Discussing castration and the removal of a pet’s reproductive organs can be challenging. Of course, many pet owners fear placing their pet under anesthesia and worry about recovery and side effects.

The good news is there are excellent health benefits when you spay or neuter your pet. What’s more, reducing the impact of pet overpopulation is a bonus to our community.

The Truth

Many myths prevail about the downside of spaying or neutering. Some people don’t want their pets to gain weight or behave differently. Others agonize over removing a pet’s opportunity to reproduce and raise young. Similarly, pet owners have anxiety about the possible negative side effects related to this straightforward surgery. These are all common concerns, and we’re happy to answer your questions before scheduling any procedure.

The Nitty-Gritty

Spaying removes the two ovaries and uterus in a female, and neutering removes the testes in a male. It’s recommended to spay or neuter a pet between 4-6 months of age, but it can occur as early as 8 weeks old. Doing so prior to the first heat cycle has enormous long-term health benefits, such as reducing the odds of life-threatening pyometra (an infection of the uterus).

Advantages of Sterilization

Considering the numerous benefits to your pet, the worries of many pet owners eventually fade to the background. Another common reason people choose to spay or neuter their pet is to deter them from roaming. When animals jump the fence or burst out the front door, the chances of accidental loss, injury, or death skyrocket. However, without reproductive organs, there are fewer hormones triggering the need to roam and mate.

Unwanted Behaviors

As we mentioned before, pet owners worry their pet’s personality may change after a spay or neuter procedure. Following a recovery period, however, pets will begin acting like themselves again. Spaying or neutering also minimizes unwanted behaviors like humping, marking, and aggression.

Amazing Reality

Furthermore, when you spay or neuter your pet, you’re giving them a better shot at lifelong health and wellness. Removal of the ovaries and uterus in females reduces the likelihood of mammary, uterine, and ovarian cancers.

Likewise, for male pets, the odds of testicular and prostate cancers are greatly reduced. Prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate) can develop in 75-80% of unaltered dogs by the age of 6, but this is not a health concern for neutered dogs.

Spay or Neuter Your Pet for the Greater Good

When you spay or neuter your pet, you’re establishing and reinforcing best practices of responsible pet ownership. Preventing unwanted pregnancies is better for your wallet, of course, but it also contributes to the greater good. The population of pets in need is already so large; spaying or neutering can help guarantee every animal has a home.

At Bayshore Animal Hospital & Avian Practice, our team is dedicated to your pet’s health and happiness. Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet.