What is spay and neuter?
These are common surgical procedures which reduce excess reproductive hormones and prevent animals from being able to reproduce. Spay/neuter are the most common surgical procedures performed on cats and dogs. The spay surgery performed on females removes the ovaries and uterus so they no longer have heat cycles. The word “neuter” is commonly used for sterilizing a male animal, but can be used to refer to an animal of unknown sex (or to a group of animals of mixed or unknown sex). The testicles are removed when neutering a male animal.
Anesthesia and pain medication are used, so the surgery is painless. Pain medication is also provided for three days after surgery, so discomfort after surgery is minimal.
Why is it good for my pet to be spayed or neutered?
1) A spayed or neutered pet is better-behaved, more affectionate, satisfied, calm, and trainable. Overall, neutered pets are much better companions, as they are able to focus attention on you and your family.
2) A spayed or neutered pet typically lives a healthier and longer life. Many health problems can be difficult and expensive to treat for an unneutered pet.
3) A spayed or neutered pet is less likely to have the behaviors which can lead to bites and the desire to roam is reduced.
4) Spaying and neutering is good for your community which spends hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless volunteer hours to manage the heavy burden of too many cats and dogs. These unwanted animals are often straying in the country, running at-large on the streets, hungry, or diseased. Many others are sadly living in shelters or rescues. They are expensive to care for – and if not adopted, they are euthanized by the thousands.
What age should my pet be spayed or neutered?
As puppies and kittens. A puppy or kitten that is spayed or neutered at four to five months of age benefits greatly in several ways. The first heat cycle is avoided for females, and males haven’t developed common undesirable marking habits due to excess hormones. A younger patient is likely to experience an easier surgery with a faster recovery and healing.
Why should my female dog be spayed?
1) If you spay your female dog before her first heat, she will have a near zero chance of developing common mammary cancer, a potentially fatal form of cancer. If spaying occurs after her first heat, this incidence climbs to 7 percent, after the second heat the risk is 25 percent and continues to increase.
2) She won’t have messy heat cycles (twice/year for 6-12 days). Otherwise, she will experience a bloody discharge and attract area male dogs.
3) Without a uterus, she won’t experience Pyometra, a common life-threatening uterine infection, in middle-age to senior female dogs. Without emergency treatment, she will likely die.
4) No chance of expensive, common pregnancy complications. Veterinary emergency and full-service veterinary clinics can talk to you about this preventable, often sad situation.
Why should my female cat be spayed?
1) Mammary cancer and common uterine infections will be prevented.
2) She won’t have heat cycles. Cats in heat are annoyingly vocal, agitated, aggressive, often spraying urine in the house. These occur every 2-3 weeks for 6-7 days at a time until she is spayed or bred.
Why should my male dog be neutered?
1) Roaming, escaping, wandering typically decreases by 90 percent due to the reduction of excessive hormones driving him to search for in-heat females. This results in fewer dogs injured or killed by cars.
2) Fighting, territorial marking, “humping” will decrease. A neutered dog will typically retain the instinct to protect his home and family as well as an unneutered dog, but excessive aggressiveness is usually reduced.
3) He is less likely to have infections and cancers of the reproductive organs, such as testicular cancer and prostate disease.