Vermont Spay/Neuter (VSN) Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about the services Vermont Spay/ Neuter provides or your kitty’s upcoming surgery? Find the answers to our most frequently asked questions here.


 

Who is Vermont Spay/Neuter for?

VSN is for everyone. We work with local humane societies and rescue groups, but we also serve individuals as well.

 


Is there financial assistance?

Yes.

If you are receiving financial assistance from the state, you may be eligible for a VSNIP voucher. Call 844-448-7647 for more information.

If you have trapped a feral cat and are planning on releasing the cat back outside, you may be eligible for a Trap Neuter Release voucher. Call the Chittenden County Humane Society at 802-862-0135 for more information.

For any other inquiries regarding financial assistance, call 802-860-2296 or e-mail vsn@affectionatelycats.com to learn more.

 


 

How old should my cat be?

Cats should be at least 3-4lbs or 3-4 months old.

 


 

Do I need to schedule an appointment?

Yes, you will need to schedule an appointment by calling 802-860-2296 or email vsn@affectionatelycats.com.

 


 

Can my cat stay overnight if necessary?

Yes. If you are unable to pick up your cat that day or need to bring your cat in the night before, your cat can stay the night in our boarding facility. Your cat must have a current rabies vaccine (or receive one that day at VSN) in order to stay. There is an additional charge for this service.

 


 

Is additional pain medication available after my cat’s surgery?

Yes. Every cat receives anesthesia and a pain-control injection prior to surgery for a pain-free procedure. The pain control injection provides relief up until the next day, for a full 24 hours. After any surgery there is some discomfort and inflammation.  Ideally we would continue the anti-inflammatory support for both males and females with an additional injection of pain control to provide relief for up to 48 hours after their surgery.  This additional pain control injection is available at an additional price.


 

What is the difference between an adjuvanted rabies vaccine and a non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine?

Adjuvanted vaccines are vaccines with a certain additive (called adjuvants) that carry a risk of causing more inflammation at the injection site. There is also a low, but serious, risk (1:10,000) of causing a vaccine-associated malignant cancer developing at the injection site years later.  Choosing vaccines without adjuvants is the preferred choice for cats. Because protecting people from being infected with rabies also a necessary concern, we offer the less expensive option to ensure that people, as well as animals, are protected.


 

Is it necessary to vaccinate an indoor cat?

Rabies– YES. The State of Vermont requires that all cats and dogs be vaccinated against rabies. What would happen if your cat accidentally got outside? Or if a bat got inside your home? Your cat could easily get rabies in either of these situations. In addition to protecting your kitty, a Rabies Vaccine is also protecting YOU from potential infection, if your cat ever got infected with Rabies. For the sake of the law, your cat’s health, and your own personal health, it is necessary to vaccinate your cat against Rabies.

Distemper/ Flu vaccines—YES. The Distemper/Flu vaccine protects your cat against the most easily spread and most serious respiratory viruses in cats. It is important that ALL cats be vaccinated against Distemper/Flu at least once in their life time. Even if your cat always stays indoors, there is always a possibility that your cat will get out or be exposed to other cats and be at risk for contracting these viruses. Be proactive in protecting your cat’s health by getting the Distemper/Flue vaccine for your cat.

 


 

How is my cat treated for fleas?

All cats are given a tablet (Capstar) at the time of exam.  This will kill any fleas currently on your cat and prevent any fleas from crawling into the surgery site. This also ensures that your kitty won’t go home with any fleas, as the product lasts for 24 hours.

If you would like flea prevention for the future, we have additional flea prevention products available for purchase (Advantage-multi, Frontline, or Ovitrol).  If you have multiple cats and one of them is infected with fleas, all of your cats probably have fleas and you will need to treat all of your cats in order to get rid of the fleas.

Read labels carefully. Only ever apply a cat labeled flea product to a cat. NEVER use dog labeled products on a cat.

 


 

How is my cat treated for Ear Mites?

If your cat has ear mites, they will be treated with ear mite medication in their ears. We will send additional drops home with your cat so you can continue treatment at home.

 


 

How is my cat treated for Tapeworms?

Tapeworms are intestinal parasites that your cat can get from hunting or from grooming and ingesting an infected flea. If you see white, rice size segments (that look like sesame seeds) at their hind end, your cat probably has tapeworms. We can easily treat your cat with 1 injection of medication.

 


 

Why do you remove a cat’s Dewclaws?

Most cats have 5 toes on their front feet and 4 toes on their back feet. There are other cats called polydactyl that have extra toes. Most of the time these extra toes cause no problems. However, in some circumstances there is an extra nail that grows between the first and second toes. This nail never gets worn down since it does not touch the ground. This extra web toe and nail keeps growing and eventually if you cannot keep it trimmed it will grow around and back into the foot, causing pain.

 


 

What is Feline Leukemia (FeLV)?

FeLV is a very contagious virus in cats, spread through contact with bodily fluids such as salvia (even casual contact such as grooming), nasal secretions, urine/feces, and milk from a mother cat nursing her kittens.  FeLV is fatal—it usually causes death within just a few years after infection. If your cat goes outdoors, they should be tested, and then vaccinated, to protect them. The vaccine is not offered through the VSN clinic. It requires 2 shots, given about a month apart, to have one year of protection. This can be scheduled through Affectionately Cats. If you have multiple cats in your household, each cat should be tested to make sure none of your cats have the virus, so that each cat can be at their optimal health.

 


 

What is Feline AIDS (FIV)?

Like FeLV, FIV is also a virus that is transmitted mainly through saliva in bite wounds, so it is typically seen in fighting cats. There  is no vaccine to protect your cat against FIV. Testing is still important, because if your cat tests positive they should be kept as indoor cats and not be allowed outside. Many cats with FIV can still live fairly normal lives, although they will be more prone to infections.

 


 

What is the difference between low-cost spay and neuter day and a typical surgery day?

While a low-cost spay/neuter clinic is not meant to replace the individualized attention that a family pet would receive on a more typical surgery day, it does perform high volumes of surgeries very efficiently with the goal that cost not be a deterrent to a cat having access to this essential service.
The following is a list of the factors that allow these surgeries to be performed at a lower cost:

  1.  There is no need to schedule doctor/owner appointment time.
  2. High numbers of patients receiving the same procedure allows for much economy.
  3. Volunteers can be trained for specific steps of the procedure.
  4. There is a single setup for all procedures as well as single take-down.
  5. Repetition builds speed.
  6. The surgeon stays gowned up which, with only a minute between patients, allows for greater efficiency of the surgeon’s time.
  7. The veterinarians, technicians, and assistants have specific roles on an assembly line of sorts, so working together is very productive.
  8. Bulk pricing for often-used supplies is secured.
  9. Cats recover in their carriers, so there are no extra costs associated with buying cages and cleaning them in between patients.
  10. Cats go home the same day resulting in no overnight hospitalization costs.
  11. Anesthesia time is short with a quick recovery, so there is no time for IV catheter placement or intubation for gas anesthesia.

 


 

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