Why Is Spaying and Neutering Important?
Spaying is a procedure done to female animals. Spaying renders female animals sterile through a type of surgery called an ovariohysterectomy where both the uterus and ovaries are removed. Neutering is a procedure done to male animals, rendering them sterile by means of castration. Spaying and neutering helps to control the animal population and reduce the number of homeless animals.
Spaying and neutering also increases the lifespan of animals.
Studies have shown that male dogs that have been neutered will live 18% longer than those that haven’t been neutered. Spayed female dogs live 23% longer than non-spayed female dogs. A female dog that is spayed before her first heat cycle will not get mammary cancer later in life or a pyometra (a uterine infection) that can happen at any age in an intact female. Neutering male dogs can help avoid both testicular and prostate cancers.
Many animals who have not been spayed or neutered may display unpleasant behaviours. Males may mark their territory, stalk females in heat, or become aggressive. Non-spayed females may become restless or make crying noises when in heat. Both sexes are more prone to wandering if left intact. Spaying and neutering animals can reduce or eliminate these behaviours.
The age at which a pet becomes spayed or neutered depends largely on the recommendations of the veterinarian and whether or not the animal is adopted from a shelter. Many shelters are now doing pediatric spaying and neutering. At our clinic we recommend booking your pet in for the procedure at approximately 6 months of age. If you would like to know if your pet is an appropriate age to be spayed or neutered, please call us or speak with the vet at your next visit.
Spaying and neutering will not affect your animal’s personality, although it may eliminate some unpleasant sexualized behaviours. In general, animals that experience this routine procedure take little time to heal (generally 10-14 days), and when they have, are very much the same. In very rare cases, animals can develop side effects such as weight gain, urinary tract infections and incontinence in females.
For information about spaying or neutering your pet, contact Silver Heights Veterinary Hospital at 204-504-5600. We book routine surgeries during the week, and will be happy to answer all your questions and alleviate any concerns you may have.