Saturday, May 3, 2014

What Are You Preventing by Neutering Your Pet?

Why should you spay or neuter your pet? According to a 1995 survey by the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly 80 percent of the cats and dogs in the United States and Canada are spayed or neutered.

Neutered males of all species are less likely to roam, less likely to fight, and less likely to spray urine everywhere to mark their territory. When male cats and dogs roam they are exposed to many dangers including but not limited to cars, infectious diseases, and fights with other animals. These hazards will most likely lead to an expensive trip to the veterinarian.

The word neuter refers to the removal of the reproductive organs of either a male or a female of a species, the commonly used term for the removal of female reproductive organs is spay. The scientific terminology for neutering in the male is castration and in the female is ovariohysterectomy.

The majority of the Veterinarian community believes it is best to neuter either a male or female pet just before or shortly after sexual maturity. For rabbits and other pocket pets, this time could range from four to six months in the small to medium sized breeds and up to nine months in the giant breeds. For cats and dogs, it is important to wait until all of the adult teeth are in. In order to avoid common behavioral issues, it is best not to wait past a year of age to neuter males. Once a hormone-triggered behavior has continued long enough, you can be dealing with a firmly entrenched habit that will not fade even after neutering. Frequently, neutering helps with behavior problems, even if done much later, so don't give up on it just because you've missed the optimum time.

Un-Neutered pet’s prostate gland will gradually enlarge over the course of the dog’s life due to the influence of excess testosterone in the body. With age, the prostate is likely to become uncomfortable, possibly being large enough to interfere with defecation. The prostate under the influence of testosterone is also predisposed to infection, which is almost impossible to clear up without neutering. Neutering causes the prostate to shrink into insignificance, thus preventing both prostatitis as well as the uncomfortable benign hyperplasia (enlargement) that occurs with aging.

Read more about the specif benefits of spaying your female companion animals at our veterinary practice's website by clicking here.

Spaying and neutering is a very important subject for this quarter’s prevention topic. A Pediatric care exam is the first step to prevention. Our Doctors and Technicians vet at West Ridge would love to talk to you about your pets spay or neuter options. Let’s help decrease the overpopulation so that they are safe and healthy! 

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