Benefits

Many benefits result from spaying or neutering

Health Benefits Spaying your female dog or cat prevents mammary tumors, uterine and ovarian cancer. In females, the risk of breast cancer and urinary infections is drastically reduced. A female’s life is at risk every time she comes in heat or is pregnant. Spaying a dog before her first heat protects her almost totally from mammary tumors, which afflict most unsprayed females. She is also protected from pyometra, a life-threatening uterine infection, as well as mastitis (inflammation of the breast), ovarian cysts, miscarriage or complications in delivery.

Spaying or neutering removes the discomfort, distress and distraction of heat cycles, which are stressful for both sexes.

Reproductive cancers are common among older dogs that have been bred. Sterilization helps to increase an animal’s chance of a longer, healthier life.

Altered pets also have much lower risks of high-cost medical issues later in life, including perianal tumors.

Cats are less prone to breast tumors, but when they occur, they are nearly always malignant. Spaying prevents them.

Many older intact male dogs suffer from enlarged prostates, a painful condition. Neutered dogs and cats have no risk of testicular cancer.

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Behavioral Benefits

Spaying or neutering your pet also can reduce or eliminate certain behavioral problems. Spaying your female cat will prevent the vocalization and urine spraying associated with going into heat. Neutering also reduces the incidence of “marking,” spraying of foul-smelling urine by male cats. Male dogs and cats that are neutered earlier are much less likely to roam, mark their territory (and your belongings) with urine, and show aggression toward other animals.

Intact (unneutered) dogs or cats will go to great lengths to get to a female in heat—they will dig their way out of yards, break fences and leashes, run out back doors, and cross streets in heavy traffic if a female in heat is in the area. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! The chance of injury escalates the more they roam. Altered cats and dogs have a reduced urge to roam, thus decreasing the risk of contracting diseases or being injured.

Surveys indicate as many as 85% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered and that intact male cats living outside live an average of less than two years. In contrast, altered (spayed or neutered) cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families, since spaying and neutering stop the mating drive by removing the organs that produce sex hormones. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering. Spaying and neutering reduces mounting of furniture, cushions and people’s legs by frustrated dogs.

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Practical Benefits

During heat cycles, an unspayed female dog bleeds for about twenty straight days, twice a year. She bleeds on your carpet, your furniture, the interior of your car, and on the ground outside. A cat will be in heat 3-15 days, three times a year. Males will come from all over, trying to get to her.

The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your roaming pet escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray. You will not worry about a missing animal being stolen or injured, or have to pay fines when it is picked up by animal control.

If your dog or cat accidentally becomes pregnant, you will have to provide special medical care for her and the babies, and find good homes for half a dozen or more offspring. For six to eight weeks you will have to provide a safe, temperature-controlled nursery area and special food, not to mention cleaning up the messes caused by puppies or kittens who are not yet potty trained, or repairing the damage they can inflict by chewing or playing with household furnishings.

wWoody