According to a recent report released by the American Humane Society, animal shelters across the country euthanize 2.4 million healthy dogs and cats each year due to pet overpopulation. No one steps forward to adopt these animals in the organization’s time limit and a staff member has to euthanize him or her to make room for other homeless pets. This equates to one healthy animal losing his or her life every 13 seconds in America alone. While this is a sad and frustrating statistic, it’s also preventable with spay or neuter surgery. Neutering a male pet means he can’t impregnate a female while a spay surgery in females renders them infertile.
What Happens During a Spay or Neuter Surgery
The first thing a veterinarian does when a female pet undergoes spay surgery is to provide her with anesthesia to put her into a deep sleep. The veterinarian then removes the ovaries and uterus through an opening in the dog or cat’s abdomen.
After a male pet has received anesthesia for a neuter surgery, the veterinarian makes a small cut in the front of his scrotum. The veterinarian then removes each testicle and ties off the vas deferens that produces its blood supply.
Veterinary staff carefully monitors a pet’s heart and breathing rate throughout the procedure. They also provide pet owners with home care instructions once the pet comes out of surgery.
Benefits of Spaying
An unaltered female cat may go through several heat cycles each year. Intact female dogs usually go into heat two times each year. A cat becomes fertile well before she reaches one year old, which means she could produce dozens of litters of kittens during her lifetime. Cats in heat have loud vocalizations and can act aggressively to try to gain the attention of male cats.
Spaying a dog reduces her desire to roam free. If an unneutered neighbor male dog gets near a spayed female dog, he won’t attempt to mate with her. In addition to preventing litters of puppies and kittens that may not find a home, spaying a cat or dog decreases her risk of developing uterine, ovarian, and mammary gland cancer. The risk decreases the most for dogs and cats who have the surgery before they would have gone into heat for the first time.
Benefits of Neutering
Both dogs and cats can engage in aggressive behavior and roaming when they have not yet undergone the neutering procedure. The aggressiveness can surprise their human family when the dog attempts to bite or even act in a sexual manner towards people. Unneutered pets also spray their urine to claim a territory as their own. This odor is not only extremely unpleasant, it can be difficult to eliminate as well. After neutering surgery, the risk of testicular or prostate cancer in male pets drops significantly.
Neutering or spaying a pet increases his or her lifespan by an average of three to five years. One last thing to consider is that people with altered pets make better neighbors and are less likely to encounter the dangers of roaming because their pets are much more likely to remain in the home or yard.
Call us at (215) 745-9030 with any questions you have about spaying or neutering your pets with Cottman Animal Hospital.
Every year thousands of stray and unwanted animals are euthanized in shelters across the United States. Many of these deaths are the avoidable result of owners failing to spay and neuter their pets. Even if you keep a close watch on your pet, accidents happen, and unexpected offspring means more animals that won’t be given the chance at full, happy lives.
Spaying and neutering can help end this cycle, and both procedures can have health benefits for pets.
Spaying is a common surgical procedure performed on female cats and dogs. The process is called an ovariohysterectomy and involves removing the patient’s uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, rendering the animal incapable of reproduction. Cottman Animal Hospital veterinarians recommend spaying your pet at 6 months, depending on your dog’s breed and ideally before the patient’s first heat.
- Prevents unwanted pregnancies
- Eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine tumors
- Remove the possibility of uterine infections
What to expect after surgery
Spaying is a major surgery requiring 7-10 days of recovery time. Recovery may also include pain medication and lethargy is common for the first couple of days following the procedure.
Neutering is performed on male cats and dogs. This process castrates the animal, removing their testicles and making them unable to impregnate females. Neutering is advised when your pet is 6 months old but can be performed on older animals as well.
- Placates the animal, reducing aggressive behavior and decreasing dominant tendencies
- Reduces roaming and spraying (territory marking)
- Eliminates the risk of testicular and prostate tumors
What to expect after surgery
Although less invasive than spaying, neutering is still a major medical procedure that requires some recovery time. Recovery may also include pain medication and lethargy is common for the first couple of days following the procedure.
To learn more about spaying and neutering, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 215-745-9030.