Frequently Asked Questions:

Last Updated on December 18, 2009

Question: What effect does spaying/neutering have on my pet

Answer: In a world where there are already too many uncared for pets, the benefits of sterilizing your pet are great. Altering your pet DOES NOT affect its ability to hunt, track, retrieve, or perform any other routine tasks they are trained to do. Spaying/neutering your pet at an early age can help prevent many hormonally driven behaviors. It does allow for prevention of many health issues as well. In female animals, every heat cycle they have increases the likelihood of mammary cancer and pyometra, or puss-filled uterus. Both of these conditions can be fatal. The only possible cure for pyometra is spaying the animal, if she is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. In males, the possibility of testicular cancer is eliminated the earlier the testicles are removed; and, benign prostatic hyperplasia, a testosterone-driven abnormality, is significantly less common in altered males. In a male animal whose testicles are not both descended, neutering is vital. These animals are NOT candidates for breeding and retained testicles have a high likelihood of becoming cancerous. Neutering an adult male may or may not change certain behaviors such as marking, aggression, or “humping”; however, the testosterone levels are insignificant in the body after 30 days and the above health issues are reason enough to have him neutered. In addition, male cat urine has a very distinct odor, which will dissipate after he is neutered. Female animals going through a heat cycle can be very temperamental, very messy, and very needy, especially in cats. Another drawback to not spaying your female is the possibility of babies. Cats can have litters and get pregnant immediately, even while the kittens are still nursing. Dogs can have litters of 1 to 15 puppies and, depending on the dog, this can be life-threatening. If a small dog is bred by a larger animal, the puppies can grow to an excessive size and actually cause death to the mother trying to deliver them. Unaltered animals are also more likely to run out a door, run away, or escape in an effort to meet up with another unaltered animal.

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