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Why Spay or Neuter?
The most obvious reason to spay or neuter your pet is to control the number of unwanted puppies and kittens born every year. Three out of every five dogs and four out of every five cats that are given up or abandoned are euthanized. Last year 9.1 million dogs and 9.8 million cats were euthanized. If you have any doubts go to your local shelter and see how crowded it is. Litters of puppies and kittens are dropped off at shelters almost daily as well as other dogs or cats found wandering homeless...all of them the result of irresponsible pet ownership. Just to demonstrate, 2 cats in ten years can produce 80,000,000 kittens (assuming 2 litters/year, 3 kittens/litter, all kittens having kittens)!!!
Spaying and neutering is very healthy for your pet. In females. spaying reduces the risk of getting uterine cancer and mammary cancer. The earlier you spay an animal, the greater you reduce the risk of its getting cancer. The other major health risk in female pets is a condition known as pyometra. This condition is basically an infection of the uterus and has a high incidence in unspayed females. It is a life-threatening condition and consequently, when it happens, it is an emergency. The animal declines quickly and there is a risk of the uterus rupturing and emptying pus into the abdominal cavity.
In males, neutering helps prevent cancer such as testicular tumors, rectal tumors and prostate cancer. Neutering also reduces the risk of other prostatic conditons such as cysts, abscesses and infections. If neutered young, it may may help prevent typical "male" behaviors like wandering, aggression, mounting of legs and objects and frequent marking (urination).
"Neutering will change my pet's personality and make him lazy." Neutering prevents a male from producing testosterone, the hormone responsible for aggression, wandering tendencies and other male behaviors.
Playfulness and personality traits are genetically inherent in your pet and will not be changed. "My pet will gain weight." Your pet's metabolism may change but he/she should not gain weight if their diet is properly controlled. You may need to compensate for the change in metabolism and feed your pet less and make sure its on a good exercise regimen. Spaying/neutering is not a valid excuse for an animal gaining weight!!
"I heard a female should have one litter first." There is no evidence to show that this affects a dog at all.
"My children want to see the miracle of birth." This is a very selfish reason to bring unwanted litters into the world, especially when there are plenty of alternatives, such as nature education films. Your friends may have agreed to adopt your new kittens or puppies, but remember, there are already thousands of wonderful, homeless pets waiting for adoption in shelters.
Please consider spaying or neutering your pet. It can be done when they are 6 months old. Call us for an appointment or if you have any questions at 509.922.7465.