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Friday, November 19, 2010

Spay And Neuter

To Spay, Or Not To Spay--That Is The Question

There are millions of wonderful cats and dogs euthanized each year in the U.S. because there aren't enough homes . . .

  • Overpopulation control
  • Longer and healthier life for your pet
  • Significantly reduced risk of mammary tumors and ovarian and/or uterine and testicular cancer
  • Elimination of heat cycles (elimination of pet's discomfort and owner's cleaning in cases of females)
  • Reduced/eliminated risk of spraying and marking (males)
  • Decreased aggression
  • Reduction of roaming tendencies that may lead to loss of pet and/or  injuries caused by dog fights
  • Eradication of sexually transmitted diseases (such as FIV)

Spay and Neuter Cons

  • The statistically minor risk of the routine medical procedure
  • Potential slight weight gain

When to Spay and Neuter

Most vets in the U.S. recommend spaying and neutering for cats and dogs alike before they reach sexual maturity, between 5 and 7 months. It is safer to opt for the 5 month deadline however because sometimes pets go into early sexual maturity, and there can be complications, such as: higher risk with the spay surgery for an animal in heat and potential pregnancy in your own home (say if you own a brother/sister) or worse, your pet runs off driven by the reproductive instinct.

Early Spay and Neuter

Early age altering refers to spays and neuters done between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks instead of the conventional 5-7 months. While the American Veterinary Medical Association has endorsed the concept of early age altering since 1993, the controversy surrounding this issue has not been resolved. While it has been practiced for over a quarter of a century in North America, the main purpose for early spay and neuter is that it is a more reliable means of preventing shelter pets from reproducing after adoption--it is used as an even more effective means for reproductive control. Based on studies, about 50% of pets adopted out of shelters, despite careful screening of adoptive homes, prepayment or reduced alteration contracts, and economic incentives, are not altered. I'm biting my lip here. As a responsible owner I have always kept my word and often gotten frustrated by a shelter's refusal to allow me to rescue an animal, but personal feelings aside, they are right.

Do your part to end pet overpopulation. Please spay and neuter.


Corbin said...

This is an awesome post! I couldn't agree more!

♥ Sallie said...

Super important! There are so many cute doggies that need a home!


Sagira said...

All our pups are fixed. :)

Anonymous said...

Very impawtant reminder. It always surprises me that not everybuddy does it.

Something you might talk about in a future post is how spay and neuter doesn't change a dog's pawsonality. There's some peoples who really believe that. And there are some peoples who think a female dog or kitteh will be nicer if they have "just one" litter of puppies. We don't believes that, of course. But some peoples do. Maybe a postie addressing the myths of spay and neuter?

Wiggles & Wags,

Anonymous said...

PeeS. We gots our prize!

Doris Sturm said...

Wonderful article! Thanks so much for letting people know about the spay/neuter benefits. I'm a big advocate of spay/neuter, because so many people "breed" thinking that pure pred dogs are precluded from euthanasia, but they end up lost, stolen, in the kennels just like mutts.

Bravo - and happy weekend, Twinkie and company!

Doris and Gizzy :-)

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

Oh, spaying and neutering is the way to go. I was spayed at age 6, just before I went to my forever home. I have maintained my girlish figure just fine and I can tell you it was quite a relief to have breeding over with. Franklin was a year and a half, also just before he moved in here. He has not put on any weight he didn't need. He was a little skinny when we got him.

lotsa licks, Lola

kks said...

thank you for mentioning this fact, that for most of us is just common sense!
the only pet i never altered was a golden retriever with a known serious heart condition, where anesthesia may have killed him...he was a very good boy, intact and never strayed..:) and he lived almost 7 years!

Two French Bulldogs said...

hhhmmmmmm, interesting
Benny & Lily

Martine said...

Candy was spayed rigth at 4 months and Caps at 10 months. It was a condition of our adoption... I felt Candy was too young and Caps... well 10 months! Wow I guess he could have procreated.... hmmmm are there little Caps puppies out there?

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

You're preaching to the choir, Twinks! Well reasoned and written, though.

Jed & Abby

Lorenza said...

To spay... to spay.... to spay...
Of course!
Much more pros than cons, right?
Kisses and hugs

D.K. Wall said...

Terrific post.

Funny how many times we are asked if we are planning on Siberian Husky puppies and we explain that all of The Herd is spayed or neutered. When they ask why, I explain that I have no where near enough knowledge about the breed to plan on breeding for puppies.

Because to do it responsibly, you need to know about health issues, test for those, look for non-standard or unhealthy features, etc. I totally respect good breeders who do all of those things, but I will leave that work to them.

Great post.

JacksDad said...

I can't imagine having a pet that wasn't fixed. I've seen too many puppies who need homes for that.

Lucy-Fur, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

When we were both 5 months old (at separate times, obviously) Mom took us to the vet and had us spayed. The only doggie we've ever had who wasn't neutered was my big brother Ben who was an award-winning show poodle (this was before Mom was around), and when Dad got him as part of a divorce settlement (really), he had to promise that he wouldn't neuter him. HOWEVER, Ben wasn't ever let out by himself, and was always on a leash, and never, ever, ever had the chance to be a puppy-making machine. Mom grew up watching Bob Barker, and has the spay/neuter thing firmly implanted in her brain!

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

Dexter said...

Well, Miss Twinkie, I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. My momma has done lots of research on just this topic and you know our doggie hormones protect us from diseases too. Plus for full sized doggies such as myself, we don't reach our full growth for a couple of years and the hormones help me to have strong bones and muscles whilst I grow.

Methinks that if population control were the main objective than a watchyercall vesectomy would work just as well, right? Similar for the ladies.

My Beautiful Raja had an inverted vulva that required surgery because it caused the UTI's. Her breeder lady said that if she had gone through one heated up cycle that likely would not have happened.

So I'm not saying the spay and neuter is a bad thing, just that each situation is different. PeeWee got his nards removed, but not until he was one year old and all grown up. And then he really only did it so that he would not smell funny and attract unwanted attentions since he is around lots of doggies due to his agilities and whatnot.

Me? Got my nards. Planning on keeping them. But no plans to make any puppies thank you very much.


Unknown said...

Very good post Twinkie! Charlie's big day is Dec 8! I waited a little longer (he will be almost 8mos) because he has always been a skinny puppy and i wanted him to have some 'conditioning' in case (doG forbid!) his recovery isn't smooth. Another point that my vet made was that male dogs with anxiety (such as Charlie) MAY (not always) calm a little after neutering, I guess less hormones = less to think/worry/obsess over!

Anonymous said...

Great points, and a great post. Spaying and neutering really is the best thing you can do for the next generation, until we have a world without strays, where every dog and cat is loved and wanted in a forever home. Thanks for spreading the word and hyping the cause!
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