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Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

August 07, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

No, he’s not broken… it’s just another term for surgically removing your pet’s reproductive organs.  Spaying, or ovario-hysterectomy, removes your female pet’s ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes to eliminate the chances of pregnancy.   Neutering, or castration, surgically removes your male pet’s testes to prevent reproducing.  Both are a product of the need to stop pet overpopulation which results in overcrowding and euthanasia in animal shelters.  Also, pet overpopulation can cause a spread in animal diseases as the amount of unvaccinated dogs and cats roam freely.

The best time to spay or neuter your pet is between 8 weeks and 6 months of age. After that time. altering your female in heat or when pregnant can be more costly and difficult, presenting more health risk to your pet. Older male pets can be neutered at any time if they are healthy.  The veterinarian will generally require a physical exam on an adult pet if the age and origin is unknown. Animal sterilizations are always performed under general anesthesia by a licensed veterinarian whether at a clinic or your vet’s regular office.
You will notice many benefits to spaying or neutering your pet. Some say it will make your pet more relaxed and affectionate if he does not feel mating urges. He will be less likely to be roaming far to mark his territory and find a mate so the risk of being lost, hit by a car, fighting and contracting diseases is far decreased. Also, you won’t notice any sexual aggression, inappropriate spraying or embarrassing sexual displays in your pet. In females you won’t have any messy spotting, protective aggression over babies or heat cycles that can bring swarms of male cats or dogs to your yard, which can include dangerous fighting, injuries and noise. There may be other physical health benefits as well that your veterinarian can educate you about.

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