We all want the very best for our pets and spaying and neutering offers many benefits for both animals and their owners. One unspayed female can produce up to 120 offspring in her life, while one unneutered male can produce hundreds. As a result, between 3.5 and 7 million pets are put to death each year and many more die from disease, starvation, automobiles, and abuse — and 25% of these dogs and cats are purebred animals. The only sure way to prevent unwanted pets is to have them spayed and neutered.
Spaying, or ovariohysterectomy, is an abdominal surgical procedure to remove both ovaries and the uterus in the female dog or cat. Health advantages for your female pet include:
• Reduced incidence of mammary tumors (breast cancer) by about 80% when performed prior to the first heat cycle
• Prevention of pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus, and the development of uterine and ovarian cancer
• Prevention of pregnancy and unwanted pets
As a major surgery, the cost of spaying is relatively low and offset by avoiding costly pyometra or breast cancer surgery later in life. Spaying is done under general anesthesia and your pet will be able to go home the same day.
Neutering, or castration, is the removal of the testicles in the male dog or cat. Health advantages for your male pet include:
• Decreased chance of prostate infections, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and other reproductive tumors
• Prevention of inappropriate aggression toward humans or other animals
• Reduction of territorial marking by urinating on furniture, walls, carpet, and shrubs
• Avoidance of roaming in search of a mate and the risks of such behavior
The expense for neutering is relatively low and may be offset by avoiding costly surgery, roaming, or fighting injuries, or having to replace items ruined by territorial urination. Neutering is performed under general anesthesia and your pet may go home the same day.
Some pets do gain weight after spay or neuter surgery due to a slowing of the metabolic rate. Be sure to provide your pet with plenty of exercise and an appropriate diet after complete surgical recovery.