Spaying And Neutering In Pets

OVERVIEW

At any age, if your pet is intact (not spayed/neutered), it’s time to think about getting them fixed. What goes through your mind is probably whether it’s the right thing to do, or if they should stay as nature intended. What you need to do is consider the positive and negative sides of getting this procedure done before you can come to a well-thought out decision.

When an animal is neutered, they are “de-sexed”. Neutering animals controls their population, reduces or eliminates undesirable sexual behavior, and reduces or eliminates the chances of the animal getting certain diseases later in life, such as mammary cancer, prostate cancer, or pyometra (uterine infection).

The removal of the testicles in male animals is called castration. The sterilization procedure in females is known as spaying. Normally, in many veterinary clinics, they are referred to this way; a female is spayed and a male is neutered. A normal spay procedure consists of complete removal of the ovaries and uterus and is called an ovariohysterectomy. Both of these procedures are done under anesthesia and require surgical incisions.

Spaying/neutering is more often done when the pet reaches about six months of age. Early spaying/neutering is also performed safely by some veterinarians at 8 to 10 weeks old, usually in a shelter or rescue setting. Having this procedure done early is a great advantage in cases of pet adoption.

THE POSITIVE SIDE OF SPAYING

· There is no risk of pregnancy.
By breeding and allowing your pet to have litters, you are contributing to the already massive pet overpopulation problem. It can be more difficult to find new, reliable homes for the babies than you may think. If you intend on keeping the litter, it can be very expensive and time consuming. Consider the cost of vaccinations, parasite control, food, and toys. Also, down the line, you will need to spay/neuter to avoid future litters and inbreeding. Every new family member is going to need training and attention. Don’t forget that pregnancy always puts the mother at risk. The mother can have very serious complications during pregnancy and delivery. Even if everything goes right with pregnancy and delivery, they can develop problems during nursing, putting them and the litter at risk. All of this can be avoided with a simple spay procedure.

· Your pet will be cleaner and calmer.
Without a spay procedure, your pet will always have a natural, incessant need to seek out a mate. If this drive is gone, your female will no longer attract males or their aggravating advances and serenades. A stray, roaming male can also be dangerous. Spayed pets will also stop going into heat, which means they won’t have that bloody discharge for several days. This discharge can destroy carpets, beds, and chairs with stains. Usually, pets that are spayed are easier to get along with since they tend to be more affectionate and gentle.

· Your pet will be healthier.
Pets that are spayed tend to have fewer health problems and some risks are even eliminated. Since spaying removes the ovaries and uterus, the risk of ovarian cysts, pyometra (a uterine infection), and cancer of the reproductive tract is not an issue. Also, the risk of mammary cancer is significantly reduced if a dog is spayed before puberty.

THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF SPAYING

· You pet will be sterilized.
When you spay your dog or cat, they are sterilized and cannot become pregnant. With the massive pet overpopulation issue, literally millions of homeless, unwanted pets being euthanized each year, so this isn’t really a big problem.

· It may cause weight gain.
It is true that some animals may gain weight after being spayed. The solution is simple. If your pet begins to gain weight after the procedure, cut back on their food intake and increase their exercise.

THE POSITIVE SIDE OF NEUTERING

· There is no risk of your pet impregnating another.
By breeding and allowing your pet produce litters, you are contributing to the already massive pet overpopulation problem. Even if you are not the owner of the female, someone has to take on the task of finding homes for the new litter. If you intend on taking responsibility and helping out financially or even keeping the litter, it can be very expensive and time consuming. Consider the cost of vaccinations, parasite control, food, and toys. Also, down the line, you will need to spay/neuter to avoid future litters and inbreeding. Every new family member is going to need training and attention.

· Your pet will be cleaner and calmer.
Males that are neutered do not have that constant drive to seek out and serenade a mate. He also no longer has that added stress of needing to mark and claim territory, meaning urinating all throughout your home and yard. Neutered males tend to become quieter, less likely to roam (run away from home), and less likely to act aggressively and start fights. They are highly likely to become more gentle and affectionate as well.

· Your pet will be healthier.
A great positive aspect of getting your pet neutered is that they tend to live longer, healthier lives. The neutering procedure is the removal of the testicles and, without them, testicular cancer is not an issue. Also, the risk of prostate cancer is significantly reduced. Testicular implants are available if altering your pet’s appearance bothers you.

THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF NEUTERING

· Your pet will be sterilized.
If it is your intention to breed your animal, you should not neuter them.

· His appearance will change.
Your dog will look a bit different because he will no longer have testicles. If this is the only reason you are considering not neutering your pet, talk to your veterinarian about testicular implants.

· It may cause weight gain.
Some pets may gain weight after neutering. If you notice weight gain, simply cut back on his food and increase his activity to help reduce weight gain.

About 17 million dogs and cats are turned over to animal shelters every year. This number does not include** how many are turned into rescues as well! Out of every 10 animals in shelters, only one finds a home. This means that around 13.5 million dogs and cats have to be destroyed every year. This horrible tragedy is completely unnecessary. Much of this problem can be eliminated by a simple surgery. Spaying and neutering is done under general anesthesia and is relatively painless. By taking responsibility and getting their pets spayed and neutered, owners can help lower the number of unwanted and homeless dogs and cats that are killed every year.

Spaying And Neutering In Pets