There are many responsibilities associated with being a pet owner. One of these is when is the right time to get your pet spayed or neutered. This process involves the removal of the testicles in male animals, or the ovaries and usually the uterus in females. Both the procedures are very commonly performed, safe, and recommended by veterinarians across the United States.
Here’s what you need to know about why spaying/neutering is important and when you should schedule the procedure for your pet.
Many people think that preventing unwanted pregnancy is the main reason why animals should be spayed or neutered, but stopping litters of babies from being born is just the tip of the iceberg. There are actually a variety of health and behavioral benefits associated with spaying/neutering. These include:
Preventing pyometra in females, which is a life-threatening infection of the womb
Eliminating the risk of breast cancer, ovarian, and other female cancers
Stopping false pregnancies
Prevention of bleeding / Heat cycles
Your female pet won’t be harassed by males looking for a mate
Prevention of testicular cancer in male animals
Eliminating prostate disease in males
Less behavioral issues in males including roaming, aggression, and spraying
In addition to this, if you have a female spayed you can avoid the health risks associated with pregnancy, as well as the additional responsibilities of paying for and rehoming the babies when they arrive.
In the past, it was most often thought that spaying/neutering should be done as early as possible since some animals can reach sexual maturity after just a few months. However, the recommendations relating to spaying/neutering are now changing, with an increasing number of vets advocating for animals to be slightly older, particularly if they are a larger breed.
The main reason for this is because some studies have found that early neutering can put animals at increased risk of developing problems associated with their growth and their joints, making orthopedic issues such as degenerative joint disease and arthritis more likely. Research has also shown that the risk of some cancers is statistically reduced if animals wait a longer to have their reproductive capabilities removed.
For these reasons, most vets now recommend that small dogs are spayed/neutered no earlier than 6 months of age, while larger breeds should be spayed/neutered no earlier than 9 months up to the age of 18 months for maximum benefit. For owners of females, they will find that the larger their pet breed, the later it is likely to be before they mature enough to come into season. However, when this happens, you’ll need to make sure that you don’t leave your female unattended in yards or in a public place in case a male animal is roaming looking for a mate.
If you would like more information about when to spay or neuter your pet, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Port Isabel Animal Clinic in Port Isabel, Texas at (956) 943-6022 today.