The Facts of Life: Important Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

By: Katherine Reed
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Spaying Your Female Pet (ovariohysterectomy)

This is the removal of the ovaries and uterus. Ideal age for this procedure is 4-6 months.

If spayed before the first heat cycle, your pet has less than a 1 percent chance of developing breast cancer. If spayed after one heat cycle, your pet has and 8 percent chance of developing breast cancer. If spayed after two heat cycles, the risk increases to 26 percent. After two years, no protective benefit exists. 

Pets with diabetes or epilepsy should be spayed to prevent hormonal changes that may interfere with medication. Spaying eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer and, of course, eliminates unwanted pregnancies.

Neutering your male pet (castration)

This is the removal of the testicles and spermatic cord. Ideal age for this procedure is 4 to 6 months.

Neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer, the second most common tumor in male dogs. It also greatly reduces the risk of prostate cancer and prostatitis and lowers the risk of perianal tumors. 

Neutering also reduces roaming and fighting. It eliminates or reduces spraying or marking in males neutered before 6 months of age or before the onset of these behaviors. Eliminates the risk and spread of sexually transmitted diseases. And, of course, it eliminates unwanted litters.

Unfortunate Reality

More than 4 million pets are euthanized in the United States animal shelters each year simply because they have no home. Many are puppies and kittens less than six months old. Help stop the needless loss of life. Spay and/or neuter your pets.

Common Myths About Spaying and Neutering

Contrary to popular belief, spaying and neutering does not:

  • Cause laziness or hyperactivity
  • Reduce your pet’s instinct to protect your family and home
  • Cause immature behavior
  • Postpone normal behavioral maturity
  • Alter your pet’s personality

Again, make the right decision — have your pet spayed or neutered!

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Katherine Reed

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