Spaying and neutering your animals: Responsible pet care – Part 8

If you had the chance to prolong your pets life while also improving or preventing bad behaviors you would do it, right? Spaying or neutering your pets is the best thing you can do for them. This is a routine procedure with minimal chances for complications and provides so many benefits.

Dogs and cats are hugely overpopulated right now. Millions are euthanized daily in shelters because there are not enough homes for all of them. People continue to purposly breed “designer” dogs, breed for money and produce unwanted puppies and kittens by not fixing their pets. When a female dog or cat is spayed they have their uteruses and ovaries removed so they cannot get pregnant and cannot go into heat anymore. This eliminates the possibility of your female getting uterine cancer, pyometra (pus filled uterus), and greatly reduces the chance of mammary tumors especially if done before the first heat. Female cats may even yowl and stay in heat constantly if not spayed. When a male dog or cat is neutered they have their testicles removed.It is a very simple procedure and makes it impossible for them to impregnant a female. It also eliminates the chance of getting testicular cancer and greatly reduces the chance of prostate cancer. Dogs and cats who are fixed also are less likely to roam, get into fights, be aggressive, and are just generally better behaved.

Dogs and cats should be fixed before or at 6 months of age. Males fixed at this age or earlier will generally never develop the marking and humping behaviors. Females that don’t get a chance to go into heat are very unlikely to ever develop mammary tumors.

It is not just dogs and cats that need to have this procedure done, but rabbits, ferrets, and male horses. In rabbits, females are very prone to uterine cancer and mammary tumors. I know this all to well having lost a sweet female rabbit to uterine cancer. If a female is spayed she will not be able to get uterine cancer and has a lot less chance of mammary tumors. Males will generally be better behaved if neutered. Rabbits are also quickly being overpopulated as people don’t seem to be able to always tell male from female and end up breeding. A vet will be able to determine the sex of your rabbit and fix him/her. It is best to find a vet that has worked on rabbits before, however.

Ferrets are generally fixed before going to a pet store and should always be fixed, unless used for breeding. A male will be better behaved and it reduces or eliminates the chance of many health problems . Females will continously be in heat and develop a number of problems if not spayed. Unspayed females have a very high risk of adrenal gland problems and cancers among many other things.

If you have a male horse that will never be used for breeding, he should be gelded (castrated/neutered) as he will be much better behaved. You will want to get this done as soon as you can to avoid bad behaviors especially towards women. Mares generally are not spayed as this would be a very difficult procedure and generally is not necessary.

So as you can see, it is in your pet’s best interest to have him or her fixed. Not only because there is overpopulation, but your pet will be healthier and very likely live much longer.

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