Spay/neuter surgery is the most commonly requested elective veterinary surgery in the United States with countless procedures being performed every year. Precisely what happens during this surgery depends on whether your pet is male or female. In males, where the procedure is most commonly called neutering or castration, the testicles are removed so that the animal can no longer reproduce. Meanwhile, in females, it is the ovaries and uterus which are removed so that the animal is no longer able to become pregnant. Both surgeries are considered very safe, although the location of the female reproductive organs means that spaying is naturally a little more complex than neutering.
For some owners, choosing to put their pet through a surgical procedure that requires a general anesthetic seems unnecessary. However, there are a number of very good reasons why it is important to spay/neuter your animal.
SPAYING FEMALES HELPS KEEP THEM HEALTHY AND ABLE TO LIVE LONGER LIVES
Spaying has been shown to help prevent breast cancer, which has been identified as fatal in around half of the dogs and a shocking 90% of cats. It also prevents uterine infections, of which one, called pyometra, is particularly painful and unpleasant.
NEUTERING MALE PETS HAS HEALTH BENEFITS TOO
The health benefits of neutering extend to males too, with those who have the surgery no longer able to develop testicular cancer and at a much lower risk of developing problems with their prostate.
NEUTERED MALE PETS ARE MUCH BETTER BEHAVED
Most people know those intact male animals can be somewhat mischievous, particularly when there are females around that are in season. Urine marking, excessive vocalization, aggression and the temptation to roam away from the house to find a mate are all common traits in male pets that haven’t been neutered.
THERE ARE BEHAVIOR BENEFITS FOR FEMALE PETS TOO
Males aren’t the only ones to want to attract attention from the other sex. When they go into heat, females can become feisty, yowl and urinate more frequently, and may also pee in places where they shouldn’t! Since cycles can potentially occur every three weeks during the breeding season and last for up to five days each time, this is a lot of time where your female may exhibit nuisance behavior! All of this can be curbed by getting her spayed.
SPAYING/NEUTERING IS CHEAPER THAN RAISING BABIES!
Although baby animals may seem adorable in theory, actually raising them is time-consuming and expensive. Not only could you have veterinary bills for care for your pet during pregnancy and birth, but the cost of feeding their litter and providing those all-important vaccinations can quickly add up! Spaying/neutering may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it is a lot more cost-effective than having babies.
YOU WON’T HAVE TO FIND HOMES FOR THE BABIES
Another responsibility of having a litter of babies is finding them all homes when they are old enough to leave their mother. As a responsible animal lover, you will need to spend time and energy ensuring that they go to good homes where they will be loved, and not abandoned after a short while for some reason. This can be a real challenge and there is always the worry that the animals could end up in shelters down the line where there are already countless creatures looking for homes. It is far better for people interested in raising an animal to adopt one from a shelter wherever possible.
If you would like to discuss spaying/neutering surgery with our experienced team or to schedule this procedure for your pet, please contact our veterinary clinic in Geneva, OH.