Spaying and neutering cats and dogs is very important for their individual health, but also for preventing behaviour issues and for population control.
We spend a lot of time discussing spaying and neutering with our clients – from why we recommend it, to when it is recommended, and what happens during the procedure. We will go through more of this throughout the month, but today I want to discuss why it is important to YOU and YOUR pet that they get spayed or neutered.
Health benefits for females - It is true that female dogs and cats, like women, can get breast cancer! Spaying your female dog or cat before their first heat almost completely eliminates the risk of them ever getting breast cancer. Here are the some statistics to think about from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons:
In female dogs 50% of these tumors will be benign and 50% will be malignant. In cats 85% of these tumors will be malignant, meaning they are invasive and cause more severe disease.
I wish I could tell you breast cancer is rare in pets, but in the 14 months that I have been working at the Egan Fife Animal Hospital, I have found mammary tumors in at least three dogs and one cat (this is not including cases other veterinarians in our clinic have seen). All of these pets were intact. Please spay your pets!
The other major concern for female dogs and cats is pyometra. Pyometra is a severe infection of the uterus in which the uterus is full of pus. This can cause a very sick pet that requires surgery (a spay!) to remove the infected uterus. Even after removing the infected uterus your pet will still take many days to recover from the infection as well as now having to recover from a major surgery.
Health benefits for male dogs include removing the risk of testicular cancer as well as helping to prevent prostate enlargement that can cause your dog significant disease which requires neutering to remove the hormones causing the problem. If your pet is a cryptorchid, meaning one or both testicles did not descend into the scrotum, neutering is even more important! Testicles that stay within the abdominal cavity are 13 times more likely to become cancerous, so removing them when your cat or dog is neutered is key to your pet’s health.
In some ways the more important benefit for male dogs and cats is the behavioural aspect. Male dogs and cats are apt to roam the neighbourhood in search of their perfect mate! Male dogs and cats will stop at nothing to get to a female in heat! Tragically, intact males are much more likely to get hit by a car in their pursuit of a mate.
Male cats also develop very strong smelling urine that makes them less suitable to living indoors. They also like to spray to mark their territory that for most people is unacceptable in the house.
Overall, spaying and neutering will make your cat or dog a better family pet and will help prevent serious diseases!
Weekends, Holidays and After-hours we are available 24 hours daily 365 days a year at our location for local service by your veterinary team. Please call our office in case of emergency.
Please note - Weekend, Holiday and After-hour service is offered only to current clientele who have not transferred their files to another facility and whose animals are a patient of our practice that has been examined by one of our doctors in the past 24 months.
Check out our social media pages on Facebook and Pinterest for some educational information. Follow us on both to stay caught up on our current awareness campaigns.
Egan Fife Animal Hospital