Why should I have my pet neutered?

Neutering means to surgically make an animal unable to reproduce. In males this means castration, or removal of the testicles. In females this means spaying or removal of the uterus and ovaries. These procedures are done routinely everyday and are very low risk in healthy animals. There are many advantages to having your pet spayed/neutered. The most recognized of these is reduction of the stray animal population. There are many more medical benefits as well.

Advantages of spaying (females)
  • Eliminate the risk of pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus which is common in older unspayed female dogs and cats.

  • Greatly reduce the risk of mammary (breast) cancer, a very common condition in middle to older age, unspayed dogs and cats. Every time a female dog goes through a heat, the chances of her later developing malignant mammary cancer increases significantly.

  • Spayed females which are diabetic (a common condition in all older pets) are easier to controle with insulin. Unspayed diabetic females are much more difficult to control with insulin.
Advantages of castration (males)
  • Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer or infection.

  • Greatly reduces the risk of prostate disease. There is a very high rate of benign prostate enlargement in middle to older non-neutered (intact) male dogs. This places pressure on the colon, causing the animal to strain for bowel movements. This can be painful enough to cause vomiting and lethargy (inactivity). Prostate disease can also be infectious or cancerous - much more prevalent in intact males.

  • Castration reduces aggression and roaming, therefore reducing the risks of infection/abscesses, wounds, hit by car, etc.

  • Reduces the risk of urine spraying in male cats, if done at young age.

Both castration and spaying reduces the transmission of infectious disease among pets. The best time to have your pet spayed or neutered is between four and six months of age. If your animal is older, neutering is still likely to be recommended. Please consult us.