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Getting Your Pet “Fixed”!!!

Author: Dr. Catherine DeJesus Savas

Getting Your Pet “Fixed”!!!

By Catherine DeJesus Savas

Associate Veterinarian, Calvert Veterinary Center

Many wonder why it is important to get pets spayed or neutered. There are a number of reasons and some that you may not have thought about. We will break it down for you based on category.

Societal:

  • Millions or pets are euthanized each year in shelters. According to the ASPCA and Humane Society 31% (1.2 million) of dogs and 41% (1.4 million) of cats that enter these shelters are euthanized. There are also many pets that enter veterinary hospitals as strays then are relinquished by their owners. These numbers do not include community shelters or other rescue organizations.
  • A great way to help these numbers decrease is by spaying and neutering your pets and avoiding unwanted litters.  Yes, pets can get pregnant on their first heat!

Health Benefits:

  • Spaying: Helps prevent uterine infection and mammary (breast cancer). The incidence of these issues increases with each heat cycle, therefore most veterinarians recommend spaying before the first heat (depending on growth requirements).   If your pet does develop a uterine infection called pyometra, it can be life threatening without early detection.  It is far better to prevent a problem than to have your pet suffer from serious illness.  In dogs, 50% of mammary tumors (breast cancer) are malignant and will lead to death once they spread.
  • Neutering: Helps prevent testicular cancer and some prostate problems.  Recent studies have suggested that waiting until 9 to 12 months of age to neuter a male dog can help prevent some orthopedic conditions such as a cruciate ligament tear. 

Behavioral

  • Spaying: means NO HEAT! When female dogs go into heat it’s like a human female period (the amount varies), but they can also start howling and urinating more (sometimes in the house).
  • Neutering: It can help with some behaviors like humping, aggression (especially associated with an intact female), and it can also prevent roaming. Once the male dogs get the scent of a female in heat… it can be hard to hold them back!  Male dogs often end up getting hit by a car or being injured while trying to climb a fence or get to a female in heat.  But remember this will not fix all behavioral problems.

As you see, there are many reasons to have your dog spayed or neutered.  Ask Calvert Veterinary Center to discuss the best time to neuter your pet !  410-360-PAWS.

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