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Why should I have my pet spayed or neutered?

Having your pets spayed (females) or neutered (males) helps keep them healthy. The risk of uterine, ovarian and mammary cancer in females and testicular cancer in males is greatly reduced. It also eliminates the risk of pyometra (severe uterine infection) in females and prostate disease in males, both of which are very expensive to treat and can be deadly. Spaying and neutering greatly increases your pet's life expectancy.

What do the terms 'spay' and 'neuter' mean?

When a dog or cat is spayed, their reproductive organs are removed while she is under anesthesia. This includes their ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. When a dog or cat is neutered, the testicles are removed while he is under anesthesia. Some males may have an undescended testicle, which means it is not in the scrotal sac. It is usually found in the abdomen or inguinal region through an additional incision. It is still important to have this testicle removed as it can become cancerous or diseased if it is left behind.

Is it painful?

The surgery is performed under anesthesia with pain medication, so your pet will not feel anything. Any post operative discomfort can be taken care of with additional pain medication.

When should the surgery be done?

Most veterinarian recommend having your pets fixed between 8 - 24 wks of age. This is prior to a female's first heat which is usually around 6 months.

Will my pet get fat after he or she is fixed?

Sterilizing your pet can affect the metabolism, especially in males. As long as you continue to monitor their diet and ensure they get regular exercise they should maintain a healthy weight.

I have heard that females should have one litter before they are fixed, is that true?

No! This is a myth. Spaying your female dog prior to her first heat cycle reduces her chance of mammary cancer by 80%. Having your female cat spayed before she is 6 months old reduces her risk of mammary cancer by 91%.

Everybody loves puppies and kittens, what's the big deal if there are a few more?

Every year an estimated 6 to 8 million pets are euthanized in shelters every year. Many of these pets are perfectly healthy, but there is just no room for them. There are around 5000 animals born every hour in the United States, and only 500 humans born at the same time. An unspayed canine, her mate and their offspring can potentially produce 67,000 dogs in 6 years. At the same time, an unspayed feline, her mate and offspring can produce 420,000 in just 7 years. With numbers like these, even if every family in the U.S. adopted a pet and had it sterilized, there would still be homeless animals. Having your pet sterilized helps combat pet overpopulation.

What's the big deal with pet overpopulation?

Pet overpopulation leads to millions of stray and unwanted animals. Dogs and cats running free come in contact with many other animals and therefore are likely to spread diseases such as rabies, feline aids, feline leukemia and parvo virus. Stray animals can be dangerous, they may bite humans or attack other pets, they can also cause accidents when they run in the road. They can also be a nuisance by getting into your garbage and deficating on property. In addition, these stray animals are very hard on the wildlife.

Will the surgery change my pet's personality?

Any changes due to sterilizing your pet will be positive. Dogs and cats are less likely to stray when they are fixed because they will not feel the need to search for a mate. Males also will fight less because they will not be competing for mates. Female dogs will not go into heat. Male cats will be less likely to spray or scent mark.

It seems expensive, is it worth the money?

Yes! Spaying or neutering your pet is a much cheaper alternative to caring for a pregnant female, raising a litter, or treating an illness such as infection, cancer or prostate disease.


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