Benefits of Having your Pet Spayed or Neutered
Spaying and neutering are important preventative health procedures in dogs and cats.
is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus.
of mammary cancer.
The incidence of mammary cancer in cats is reduced by 91% in cats spayed by
six months of age and by 86% in cats spayed prior to one year, according to one
study. ~90% of mammary tumours in cats are malignant.
In dogs, the incidence of mammary cancer is near zero if spayed before her
first heat. This risk increases to ~8% after the first heat, and ~26% after the
second. 25-50% of mammary tumours in dogs are malignant. Spaying after this
time is still beneficial as most mammary tumours in dogs are stimulated by
of pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus. Unspayed animals are at high
risk for this infection. This is a very serious condition which is life-threatening
and requires immediate surgery.
1) Reduces/eliminates roaming behaviour in females that
are in heat.
2) When a female dog goes into heat, there is a bloody
vaginal discharge which can be messy.
3) Prevention of unwanted pregnancy.
Neutering is the surgical
removal of the testicles.
hormone often causes the prostate to increase in size with age which may become
uncomfortable/painful, interfere with defecation or cause problems peeing.
Removal of the testicles removes the source of testosterone and eliminates this
risk of testicular cancer
interest in roaming is reduced significantly.
behavior against other male dogs/cats is reduced significantly.
marking/spraying is MUCH less likely in neutered animals, especially cats. In
addition, the urine of intact male cats is extremely unpleasant and strong
mounting is eliminated in a large percentage of neutered dogs.
At what age should a
dog or cat be spayed/neutered?
is recommended that both cats and dogs be spayed or neutered between 4 and 6
months of age before they reach puberty to prevent the formation of unwanted behaviours and to minimize health risks.
Should I wait until my pet has had a litter?
Definitely not. Each heat cycle your pet has increases the possibility of breast cancer, uterine infections, and unwanted pregnancies.
Does spaying or neutering make pets fat and lazy?
No. Spaying or neutering does however change the animal's metabolism, so that
less food is needed to maintain proper body weight. Additionally,
estrogens have an appetite suppressing effect so spayed animals may have
an increased appetite. Obesity is encountered when owners feed their pets
more than necessary. Similarly, the amount of exercise an animal receives
is dependent on us. Many spayed/neutered animals compete in agility or
field trials and are anything but lazy, but if not encouraged to exercise
they can become couch potatoes just like us.