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Spaying & Neutering
Too Many Pets, Not Enough Homes
Your pet is a companion, a friend, and a member of your family. But not all pets are as cherished as yours. In animal shelters throughout the U.S., four to six million dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are euthanized each year. Although these figures seem staggering, it's easy to understand when you consider this: If one pair of cats produces eight kittens a year, and each of those kittens then produces an average of eight kittens per year, there are almost 300,000 cats in the "family tree" in six years. In seven years, the descendants of the original mother and father number almost 2.4 million! For every kitten or puppy that finds a home, four others are unwanted, unloved, and possibly neglected or abused. Be a part of the solution! Spaying & neutering your pet not only reduces the number of unwanted pets, it provides long-term health benefits to your cat or dog.
For this reason, for the health reasons and benefits described below,
WHAT IS SPAYING?
Spaying of female dogs and cats, called ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. Spaying your pet eliminates messy heat cycles and the accompanying unwanted bleeding, nervousness, and desire to mate.
Female dogs and cats are often mature enough to mate as early as 6 months of age.
Female dogs go through a "heat" cycle every six months, usually in the spring and fall. Each heat cycle, with the accompanying bleeding, usually lasts on average 2 weeks, but may last as long as 3-4 weeks. Often, female dogs will experience personality changes during heat cycles, such as becoming short-tempered or anxious.
Female cats enter their reproductive cycles continuously every 3-4 weeks during certain times of the year, primarily in spring and fall. They rarely show any signs of bleeding, but become nervous and exhibit unusual behaviors, such as rolling on the floor, hiding, or begging for constant attention. They often become quite vocal too, yeowling through their cycles.
Studies show that by spaying your female dog or cat BEFORE her first heat cycle, you greatly reduce her chances of developing mammary cancer later in life. (This benefit diminishes significantly as the pet ages, with NO decreased risk if spayed after two years old). Having your female pet spayed will also protect her from potentially deadly uterine infections, called pyometra, and difficult or dangerous pregnancies.
Spaying may reduce her metabolism, but a slight change in feeding or diet will keep your pet happy and healthy! Please consult our doctors or staff to determine if this may be necessary for your pet.
WHAT IS NEUTERING?
Neutering of male dogs and cats, called orchiectomy, is the process of surgically removing the testicles. When neutering is done early, it eliminates unwanted reproductive behavior.
After males reach sexual maturity, usually at or just after six months of age, male dogs and cats are able to breed any time they are exposed to a receptive female. Unneutered male dogs and cats will try to get out and wander in search of females in heat. This means TROUBLE!! Pets that wander are much more frequently exposed to diseases, fight with other dogs, and get hit by cars.
Male cats are well known to "mark" their territories by spraying strong, foul-smelling urine on furiture, walls, shrubs, etc. Male dogs are sometimes equally anxious to mark their territories. This tendency is greatly reduced when the pet is neutered. Neutering may also reduce aggressive behavior in dogs.
Male dogs and cats benefit from the neutering process in other ways as well. They are less likely to develop prostatic disease and are no longer at risk for testicular cancer and infections.
After neutering, your male dog or cat will continue to have his own unique personality. He will be less likely to roam and will enjoy staying at home with you.
**Remember** Not only can you, as a pet owner, help end the pet overpopulation problem by neutering your pet and therefore give other pets a chance at finding a loving home, but your pet (and you!) will receive many wonderful benefits as well!
We recommend that puppies and kittens be spayed or neutered at 4-6 months of age.
We always encourage you to call our staff if you have any additonal questions or would like to schedule an appointment.