the benefits of spaying or neutering your pet

Dr. Kim Smyth
Posted by Dr. Kim Smyth on Feb 22 2011
Mother cat with group of kittens | the benefits of spaying or neutering your pet

February 22nd is Spay Day! We all know that spaying/neutering is important for keeping the pet population under control and reducing the number of pets that end up in shelters or roaming the streets. But did you know that spaying or neutering your pets can also prevent disease and make your life easier?

The benefits of spaying

Spaying your female pet before her first heat cycle virtually eliminates her chance of developing malignant mammary cancer (and avoids a costly radical mastectomy surgery or cancer treatment later in life should mammary cancer develop). Didn’t catch her before her first heat? That’s ok! Even spaying her later in life can decrease her chances for developing this type of cancer, too.

Spaying your female pet also eliminates the chance of her developing a potentially fatal uterine infection. We see this infection, called pyometra, usually develop about six weeks after her heat cycle.

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Pyometra is serious and often requires lengthy hospitalization and emergency surgery. Pet insurance can help defray some of the costs of the treatment so that you can focus on what’s truly important (the care and wellbeing of your pet), but you can avoid every having to deal with the decision by simply choosing to spay your female friend.

Another reason to spay your female pets is to avoid the unwanted hassle of heat. Heat cycles in the female dog can be inconvenient. Bloody discharge is messy and attracts unwanted attention from neighborhood male dogs. And heat cycles in cats can be downright annoying! Female cats in heat are loud and persistent. Make your life easier by having your female pets spayed.

The benefits of neutering

When it comes to the boys, having your dog neutered will decrease his incidence of prostate enlargement and prostate infection. It will also reduce roaming and aggressive behavior, and can help you avoid inappropriate mounting behavior.

Unneutered male cats are extremely territorial and neutering them decreases territorial aggression. Territorial aggression in male cats often leads to cat fights, which, in turn, leads to injuries, such as abscesses at the bite site. These abscesses are painful and often require surgery to heal. Avoid a neighborhood cat-astrophe and hospital bill headaches by instead taking the preventive measure to neuter your male cat.

By neutering your male cat, you will also reduce his urine odor and propensity for urine marking in and around your house, something that no homeowner or pet parent enjoys!

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