard to find unless they are seen moving in the stool. It is a good idea to have your daytime veterinarian check your pet’s stool once or twice a year for parasites. We can perform a fecal exam on your pet on the day of surgery and administer the appropriate dewormer if necessary.