Spaying or neutering your pet is essential for your pet's health and helps prevent stray pets, reducing shelter populations and saving more lives
Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet?
Spayed/neutered cats and dogs live happier, healthier lives. There are additional benefits to spaying/neutering your pet at a young age (8 weeks of age or older). Younger animals heal more quickly and may have fewer complications. If you live in Los Angeles, you must spay and neuter your dog or cat if they are over four months of age – it is the law!
When to Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Spaying female dogs prior to their first heat cycle (heat cycles can start as young as 5-6 months of age) will reduce your dog’s chance of breast cancer by 22%. Spaying your dog will also prevent heat cycles from occurring. Heat cycles can occur every 6-8 months. This cycling can be very hard on your dog. Heat cycles can also lead to a life threatening condition called pyometra. Pyometra causes the uterus to fill with bacteria and pus. This is a life threatening emergency situation, but you can prevent it from occurring by spaying your pet. There are many misconceptions about dogs and having litters. Having a litter will not make your female dog a “better” pet. There are no behavioral differences that occur from spaying your dog before she has a litter and, as stated previously, your dog will enjoy a healthier life with a lower chance of cancer by spaying her before she goes into heat. Your dog will not gain weight due to her spay surgery. Obesity can be prevented by feeding your dog a healthy diet and providing an active lifestyle.
Neutering male dogs prior to six months of age can help prevent many undesirable behaviors such as marking, roaming, and inappropriate sexual behavior. Your dog will have an extremely strong desire to mate if left intact. 75% of the dogs that are hit by cars are intact male dogs who likely ran away from their family’s home in search of a mate. Sadly, intact male dogs make up over 80% of the dogs that die after getting hit by a car. There are also many negative health conditions and cancers that are prevented by neutering – including testicular cancer, prostate enlargement, and perianal fistulas. Dogs do not have emotional attachments to their reproductive organs. Your dog will live a happier, healthier life because of your decision to neuter him.
Continual heat cycles are very hard on female cats and may impact their health and well-being. Many cats will cycle in and out of heat (unless they get pregnant) for every one to three weeks, six to ten months out of the year. Cats’ behavior during their heat cycle is extremely undesirable to both you and your cat. They are very loud, agitated, and constantly rub or urine mark on furniture, people, walls, etc. In female cats, mammary cancer is detrimental and may be life-threatening. Ninety percent of breast cancers in cats are malignant – they spread quickly. The best way to prevent breast cancer is spaying before six months of age (90% reduction in risk for developing mammary cancer).
Neutering male cats prior to six months of age can help prevent many undesirable behaviors such as marking, roaming, and fighting. If cats are not neutered when they are young and before these behaviors begin, it may be difficult to modify them later in life. However, it is always recommended that you neuter your male cat even if they are older than six months of age, in order to prevent health risks such as cancer and FIV contracted from fighting with other intact males. Intact male cat urine is also extremely strong-smelling and putrid. Neutering a male cat will stop the strong urine smell from being present.
Will it affect my pet's personality?
When dogs and cats are spayed or neutered at a young age, it prevents many bad habits from forming – aggression, inappropriate sexual activity, roaming, and marking. Spayed/neutered pets tend to be more loyal and stay close to home without the constant desire to get out and find a mate.
Risks of Surgery & Anesthesia
At CAMP clinics, we take every necessary precaution to prevent anesthetic and surgical complications. Every animal receives a thorough examination to make sure they can safely undergo surgery. If we examine your pet and find abnormalities such as heart murmurs, we notify you immediately to discuss options such as continuing with the procedure using a special anesthesia. During anesthetic induction, surgical prepping, surgery, and recovery, your pet is constantly monitored by our team of experienced veterinary professionals. Remember, the risks of not spaying/neutering your cat or dog outweigh the risks of anesthesia and surgery. If you are aware of any health conditions or concerns, please inform us so our team can proceed using proper precautions.