Spaying & Neutering
Pet owners have many different responsibilities. One of those that you should take most seriously is arranging to have your pet spayed/neutered as soon as possible after you first bring him home. This is something that is often overlooked until much later in an animal’s life, but studies have shown that the earlier the procedure is carried out, the greater the positive impact it will have on your pet’s health and wellbeing. Spaying tends to be the term used to describe the process of removing reproductive capability in female pets, while neutering is a term used to describe the process in males or in a gender-neutral way.
We are pleased to be able to offer spaying and neutering services here at our veterinary center in Waldwick, NJ. In the meantime, here is what you need to know about the importance of spaying and neutering, and what is involved.
Why is spaying & neutering so important?
Did you know that there are millions of animals in the United States that are currently living in shelters or foster homes? There is a huge overpopulation crisis that is being further fuelled by the desirability of ‘designer’ pets – animals that have been bred to have specific characteristics. Unfortunately, this means that countless existing pets do not have the loving homes and families that they deserve. ‘Adopt don’t shop’ has become a popular phrase amongst pet owners, but you can further help to reduce overpopulation by ensuring that you remove your pet’s ability to reproduce.
There are also some significant health benefits to getting your pet neutered, particularly if you have a female and you get the procedure done before her first heat. Some of the key health-related advantages include:
Reduced risk of developing painful urine infections
No risk of cancers of the reproductive organs (ovarian cancer or testicular cancer)
Reduced risk of breast cancer, which is fatal in around 50% of dogs and 90% of cats
No messy bleeding when your pet comes into season
Improved behavior. Males who are unneutered can become territorial and aggressive, whilst females that are un-spayed can release pheromones that cause them to receive unwanted attention from males.
How old does my pet need to be spayed/neutered?
So long as he is healthy, your pet can be neutered from around eight weeks old, or as soon as he reaches approximately 2lbs in weight. As we know, spaying females before their first heat gives them the greatest health benefits.
What does neutering involve?
Neutering a male involves surgical removal of the testicles. Since they are located on the outside of his body, the procedure is fairly simple and low risk. However, it is still carried out under general anesthetic so that your pet remains still and is not in any pain. If your pet has an undescended testicle, it may be necessary for him to have a more invasive procedure. If this is the case, we will explain this surgery to you in greater detail.
What does spaying involve?
Spaying a female involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries so that your pet cannot become pregnant. Since these are located internally, the surgery is a little more complex with an incision into the abdomen being required to access them. This larger incision tends to mean females take longer to recover. Our veterinary team will keep a close eye on the incision to make sure that it heals properly and there is minimal risk of infection.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss spaying/neutering for your pet, please get in touch with our friendly and experienced veterinary team today.