Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

According to a recent report released by the American Humane Society, animal shelters across the country euthanize 2.4 million healthy dogs and cats each year due to pet overpopulation. No one steps forward to adopt these animals in the organization’s time limit and a staff member has to euthanize him or her to make room for other homeless pets. This equates to one healthy animal losing his or her life every 13 seconds in America alone. While this is a sad and frustrating statistic, it’s also preventable by spaying or neutering your pet. Neutering a male pet means he can’t impregnate a female while a spay surgery in females renders them infertile.

What Happens During a Spay or Neuter Surgery

Cat with a cone

The first thing a veterinarian does when a female pet undergoes spay surgery is to provide her with anesthesia to put her into a deep sleep. The veterinarian then removes the ovaries and uterus through an incision in the dog or cat’s abdomen.

After a male pet has received anesthesia for his neuter, the veterinarian makes a small incision in the front of his scrotum. The veterinarian then removes each testicle and ties off the vas deferens that produces its blood supply.

Our surgical technician's thoroughly monitor your pet’s heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, temperature, capillary refill time, and changes to the color of their gums throughout the procedure. They also provide pet owners with home care instructions once the pet comes out of surgery.

Benefits of Spaying

In addition to preventing litters of puppies and kittens that may not find a home, spaying a cat or dog decreases her risk of developing mammary gland cancer. Spaying provides less protection for mammary cancer with every passing heat. Studies have shown that cats and dogs spayed before her first heat have an 99% chance of not developing mammary cancer, which means the risk is almost completely eliminated by the surgery. If the spay happens between the first and second heats, females still have some protection, with only a 50% risk, compared to other intact females. If the spay happens after their second heat, their risk of developing mammary cancer is 100%. Clearly, spaying reduces her risk of mammary cancer. Spaying also completely removes all risk for ovarian and uterine cancer.

An unaltered female cat may go through several heat cycles each year. She may also go into heat and not come out of heat until she mates with an intact male cat. Intact female dogs usually go into heat two times each year. A cat becomes fertile as early as 4 months old, which means she could produce dozens of litters of kittens during her lifetime. Cats in heat have loud vocalizations and can act aggressively to try to gain the attention of male cats.

Spaying a dog also reduces her desire to roam free. If an unneutered neighbor male dog gets near a spayed female dog, he won’t have as strong of an urge to mate with her.

Benefits of Neutering

Both dogs and cats can engage in aggressive behavior and roaming when they have not yet undergone the neutering procedure. The aggressiveness can surprise their human family when the dog attempts to bite or even act in a sexual manner towards people. Unneutered pets also spray their urine to claim a territory as their own. This odor is not only extremely unpleasant, but it can also be difficult to eliminate as well. After neutering surgery, the risk of testicular or prostate cancer in male pets drops significantly. Neutering or spaying a pet increases his or her lifespan by an average of three to five years. 

Call us at (301) 977-5586 with any questions you have about spaying or neutering your pets with Goshen Animal Hospital.


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