What is Spay or Neuter Surgery for Pets?
Spaying and neutering surgery, also known as sterilization, is a surgical procedure that prevents pets from reproducing. This procedure is one of the most commonly performed surgeries on dogs and cats. Spaying involves the removal of a female pet's ovaries and uterus, while neutering involves the removal of a male pet's testicles.
Pet Spay and Neuter Benefits
There are many benefits to spaying and neutering your pet, both for the pet and for the community. One of the most important benefits is population control. Unwanted litters of puppies and kittens can end up in shelters, where they may stay until a permanent home is found. Some shelters have no choice but to euthanize pets that are not placed for adoption. Spaying and neutering help to reduce the number of unwanted pets and can save pets’ lives.
Spaying and neutering also have several health benefits for your pet. Female pets that are spayed before their first heat cycle have a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as mammary and ovarian cancer. Spaying also decreases the likelihood of uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in approximately 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Neutering male pets can also reduce their risk of developing testicular cancer and prostate issues.
In addition to the health benefits, spaying and neutering may also help improve your pet's behavior. While not a quick fix for all behavior problems, male pets that are neutered are less likely to roam and mark their territory, which can reduce the risk of them getting lost or injured. Female pets that are spayed will not go into heat, preventing pregnancy and reducing the risk of attracting male dogs. A neutering procedure may also make a male pet calmer and less aggressive. Female pets that are spayed are also less likely to display aggressive and other negative behaviors.
In conclusion, spaying and neutering is a surgical procedure that prevents pets from reproducing. The benefits of spaying and neutering your pet include population control, health benefits, improved behavior, and the potential for reduced veterinary costs. It is important to speak to your veterinarian about the benefits of spaying or neutering your pet and the best time to schedule the procedure. Depending on your location, BetterVet offers mobile spay and neuter services and partners with a network of trusted veterinary hospitals in your area where your pet can receive their surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between spaying and neutering?
Spaying surgery is for female cats and dogs and neutering surgery is for male cats and dogs.
When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?
The decision for when to spay or neuter your pet is dependent on factors such as age, breed, species, and size when fully grown. Our veterinary team can help schedule your pet’s procedure for a time that works best for you and is in the best interest of your pet.
Is spaying and neutering surgery painful?
Your dog or cat will be under anesthesia during the procedure and should not feel any pain. During recovery, your pet may feel uncomfortable but pain medication can be prescribed to manage any discomfort and they should not be in serious pain. Your pet should be feeling much better within a week, but if their recovery seems slow, you should get in touch with your veterinarian.
Can I walk my dog after their spay or neuter surgery?
Your dog’s recovery plan should be discussed with your veterinarian, as every dog is different. Generally, dogs should be able to resume gradual leash walks 10 days after their procedure.
Do neutering and spaying change cat behavior?
Neutering or spaying your cat should not change your cat’s personality, but you may notice positive changes in your male cat (less marking and aggressive behavior). For females, there are typically no changes at all.
Should I expect behavior changes after neutering or spaying my dog?
While both female and male dogs may demonstrate minor changes after neutering or spaying, male dogs usually experience greater changes than female dogs. For example, your male dog may stop behaviors such as humping, marking territory, and wandering.