The relatively simple procedure to spay and neuter pets performed at Petroglyph Animal Hospital can help prevent the overpopulation of stray or unclaimed cats and dogs that cause a wide range of negative consequences for the animals and the community overall. Animal shelters become filled with unwanted cats and dogs with the ones left on the street getting hurt, sick, and dying.
Your cat or dog is a part of your family. Having them spayed or neutered will not only help keep down population numbers but also help them to live a longer, healthier life. As a pet owner, it is important to understand what the process involves and what the benefits can be for your pet and your family.
What Does It Mean to Spay and Neuter Pets?
An operation performed by a trained veterinary medical surgeon removes the sexual organs of your pet in a standard surgical procedure. The surgical procedure to spay and neuter pets will prevent them from reproducing. The operation will also result in a series of health and behavior benefits for your cat or dog.
The surgery performed on female cats and dogs is called spaying, while male pets are neutered. Each is a minor operative procedure that removes the sexual organs of household pets.
Pets that reach mature sexually will act out by attempting to escape to mark their territory by urinating on your furniture, while the males will fight other males while roaming the neighborhood for females. It is generally recommended that cats and dogs be spayed or neutered before the start of their sexual maturity.
Neutering is the removal of a male dog and cat’s testicles through a small incision in the scrotum. Male cats and smaller dog breeds are usually neutered at around five months old. Larger dogs can wait up to a year or more before reaching sexual maturity.
Females get spayed by having both ovaries and often the uterus removed through a small incision in the abdomen of the cat or dog. Female cats should be spayed before their first heat cycle, typically somewhere between four to six months. Smaller female dogs will have their first heat cycle at around five to six months old, while recommended times for spaying larger breeds can reach 15 months.
After the surgery, animals that are spayed and neutered will lose their sex drive, often resulting in dramatic changes in behavior. Their personalities remain intact and they will still be the same trusted companion and member of the family. They will lose the urge to escape to roaming for a mate to satisfy their sexual desires. Post-operative household pets are often calmer and lose some of the anxiety they had previously exhibited.
Is It Ethical to Spay and Neuter Cats and Dogs?
The question of whether to spay and neuter household pets is ethical depends on your viewpoint and a close examination of all the facts and consequences. There is a faction of activists who feel that spaying and neutering dogs and cats is unfair and inhumane treatment. The procedure has been labeled “speciesism” in attempts to paint the animals as being abused and altered without their consent.
The general consensus among the veterinary science community is that spaying and neutering your pets is a safe procedure that only enhances the quality of life for the individual animals and improves the harmful consequences of animal overpopulation.
The math is simple. Dogs and cats reproduce through litters that create multiple offspring, and each will go on to produce multiple babies on their own. Each dog or cat that is sterilized is prevented from exponentially creating generations of litters that would produce literally thousands more animals in just five to six years. When neighborhoods are overrun with stray cats and unwanted dogs, those animals often endure extreme suffering and painful, silent deaths.
There are communities that are fighting back and instituting stringent regulations regarding the spaying and neutering of household pets. Pet owners are assessed breeder’s fees for non-compliance. Those that have mandatory laws requiring cats and dogs to be spayed and neutered see significant decreases in the shelter animals, many of whom wind up being euthanized.
Does the Procedure Hurt the Pets?
It can be a traumatic and stressful experience to see your beloved family pet prepare for and undergo surgery of any kind. The operation to spay and neuter pets is safe and relatively painless for your pet. Today’s animal doctors and surgical staffs use modern advancements in technology and techniques to make procedures like spaying and neutering as non-invasive, quick, and painless as possible.
There is no long-term pain associated with the operations for spaying and neutering pets. However, it is an operation. A veterinarian surgeon will be cutting into the animal and removing parts of its body before sewing them back up. They will experience some pain as a result.
Proper dosages of pain medication are delivered before and after the procedure to make the animal feel as comfortable as possible during the short recovery period. Your animal doctor may prescribe pain medication that should only be needed for a few days after the operation. Dogs and cats will experience some pain and discomfort during a short recovery period but should have no long term pain or effects even after a few days.
What Are the Health Benefits of Spaying or Neutering My Cat?
For household cats that are allowed or get out of the house, there is always a risk of your home winding up with a new litter of kittens if your female cat has not been spayed. The surgical procedure will not only prevent them from conceiving and giving birth, it offers both them and their male counterparts a range of health and behavioral benefits, including:
Prevents Cancer, Other Diseases
Spayed cats have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as a host of additional infections and diseases. Neutered male cats significantly reduce the chance of testicular cancer. There is also recent research that suggests a reduction in the risk of diabetes, too.
Reduced Fighting, Acts of Aggression
Cats can be aggressive, clever animals that will do whatever is necessary to get what they want. When their natural desire is to find a partner to mate with, they can be especially prone to escape and fighting with other cats. Spaying and neutering your cats will take away their sexual desires, reducing their aggression and anxieties. They will stop trying to get out as much, any howling will cease, and they will no longer be intensely rubbing up against your furniture.
No More Roaming
Without the active desire to get out and search for a mate, cats stop roaming the neighborhood and getting into trouble with other cats, reducing the risk of them getting hit by a car or getting otherwise injured.
No More Urinating on Furniture
Rubbing up against the furniture is one thing. Urinating on the furniture is a completely different offense. After your cat is spayed or neutered, it will no longer have the urge to mark their territory, so the urinating will stop.
What Are the Health Benefits of Spaying or Neutering My Dog?
The benefits to dogs after being spayed or neutered are similar to cats, making the procedure a smart choice for the community and for the health and wellness of your household canine.
Homeless Dog Population
The sight of an abandoned or otherwise homeless dog alone on the streets of your neighborhood is a sad sight. Multiply that by the dozens or hundreds and it is a real community problem needing a sensible, affordable solution. Every dog that is sterilized is preventing the potential increase in the dog population by the dozens in the short term and thousands in the long term.
Neutered dogs have a significantly reduced risk of contracting testicular cancer than dogs that are not. Female dogs are less likely to get uterine-related infections and other similar types of disorders and resulting illnesses.
Male dogs will do just about anything to get out of the house in search of a mate in heat. With their sexual organs intact, they will jump fences or dig tunnels to go after the scent of a female they can smell from blocks away. They can become aggressive and dominant, making them difficult to control and train, an increased hazard and danger if they are around little kids.
Yes, puppies are cute. Okay, puppies are the cutest things in the world. But, a litter of puppies costs money, time, and hassle. Animal shelters and chock full of unclaimed puppies and dogs that will ultimately be euthanized. Having your puppy spayed or neutered will prevent them from having a litter that will add to the animal overpopulation problem.
Contact Petroglyph Animal Hospital for All of Your Pet Health Care Needs
When you want to provide your pet the best life let Petroglyph Animal Hospital be your partner in regular, emergency, or spay and neutering services in Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Veterinarian families have relied upon for decades. Call right away at (505) 898-8874 for complete information.