Deciding whether or not to spay or neuter a pet is an important decision for pet owners to make.

In the United States, an estimated 8 million pets enter animal shelters every single year. Once they get there, about half of these animals are adopted. Sadly, the other half are euthanized. These are all animals that could have made great companions. Spaying or neutering pets reduces the number of unwanted animals in animal shelters, and this is why Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital recommends spaying or neutering your pets.

Spaying

Spaying is a common surgical procedure performed on female cats and dogs. The procedure, called an ovariohysterectomy, involves removing the patient’s uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes so the pet can no longer reproduce. The best time to spay a pet depends on the breed, but Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital’s veterinarians typically recommend spaying pets when they are around six months of age. Ideally, pets are spayed before their first heat.

Benefits of spaying

Spaying pets provides many notable health benefits:

  • Prevents unwanted pregnancies
  • Eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine tumors
  • Removes the possibility of uterine infections
  • Reduces the chances of breast cancer

What to expect after surgery

Spaying is a major surgery requiring a lengthy recovery that may include medication. Lethargy is common for the first couple days following the procedure.

Neutering

Neutering is a common surgical procedure performed on male cats and dogs. The procedure involves removing the testicles so the pet is unable to impregnate other animals. The best time to neuter a pet depends on the breed, but Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital’s veterinarians typically recommend neutering pets when they are around six months of age.

Benefits of neutering

Neutering provides many notable health benefits:

  • Prevents unwanted reproduction
  • Placates the animal, reducing aggressive behavior and decreasing dominant tendencies
  • Reduces roaming and spraying (territory-marking)
  • Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer

What to expect after surgery

Although neutering is less invasive than spaying, it is still a major medical procedure that requires some recovery time. After the procedure, your pet will be sleepy from anesthesia, and this lethargy may last a few days. Your Dana Niguel veterinarian will provide medication to ease postoperative pain.

To learn more about spaying and neutering, or to schedule an appointment, contact Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital.