Any veterinarian or pet owner can agree that caring for pets is a big responsibility. The money and effort that go into maintaining the health of your furry friend, while time-consuming, can be worthwhile in the long run when your pet has few health concerns to worry about in their old age. Preventative care is an integral part of this maintenance, with spaying and neutering being among the top forms of this care. While you might be aware that the sterilization of pets is common practice, you might not know why it is recommended as a form of preventative care by vets. This article will explain what the procedure is, the risks, and the benefits.
What does it mean to spay and/or neuter my pet?
Spaying is the process of removing a female pet's uterus and ovaries, and neutering is the process of removing a male's testicles and other associated structures. The timing of these procedures varies depending on your animal's age and breed, and you should seek your veterinarian's advice on when to spay/neuter your pet.
What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my pet?
There are many benefits associated with these procedures that vary depending on the sex of your pet. These benefits include:
Spaying prevents uterine infections and decreases the chances of breast tumors.
Neutering your male prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.
Spaying and Neutering limit pet overpopulation and unwanted litter, reducing the number of pets or stray animals that enter shelters or rescues.
Spaying female pets prevents heat cycles which in turn prevents erratic behavior and bloody discharge.
Spaying and neutering reduce inappropriate behavior such as roaming to find a mate, marking inside your home, and hostility towards other animals.
Spaying or neutering your pet also costs less in the long run, as a treatment for medical conditions such as reproductive system cancer and pyometra that develop from lack of sterilization can be very expensive.
What are the risks of spaying or neutering my pet?
While there are many benefits to these procedures, there are of course risks associated with removing your pet's ovaries or testes. As with any surgery, sterilization has some anesthetic and surgical risks, but the overall incidence of those complications is very low. Your pet should be given a physical exam by a veterinarian to ensure they are healthy enough before undergoing sterilization or any type of surgical procedure. Your veterinarian will discuss the recommendations before surgery and how to take care of the pet after surgery.
Understandably, the cost of sterilization, surgery, and recovery time can seem like a big commitment, but the long-term health benefits of the procedure are worth the investment. If you are still unsure if you want to make the decision to spay or neuter your pet, please call us at 559-434-5470 to learn more about the procedures or to schedule an appointment. To learn more, reference the articles listed below as well as other articles similar to this one.
ASPCA. Before Surgery: What to Know
ASPCA. Spay/Neuter your pet
St. Georges Universtiy. Why Spay and Neuter your pets? Experts explain
The Humane Society of the United States. Why you should pay/neuter your pet
American Veterinary Medical Association. Spaying and Neutering