Why Spay & Neuter?
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- We recommend spaying and neutering cats and dogs at 6 months of age.
- The first heat cycle in cats and dogs is at approximately 7-8 months of age.
- Female dogs come into heat 2-3 times a year.
- A female dog is in heat for approximately 3 weeks.
- Female cats come into heat at irregular intervals, usually more often during the spring and summer.
- Female cats may not go out of heat until they are bred.
- Dogs and Cats are pregnant for approximately 63 days.
- Cats can get pregnant again while nursing.
- Intact Males and Females in the same house will breed even if they are brother and sister or father and daughter.
- Intact male Dogs and Cats can travel miles if they sense a female in heat. Male dogs have jumped through windows, screen doors and over fences to get to females in heat. Intact males are more often hit by cars then any other animal because they frequently travel to find females in heat.
Benefits of Spaying Female Dogs and Cats
- Reduced Chance of Mammary Cancer in Female Dogs
- Spaying a female dog prior to the first heat cycle reduces the risk of mammary cancer by nearly 100%. Female dogs allowed to experience just two heat cycles before being spayed have a 25% greater chance of developing mammary cancer.
- Eliminates the Risk of Uterine Infections
- Senior intact females are at great risk for developing fatal bacterial uterine infections that require emergency surgery for treatment. These infections cause the uterus to fill with pus making surgical removal of the uterus more dangerous but necessary to save the dog's life.
- Eliminates the Risk of Ovarian and Uterine Cancer
- When a female is spayed both ovaries and the entire uterus is removed eliminating any chance of cancer or infection in these tissues.
- Eliminates Heat Cycles
- Female cats have a tendency to stay in heat until they are breed by male cats. A lengthy heat cycle in a cat can lead to anemia, lethargy and other health issues. Dogs come into heat every 6 months, stay in heat for an average of 3 weeks, and can have a bloody discharge for 1-2 weeks. Cats can come into heat even while nursing, and have 3 or more litters a year.
Benefits of Neutering Male Dogs and Cats
- Reduces the Risk of Prostate Disease
- Neutering greatly decreases the chance of prostate enlargement. Prostate enlargement is often related to testosterone and is a common problem of older intact dogs. The enlarged prostate can interfere or prevent urination and require emergency catheterization and castration. Neutering also reduces the risk of prostate cancer
- Eliminates the Risk of Testicular Cancer
- Neutering involves the complete removal of both testicles.
- Reduces the Chance of Hernia
- As intact males age the testosterone weakens the muscles around the colon and can result in a hernia of the colon, that prevents defecation and results in stool building up in large blockages in the colon. This can only be corrected with surgery to repair the hernia and castration to decrease the chance of reoccurrence.
- Decreases Spraying
- Neutering Male cats at a young age will decrease their tendency to spray and mark territory
- Decreases Wondering
- Male Cats and Dogs can be prone to wondering or traveling large distances to find females in heat. A majority of intact male cats are injured or killed by cars at a young age due to their drive to find females in heat.
- Decreases Unwanted and Aggressive Behavior
- Neutering can help increase a pets attention span and focus, making a pet more responsive to training. Decreased hormone levels can also result in decreased aggression and other behavior problems.
Risks of Spaying and Neutering
- Anesthetic Risk
- Although all types of anesthesia involve some risk, major side effects and complications from anesthesia are uncommon. Your pet's specific risks depend on his or her health.
- Young pets handle anesthetic much better then older ones, making spay and neutering much safer at the recommended 6 months of age, then in senior animals suffering from illnesses or diseases associated with being intact.
- The biggest risks from anesthesia result from decreased blood pressure and body temperature caused by the anesthetics. We offer and recommend IV fluids during surgery to keep the blood pressure up so that problems are less likely to occur. ALL our surgery patients are placed on heating units during surgery to keep their body temperature up, and on heating disks and warming blankets after surgery. We monitor the body temperature of recovery pets up to every 5-15 minutes until it returns to normal and the pet is awake and responsive.
- All surgery patients are also placed on monitors to measure heart rate and oxygen levels to ensure that we are alerted early to any potential problems.
- On rare occasions excessive bleeding can result during surgery. When this happens, the source of the bleeding is found and stopped. This may result in your pet staying longer or receiving intravenous fluids or other medications
- Older spayed female dogs can loose tone in the sphincter that closes the bladder. This can result in leaking of urine. There is medication to treat this condition and the prognosis is excellent, unlike the prognosis for females that develop mammary cancer or any of the other illnesses and diseases associated with being intact.