What is spay and neuter?
Spaying of females is the removal of the uterus and ovaries. Neutering of males is the surgical removal of the testicles. Both procedures are performed using strict sterile technique while the pet is under general anesthesia. This is often referred to as “fixing” the pet, and indeed it does “fix” many problems that could develop. Read below to find the benefits of spaying and neutering your best friends.
Why spay or neuter my pet?
The decision to spay or neuter your pet is one of the most important decisions you will make for his or her long-term welfare. There are many reasons to spay and neuter your pets:
A sterilized pet is a healthier pet:
- Spayed and neutered pets tend to live longer. A recent large-scale study demonstrated that, on average, neutered male cats live 63% longer than those who are not neutered. Spayed female cats live an average of 39% longer than unspayed cats. This increase in life span was also seen in dogs, with neutered males living 18% longer and spayed females living 23% longer than their unaltered counterparts.
- Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the chances of your pet developing many serious forms of cancer.
- Pets that have been spayed and neutered are less likely to roam. They tend to stay closer to home and are less likely to get lost or hit by a car.
- While weight gain can happen after sterilization, with proper diet and exercise, your pet should maintain a healthy body condition. As pet’s age, their metabolism does tend to slow down, and adjusting their diets and exercise accordingly will help.
- Their basic personalities won’t be affected by the surgery. They will still be the same happy pet they were before.
A sterilized pet is an easier pet to live with:
- Spaying and neutering your pets can prevent many annoying behavior problems. Pets tend to be better behaved, calmer, and more affectionate.
- Male pets are less likely to urine mark (spraying) their territory and are less likely to wander in search of a mate.
- Spaying a female pet eliminates the heat cycles and the problems that go with them, including bleeding, inappropriate urination, constant crying or yowling, and general nervousness.
- Since altered pets are healthier, spaying or neutering your pet will save you money on vet bills in the long-term.
- Pets that have been spayed and neutered may tend to be less aggressive, reducing conflict with other animals.
Spaying and neutering your pets benefits the community:
- Fewer litters of puppies, kittens and rabbits means fewer animals entering our local animal shelters.
- Each year in the United States, the sheltering of unwanted animals costs tax payers and private humane organizations more than a billion dollars. Ultimately around 50% of these animals are euthanized.
Simply put, increased rates of spay and neuter is the single best solution to the problems created by companion animal over-population and homelessness.
For questions about IHA as a clinic, please visit our Common Questions page.