We recommend spaying your animal at 6 months of age or before her
first heat, which will result in her having a near zero chance of developing mammary
cancer. After the first heat, this incidence climbs to 7% and after the second heat the
risk is 25% (one in four). It is easy to see that an early spay can completely prevent
what is frequently a very difficult and potentially fatal form of cancer. But is it too
late if a dog is already past her second heat? No, in fact spaying is important even in
female dogs that already have obvious tumors. This is because many mammary tumors are
stimulated by estrogens; removing the ovaries, the source of estrogens, will help retard
tumor spread. Spaying removes both the uterus and both ovaries and is crucial in the
prevention as well as the treatment of mammary cancer. (www.veterinarypartner.com)
Myths about Spaying
Spaying Makes a Dog or Cat Fat and Lazy: Many pets do become less active after
being spayed and may gain weight if allowed. However, this is easily overcome by
controlling the pet’s diet and providing adequate interaction and exercise for the dog or
Dogs and Cats Should have One Litter Before being Spayed: There is no
health benefit to allowing a dog or cat to give birth before being spayed. To the
contrary, dogs and cats which are spayed at a young age and before the first heat cycle
have significantly lower risks of developing mammary cancers as they get older. Another
consideration in allowing a female dog or cat to give birth before spaying is the
disposition of all the puppies or kittens. Even if the pet owner is successful in finding
homes for all of the puppies or kittens produced in the litter, numerous dogs and cats, as
well as puppies and kittens, are euthanized yearly at animal shelters due to a lack of
available homes. Adding to the pet overpopulation problem by purposely breeding a dog or
cat is irresponsible and insensitive.
Dogs and Cats Should be Allowed to Come Into Heat Before being Spayed: Spaying a dog or cat after the first heat cycle actually
increases the risk of mammary cancers developing later in life. Spaying prior to the first
heat cycle is the most current recommendation.
Watching a Pet Give Birth is a Healthy Experience for a Child: Many people feel that their children will benefit from
watching the miracle of an animal giving birth. What these people fail to take into
account is that whelping or queening carries some degree of risk for the female dog or
cat. While a young child might benefit from watching a successful birthing which takes
place without complication, that same child might be incredibly traumatized by watching a
puppy or kitten be born deformed or dead. Worse yet, should complication ns arise that
take the life of the female pet, the child would then lose a cherished companion.
A Female Pet will Become Aggressive After being Spayed: Female dogs and cats do not
become aggressive because they have been spayed. Changes in temperament and disposition
are rarely due to being spayed and when there are changes in temperament as a result of
being spayed, these changes are much more likely to be positive changes.
Spaying a female dog or cat at an early age is not only beneficial for the pet; it is also the
responsible thing to do as a pet owner.
Unfortunately there are far more animals than there are homes for them,
and every pet owner has the potential to help decrease this problem by simply having your
pet neutered. We recommend doing this at 4-6 months of age. That is the age that most dogs
are starting to mature or go into puberty. A good way to remember this timeframe of that
is, in most cases a puppy is getting there last set of booster vaccinations at this age.
While having your dog neutered at any point in his life will help reduce the incidence of
certain cancers, such as prostate cancer, doing so at an early age provides the maximum
benefit. The treatments for prostate cancer are expensive and can be painful for your pet.
Even with the best treatment, this disease often proves fatal. In addition to reduce risk
of cancer, having your puppy neutered also lowers his risk of other prostate issues such
as infections and swollen glands. Overall, most vets agree that dogs that have been
neutered tend to live longer and are healthier. There is another benefit to having your
dog neutered when he is a puppy. Jus t as young children bounce back more quickly after
surgery than adults, so do young dogs have an easier time with recovery than do older
dogs. In addition to the health benefits, there are other reasons that you should have
your dog neutered. Dogs that are neutered also tend to be less aggressive. There is a
lower chance that your neutered dog will fight with other dogs or try to bite people.
Having a less aggressive dog is exceptionally important if your pet spends time with other
dogs or small children.
Neutered dogs are also less likely to roam the neighborhood looking for a mate. Keeping
your animal close to home is safer for them, and there is far less chance than he will be
lost or stolen.
Myths about Neutering a Puppy
My Dog is a Purebred: Even pet owners with no intention to breed think that they
should not neuter their dog if it is a purebred. First, many of the unwanted dogs
euthanized each year are purebreds. Also, the health benefits that go along with having
your dog fixed are just as important to a purebred dog as they are to a mixed breed. ·
It Will Change His Personality: If there are any changes to the way your dog behaves,
it will ne that he is less aggressive than he was prior to surgery. Most pet owners notice
no difference whatsoever in the personality of their pet after surgery.
He Will Gain Weight: Having a dog neutered does not cause weight gain, but the overall activity
level of the dog may decline after surgery. This can be dealt with by taking your pet on
an extra walk, or giving him extra play time in the yard.
My Dog Will No Longer be Protective: The protective instinct of a dog is not related to whether or not the dog
is altered. He will still be just as loyal to you and to his duties as protector as he was
prior to surgery.
The Surgery is Dangerous: While no surgery is entirely without
risks, having your dog neutered is one of the most common procedures that vets perform.
During surgery, the vet will closely monitor your dog, much the way a surgeon would if you
were having an operation. Just keep in mind that the benefits of having your dog neutered
far outweigh any potential risks.