Deciding whether to spay or neuter your pet is an important choice which must be considered carefully. These are major operations and requires general anesthesia.  However, with pre-anesthetic bloodwork, modern anesthetics, and surgical monitoring, the risk of complications are low.

These surgical procedures remove the reproductive organs (ovaries and uterus in females, testicals in males).  For females, the procedure is called an ovariohysterectomy or spay.  For males, the procedure is called a castration or neuter.  For routine spaying/neutering, the best age for dogs and cats is before puberty (between 4-6 months).  Recovery is usually 5-7 days, with normal exercise and routine resumed approximately 1 week after surgery.

 Advantages of Spaying:

  • Prevention of “heat cycle” or estrus

  • Reduces risk of roaming behaviors

  • Eliminates possibility of false pregnancy following “heat cycle”

  • Prevention of pyometra (uterine infection)

  • Prevention of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers

  • Prevents unwanted litters

  • Eliminates strange male dogs in your yard while “in heat”.

Spaying Can Be Performed for Medical Reasons:

  • Treatment of intractable false pregnancies

  • Ovarian cysts

  • Correct certain behavior problems

  • Treatment of pyometra (uterine infection)

  • Dystocia (difficult birthing) or post caesarean-section surgery

 Advantages of Neutering:

  • Reduces risk of prostate cancer or prostatitis

  • Reduces the risk of hormone-related diseases such as perianal adenoma

  • Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer

  • Removal of sexual urges

  • Reduces the risk of roaming behaviors and fighting with other dogs

  • Reduction of certain types of aggression

  • Reduces or eliminates marking from other males

  • Eliminates unwanted litters

  • Eliminates the spread of sexually transmitted diseases

 Other Facts of Spaying/Neutering:

  • Does not cause a change in personality

  • Does not change the dog’s guarding instincts

  • Does not affect the dog’s intelligence

  • Does not change their playfulness

  • Does not change the affection that your dog will give

Once your pet has been spayed/neutered, you may have to regulate your dog’s diet and caloric intake to prevent obesity. Contact your veterinarian if you believe that your dog is gaining weight and he/she can work up a dietary plan.

Besides the many behavioral and medical reasons for spaying/neutering, population control in pet animals is very important and well understood by most people.  By spaying/neutering your pet, you will contribute to your community by not adding any unwanted litters.