Spaying or neutering your pet helps reduce the number of unwanted pets, and it provides long-term health benefits to your dog or cat. In females, it helps to prevent breast cancer, uterine infections, and acomplications from difficult pregnancies. In males, it prevents testicular cancer and infections and other diseases.
What is Spaying?
Spaying of female dogs and cats, called "ovariohysterectomy", is the surgical removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. Spaying your pet eliminates all heat cycles and the accompanying unwanted bleeding, nervousness, and desire to mate. Female dogs and cats are often mature enough to reproduce once they reach the age of 6 months.
Female dogs go through a reproductive cycle, or "heat", every 6 months, utually once in the Spring and again in the Fall. The entire cycle may be as short as several days or as long as four weeks. Often, female dogs will experience some personality changes during heat cycles, such as being short-tempered or anxious.
Female cats enter their reporductive cycles continuously every 3-4 weeks during certain times of the year, primarily in the Spring and Fall. Many female cats become nervous during these heat cycles and exhibit unusual behaviors, such as rolling on the floor, hiding furtively, or begging for constant attention. They often become quite vocal, meowing throughout their cycles.
Studies show that by spaying your female dog or cat before her first heat cycle, you greatly reduce her chances of developing breast cancer later in life. Having your female dog or cat spayed will also protect her from uterine infections and difficult or dangerious pregnancies.
What is Neutering?
Neutering of male dogs and cats, called "orchiectomy" is the process of surgically removing the testicles. If neutering is done at an early age, it eliminates reproductive behavior.
After they reach sexual maturity at 6 – 9 months of age, male dogs and cats are able to breed any time they are exposed to receptive females. Unneutered males dogs and cats are prone to wander in search of a female in heat. This means trouble! Pets that wander are exposed to diseases more frequently, and they get injured in flights and traffic accidents much more often than pets that do not wander.
Male cats are know to "mark" their territories by spraying odorous urine on furniture, walls, and shrubs. Male dogs are sometimes equally anxious to mark their territories. This tendency is greatly reduced when the pet is neutered. Neutering may also reduce aggressive behavior.
Male dogs and cats benefit from the neutering process in other ways as well. Dogs are less likely to develop disease of the prostate gland, and both dogs and cats are no longer at risk for testicular cancer and infections.