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Animal Shelter Spaying and Neutering — 7 Comments

  1. A friend and I took our 6 month old kittens to a shelter for low cost speying and they all showed symptoms of a URI about a week later. I told my friend my cat was sneezing and she said both hers were too, so I contacted the shelter. When I questioned them, they denied it happened there and said our cats must have all been infected prior to their surgeries. We did not live in the same town but travelled together in the same car. When I insisted on speaking to a vet, I managed to get them to give me antibiotics to treat the infection for all 3 cats but the vet emphatically denied liability and said the cats must have infected each other in the car. I believe it is far more likely a cat at the shelter was coming down with a URI and passed it on. My cat’s symptoms showed up about a week later and when I told my friend about it, she said hers were also sneezing. I am glad I followed it up with the shelter although they did not admit it happened there and it couldn’t be proved, they provided medication for the URI after I spoke with them. I believe it is good they help out with spaying and neutering but the sheer numbers makes it more likely that an infection could be spread. I personally would only go to a vet for spaying/neutering after that experience.

    • Thanks for sharing Pippa. It is very useful to read about personal first hand experiences. It looks very much as if your cats caught the infection at the shelter as you say. By the way a URI is caused by a virus, herpes virus probably, and antibiotics don’t kill viruses but bacteria. You may know that. If the cats get a secondary infection it will be bacterial and then the antibiotics will cure the infection. Good luck to your cats.

  2. I think there’s more than the chance of risk of infection having a cat neutered at a Shelter instead of a Vet’s surgery.
    So many cats passing through,the operating area would have to be thoroughly cleaned between every operation and I hardly think that’s likely if it’s a conveyor belt type of neutering place.
    Also cats are at danger from airborn infections from the Shelter cats and the people caring for them.
    Low cost isn’t at all worth it!

    • Thanks Ruth, that was my thinking. There is quite a lot of talk about low cost spay and neuter and the intention is wonderful but is it working as well as it could? Are we creating other problems? I don’t know.

      • Yes the intention is wonderful as neutering saves unwanted kittens being born only to die and that is good and I suppose people who want it done cheaply don’t even think about infection and the poor cats just have to take the chance they don’t develop any.

  3. They say humans get sick in hospitals so it makes absolute sense that there will be a risk, especially if your cat is already ill and has a low immune system. I’m sure many precautions can be made to prevent this from happening but I don’t imagine they are all always made, especially in a place that functions at low cost. I remember being a bit worried when I had a run in with the National Health hospitals in the UK just because of the horror stories you hear about what happens in their care. It makes sense that your suggestion is true, especially in a low cost context.

    • Thanks Marc. NHS hospitals are the UK’s killing fields. Sorry but that is true. I wonder about the efficacy of low cost spay and neuter. The root solution of the problem of unwanted cats is for cat caretakers to become more responsible and take their cat to the vet.

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