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The general details of spaying a bearded dragon are the same as those of spaying a dog or cat: the ovaries and uterus are removed under general anesthesia. The reasons why we spay bearded dragons and the specific details of anesthesia and surgery are very different from dogs and cats. These differences make spaying bearded dragons a more complex and intensive procedure, and a somewhat riskier one as well.
The risk of significant complications, including death during or shortly after surgery, with spaying a dog or cat is well below 1%. This same risk for spaying bearded dragons is not as well known, but is probably 5% to 10%. This risk is affected by the general health status of the pet; for example, if the dragon is debilitated from laying a lot of eggs the risk is higher. This risk is also affected by the state of the dragon’s reproductive tract; for example, if there are ruptured follicles and coelomitis (inflammation throughout the body cavity), the risk is higher.
PRIOR TO SURGERY
We require a physical exam by a YVC doctor before surgery. We recommend that this exam be done as a separate office visit prior to scheduling surgery; we can, however, do this exam on surgery day.
We do not require any diagnostic tests prior to surgery. With the essential goal of minimizing the surgical risk we will sometimes strongly recommend preliminary tests.
Morning surgery patients are sometimes awake enough to go home between 4 and 6 pm the day of surgery, but often need to stay overnight and go home the next day.
Afternoon surgery patients stay overnight and go home the next day.
Food, water and all other aspects of care, including any prescribed medications, are continued on the normal schedule until the pet is admitted for surgery, and resumed when the pet is discharged.
We recommend using only newspaper or plain paper as bedding in the dragon’s enclosure for two weeks after surgery.
COSTS AT YARMOUTH VET CENTER
Yarmouth Veterinary Center