Spaying and Neutering
Spaying your pet means to surgically alter your female cat or dog so that she becomes infertile. The procedure involves surgical removal of the ovaries and the uterus under general anesthesia.
The ideal time to have the surgery is before your pet’s first heat cycle, which is approximately 6 months of age in smaller breeds, and later in larger breeds. Spaying before the first heat significantly decreases the risk for mammary cancer. The risk of mammary tumours increases with the number of heats.
In addition, removal of the reproductive organs eliminates the risk of pyometra (severe infection of the uterus). Pyometra is a life-threatening condition that affects middle –aged to older female pets. Signs of pyometra include lethargy, increased thirst, decreased appetite and occasionally, a foul odour or discharge from the vulva.
If your pet is currently having a heat, we recommend waiting 4 – 6 weeks before having the spay performed. During a heat cycle, the tissue and blood vessels involved are more engorged, and can increase the chance of surgery related complications.
Spaying will aid in control of pet overpopulation, by reducing accidental litters.
Neutering your pet means to surgically alter your male cat or dog so that he becomes infertile. The procedure involves surgically removing the testicles under general anesthetic and is preferably done before your pet becomes mature, at about 6 months of age. Neutering your pet greatly decreases the chance of behavioural problems (aggressiveness, roaming, urinary spraying/marking) often exhibited by sexually intact male pets.
Neutering eliminates the risk of reproductive tract-associated diseases, such as testicular torsion or cancer. It will also reduce the risk of prostatic diseases and tumours around the anus since these diseases are often triggered by the constant source of testosterone. In cats, neutering will also significantly reduce urine odour.
Neutering will aid in control of pet overpopulation, by reducing accidental litters.
Some U.S. Facts (ASPCA):
- Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
- Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
- Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
- About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.
- Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.
- Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.
- About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.