Darwin Animal Doctors


Jay, the photo story of a spay surgery

Santa Cruz, Galapagos

With a strong focus on spay and neuter surgeries, our clinic is busy conducting these surgeries daily. Sterilization surgeries are the only humane and successful way to manage pet populations, ensuring that both the local ecosystem and our pets can live out happy, healthy futures. As we conduct so many of these essential surgeries, we had thought that it was about time to take you through the process, from beginning to end, with a photo story of a spay.

Jay, a four-month old labrador x basset hound, was kind enough to be our model, and so we will follow her through her experience of a spay surgery with Darwin Animal Doctors. Jay is well known to the clinic as she has been coming in for treatment of the blue haze over her eyes. The treatment has been going very well, and the haze in her eyes has decreased significantly. Now of age, and healthy and strong enough, Jay has returned this time to the clinic for her sterilization surgery.

Jay is brought into the clinic for her surgery. She has been brought in a few times already for treatment for the blue haze on her eyes. While Jay is normally happy and comfortable in the clinic, she is a little nervous this time as her family leaves without her. 


The Doctors don’t like keeping patients waiting, and so Jay was soon given her pre-medication to make her sleepy and ready for her surgery. Here, you can see that the medication is starting to take it’s effect, and Jay is starting to get drowsy.



Once Jay is sleepy enough, she is prepared for the surgery by shaving and extensive cleaning of the surgical area. After that, her surgery begins. A spay surgery can be conducted by one or two vets. In our clinics, the surgery is most commonly conducted by two vets – one lead vet and one assisting vet. This then also means that our highest skilled students are able to assist a lead vet in a surgery and learn through hands-on training. 


After her surgery is complete, Jay stays on the surgery table and is closely monitored by the Doctors until she is awake enough to safely be placed in a recovery area. In the recovery area, Jay is still monitored carefully as she progresses to being fully alert. 



Once Jay is fully recovered from the anaesthetics, she is feeling much better and sits by the door to await her family’s return. When her guardian arrives, Jay is overjoyed to see him. Happy to be reunited, Jay and her guardian can now return home. Jay requires a bit of close attention and some medication for the coming days, but will recover quickly and easily from her surgery. 


Spay and neuter surgeries are the only humane way to control pet populations and ensure that they do not have a negative impact on the environment around them. Moreover, sterilizations surgeries can help keep certain illnesses and cancers at bay, and ensure that your pet leads a happy and healthy life.

A big thank you to Jay for being our star model. Also, a big thank you to Jay’s family for looking after Jay so well, and for making the decision to get her spayed. Finally, thank you to all our volunteers who ensure that these sterilization surgeries continue every day, protecting the unique and fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands.


Help us achieve our aim of providing spay neuter and medical services to communities all over the world. Donate today.

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