The Facts About Spaying & Neutering

August 30, 2013 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

The United States currently labors against a cat and dog overpopulation problem. Government facilities and government-funded entities euthanize millions of cats and dogs every year. Millions more are abandoned to fend for themselves. Our first and only step to eradicate this problem is to have your pet spayed and neutered at puberty. There are many myths surrounding having one’s pet spayed and neutered. The truth is the animals that are spayed and neutered live happier, healthier lives.

Here are the facts:

Helps Prevent Some Medical Problems: Spaying and neutering decreases the incidence of reproductive and mammary gland tumors. Intact females have a 1 in 4 chance of developing mammary tumors, but female animals that do not experience their first heat face a mere 1 in 10,000 chance of developing mammary tumors. Another common medical problem that occurs in non-spayed females is pyometra. This is an infection of the uterus that causes the uterus to fill with pus. Pyometras are considered emergencies and can kill an animal. The treatment for a pyometra is antibiotics, intravenous fluids and removing the uterus. This is more costly than having the female spayed. If there is no reason to breed a dog or cat, timely spaying will eliminate any chance of pyometra and almost erase any chance of mammary tumors.

Behavioral Improvements: Neutered pets are less territorial and less aggressive. They are also better pets because they can concentrate on being part of the family instead of being distracted by hormone-inspired behaviors. Neutered animals are also protective of their pack, family unit or home. Neutered dogs actually do a better job of guarding than intact animals because they don’t have the hormonal influences to interfere with their perceived job.

The Obesity Myth: Many people believe that spaying and neutering will lead to obesity. The truth is that as dogs and cats age, their metabolism slows just like with humans. The decrease in metabolism leads to obesity. Overfeeding also leads to obesity. Most humans show affection for their animals in the form of treats and table food. This increases the caloric content of a pet’s diet substantially.

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