Spaying/Neutering your pet
Annually, millions of unwanted dogs and cats are dumped on the streets. One of the common reasons is the birth of unplanned and unwanted litters. To address these issues, responsible pet owners can make a difference by having your pet spayed/neutered. In this article, we explore what spaying/neutering involves and the benefits of it.
What is spaying/neutering?
Spaying/neutering is a surgical process in which your pet’s reproductive system is removed. Spaying of females involves removing the ovaries and uterus. Neutering of males involves the removal of both testicles.
Why does your pet need to be spayed/neutered?
Spaying automatically stops female pet’s heat cycles and associated bleeding, thereby preventing unwanted pregnancies.
In males, it helps to reduce some behavioural-related issues, e.g., aggression or wandering instincts. It is a protective measure against them wandering off as it reduces their hormonal drive to stray from home in search of a mating partner. Also, it helps prevents unpleasant odor associated with male urine.
These procedures also have medical benefits that can help a pet live a healthier and longer life.
- reduces the risk of mammary tumors
- eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterus cysts
- prevents other medical conditions such as pyometra (infection of the uterus)
- reduces the risk of prostatic diseases
- reduces the risk of perianal tumors
- eliminates the risk of testicular cancers
When is the right time to spay/neuter your pet?
The right age depends on your pet’s breed and size. Generally, the recommended age is six months.
Most vets recommend spaying a female dog before her first heat cycle. The timing varies but occurs somewhere between five and ten months of age.
For male dogs, adult size is an essential factor. Small and medium male dogs are generally neutered earlier—around six months of age.
Is Spay and Neuter Surgery Risky?
Spay and neutering are common surgeries, but as with any surgery, there’s always some degree of anaesthetic and surgical risk involved for animals. However, the overall incidence of complications is generally very low. Ensuring that a thorough health check is performed on your pet before the surgery eliminates any potential underlying health complications.
As always, you should talk to your vet about the pros and cons of the procedure so you can make an informed decision.