The proper technical term for the surgical alteration of an animal is “neutering”, regardless if it is male or female. The spay, or ovariohysterectomy, is the surgery performed on female animals in which both ovaries and the complete uterus is removed. For female dogs and cats that are being spayed, a small incision (cut) is made in the middle of the belly, just below the belly button. It is through this small hole that the ovaries and uterus will be removed. The ovaries are clamped and the blood vessels tied with suture, and then the end of the uterus near the cervix is clamped and tied as well. The inside of the belly is checked carefully for bleeding and if everything looks fine, the muscle layer is sutured (sewed) first, followed by the fat layer then finally the top layer of skin. The sutures (stitches) on the inside are special dissolving material so they do not need to be removed. Skin sutures need to be removed in 10 days.