Spaying and Neutering: 101

March 15, 2018
hello world!

What is spaying and neutering? Simply put, it is surgically altering an animal so it can no longer reproduce. Neutering can apply to both males and females, while spaying generally refers to a female animal.

People often wonder about the pros and cons of spaying/neutering their pet. With so many opinions and studies found on the internet, it can be confusing. Here we will discuss our recommendations:

The “Cons” to Spaying/Neutering:

Looking at the cons for this, there’s only one, really. Your pets won't be able to have any puppies or kittens. If you are not planning to breed your pets, there are numerous benefits to having your pet spayed or neutered.

The “Pros” to Spaying/Neutering:

The biggest is that neutering your pet will result in fewer unwanted pets euthanized in the shelter per year and fewer pets roaming homeless in the street. An estimated 6-9 million pets enter U.S. shelters every year. This includes unwanted litters, abandoned animals, and strays. Sadly, an estimated 10,000 pets are euthanized yearly due to overpopulation. Please remember - adopt don’t shop!

Let’s take a look at the benefits for both females and males.

Ladies first! A spayed female will not go into heat. This means she won’t have a period, which can be a bit messy for you owners! She’ll have fewer unwanted behaviors related to being in heat. This includes roaming the neighborhood looking for a mate, which can be dangerous for her. She will also have a greatly reduced risk for mammary tumors (breast cancer). Lastly, spaying prevents pyometra, which is a life-threatening infection of the uterus.

For the males, neutering will reduce dominating and territorial behaviors. This includes behaviors like mounting, urine marking and having the urge to roam to look for females in heat. Neutering will help reduce the risk for an enlarged prostate gland and testicular cancer.

The Risks of Spaying/Neutering:

While anesthetic deaths are very rare, there is always a risk that there can be complications during or right after anesthesia.

Newer research indicates that certain large breed dogs who are spayed or neutered before reaching sexual maturity have an increased risk of orthopedic disease such as hip dysplasia and degenerative joint disease. After they reach sexual maturity, at approximately 6 months of age, they can be spayed or neutered without further risk of developing orthopedic disease.

For more a more in-depth look at spaying and neutering: click here!

Talk to your veterinarian if you have any further questions about having your dog or cat spayed and neutered or visit these websites: