Unless you are eventually planning on or actively breeding your pet, their reproductive organs can get them into trouble. An unplanned pregnancy has its own set of potential health complications/risks, and can contribute to pet overpopulation.
Spaying or neutering your pet obviously affects the population of animals in our communities, but the reasons to pursue this procedure go beyond the numbers.
Spaying or neutering your pet involves the removal of their reproductive organs making them incapable of reproduction. Dogs can have up to two litters a year, cats can have 3. If an animal starts reproducing as early as 4 months of age, that can result in hundreds of homeless pets each year! These numbers, in turn, challenge the already-stressed numbers in shelters and increase the percentage of euthanasia (more than 2 million cases every year).
The Cost of Health
Aside from supporting low pet populations, spaying or neutering your pet is good for their overall health and happiness. For instance, without naturally occurring hormones estrogen and testosterone, pets demonstrate distinctly positive behavioral changes, such as:
- Decreased marking or urine spraying
- Fewer incidents of roaming
- Reduced aggression
- Alleviated destructive behaviors
In short, spaying or neutering your pet can result in a calmer, more receptive, and overall better behaved animal. In turn, they contribute to household happiness. Win-win!
But Wait There’s More
The removal of reproductive organs also decreases the chances of certain reproductive cancers and can add 3-5 years to a pet’s life. Mammary tumors from breast cancer is more common if a young female is allowed to enter their first heat cycle. Testicular cancer and problems with the prostate can be directly linked to the reproductive organs.
Spaying or Neutering Your Pet
It is generally recommended to spay or neuter your pet between 6-8 months of age. That way, they avoid reaching puberty and the first heat cycle. Also, by that age they have received their core vaccinations necessary for surgery and hospitalization. Animals at this age have reached a certain body weight that also makes undergoing anesthesia easier for them. Lastly, younger pets have shown faster and less painful recovery times than their older counterparts.
For males, a small incision is made for the removal of the testicles. For females, the uterus and ovaries are withdrawn. Both sexes are given absorbable sutures and directions for care at home. Many owners opt to have their pet microchipped at the same time.
After a few weeks of TLC, pets recover amazingly well and go on to lead active, healthy lives.
Always Here For You
Our doctors and staff members are always happy to help you and your pet. Because each animal is unique, we can customize a plan that supports their long term health. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact us.