Reasons for Spaying Pets
Females who are spayed have a decreased risk of mammary cancer. If spayed before the first heat (usually around 5-6 months of age), the risk is nearly 0%! On the other hand, 25% of dogs spayed after the second heat cycle will get mammary cancer at some point in their lives. Did you know that 90% of cat mammary tumors are cancerous, and 50% of dog mammary tumors are cancerous? There aren’t too many things in life you can prevent so easily!
For females, another life threatening illness that you can easily prevent by spaying is pyometra. Pyometra is a bacterial infection in the uterus, typically occurring shortly after a heat cycle. Treatment is spaying, but this is not your typical spay…this involves IV fluids, antibiotics, bloodwork, and hospitalization. Major money, and still there’s risk of death due to massive infection or kidney failure.
Reasons for Neutering Pets
For male dogs, the main reason to neuter is to prevent prostate problems. The prostate enlarges in unneutered males, and this predisposes dogs to infection, abscess formation, and cysts. Once infection is present in the prostate, it is difficult to eliminate without neutering in addition to long term antibiotic treatment.
Male cats have a particularly strong urine odor if not neutered. Many of these cats will end up outdoors due to this offensive odor. Unneutered male cats tend to fight to defend females and territory, and abscesses are very common results of cat fights.
Behaviorally, both male and female pets benefit from spaying and neutering by reducing hormone related aggression and mate-seeking activity.
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