The sterilization of a female dog (spay) consists of the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus (ovariohysterectomy). For the male, neutering consists of the surgical removal of the testicles (castration).
Why does the veterinarian recommend to have my animal sterilized?
- By sterilizing your animal, many unwanted behavior like the need to defend its territory are diminished. Consequently, it reduces aggressivity and the risks related to fighting.
- Sterilized animals have a reduced sexual compulsion and are thus less likely to run away, get hit by cars and contract contagious diseases/ STDs while trying to find sexual partners.
- Since the sterilized animal is not actively reproducing, it will feel less important to mark its territory with its urine. Urine smell can by quite odorous, especially intact male cats.
- There will be no heat periods for female dogs and cats. Therefore there will not be any bleeding or vocalization that can be disrupting at night! Bloody discharge can last 2 to 3 weeks for the fertile female dog and happens about every 6 months. For the female cat, a heat lasts about 10 days and will happen every 2-3 weeks until the female becomes pregnant during the heat season (about 2 months long)
- By having your animal spayed or neutered, you will help to limit the number of orphaned cats and dogs that are abandoned outside or left at animal shelters that are often already overly full. It is not rare for a female cat to have a litter of 6 to 7 kittens and for female dog to have a litter of 4 to 12 puppies!
- A spayed or neutered animal that receives an adequate diet and exercise will stay slim and playful. Sterilization does not necessarily cause obesity.
Furthermore, studies have shown that an unspayed female has an increased risk of having mammary tumors (breast cancer) and uterine infections later in her life. Getting your female dog or cat spayed before their first heat will help prevent these diseases.
Male dogs that are unneutered can develop prostatic hyperplasia or infection. Please note that it is a common myth that spayed and neutered animals are less intelligent!
At what age should I get my animal spayed or neutered?
Sterilization can be done at any age but is more beneficial if done before the first heat for females.
If you are uncertain, are hesitating or have any questions on getting your animal sterilized or on the anesthesia, please contact your veterinarian. He/she will be happy to address your concerns.