Spaying and neutering your animals: Responsible pet care – Part 7

Unless you plan to breed from your pet, it is best to have them neutered. Neutering is when you have the reproductive organs removed; spaying is when you have the womb taken away, and castration describes removing the testicles. There are many reasons behind the argument for having your pet neutered.

REPRODUCTION

It’s fairly obvious, but by having your pet neutered by either spaying or castration you take away the chance of them reproducing. Unwanted litters are the main reason rescue centres are so full. Thousands of healthy animals around the world are put to sleep every day simply because they are unwanted.

HEALTH

Neutering removes the risk of uterine, ovarian and testicular cancer, and limits the risk of mammary tumours growing, but cancer is not the only disease of the reproductive organs.

Pyometria is an infection of the womb that can cause the animal to go into toxic shock. If not caught early on it can be fatal. It can be seen in any entire female animal, but is more commonly seen in dogs and rabbits.

In male animals, castration severely reduces the risk of problems with the prostate later on in life.

In cats, abscesses are more frequently seen in entire animals caused by either mating when the male cat will bite into the female’s neck, or fighting between two males over a single female in heat.

BEHAVIOUR

By removing the reproductive organs, the related hormones are no longer produced. It has been proven that by having your pet neutered can change their behaviour caused by the levels of hormone.

Many animals become aggressive during the mating season and by having them neutered it can calm them down a lot. Male animals are less likely to mount’, once they have been castrated too, a trait that is usually more embarrassing than problematic.

Male animals are known for roaming when a female is in heat, but by having them castrated they become uninterested and have a lessened tendency to runaway. It also means that female animals do not come into heat so will not search for a mate.

It also reduces the chances of phantom pregnancies happening, which can be very distressing for the female animal.

Marking territory is reduced, as the male animals do not have the need to protect their females from other males.

There are a lot of arguements behind not having your pet neutered, but these are mainly unfounded.

*Increased weight – it is true that bitches tend to put on weight once they have been spayed, but by increasing the exercise and reducing the meals slightly this will be limited.

*Urinary incontinance / infections – occasionally neutering can cause a weakening in the urthera tract, but this is a very small risk and more common in male cats than any other animal.

Neutering is a responsible act, and all veterinarians will discuss the operation with new pet owners. It is not only beneficial to you but also to your pet.

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