Pet Health » Spay & Neuter

Spay & Neuter Article

September 12, 2014

Spay & Neuter

Each year over 10 million animals are euthanized at shelters because homes could not be found for them. Most of these animals are the off-spring of family pets with as many as 30% pure-bred animals. Spaying and neutering your pet helps control populations at healthy levels and has other benefits for you and your pet. Female pets that have been spayed do not go into heat, avoiding the nuisance and mess involved with estrus every six-to-nine months. Spaying and neutering also reduces the risk of certain health problems such as uterine infections and uterine, mammary, or testicular cancer. Animals, especially those with a submissive personality, are usually better pets if they are neutered. They may have less desire to roam, to mark territory (including furniture), to exert dominance over family members.

How old does my pet need to be in order to be spayed or neutered?
Dogs and cats can be spayed or neutered as early as the age of two months (or two pounds). This practice, called Early Age Neutering, has been endorsed by The American Veterinary Medical Association because animals recover more quickly from surgery when they are young. Typically animals are spayed between two and six months of age. It is important to spay animals before they go into heat to reduce the chance of mammary cancer.

How soon can a female get pregnant?
Cats and dogs as young as five months can get pregnant. For this reason and to reduce the risk of mammary cancer, it is important to spay your pet before six months.

How soon after my cat or dog has had a litter can I get her spayed?
A mother can be spayed as soon as the kittens or puppies are weaned, (5 to 6 weeks for kittens and 4 to 5 weeks for puppies). Mother cats or dogs can become pregnant while nursing, so it is important to keep a nursing mother away from other adults of the opposite sex.

Does an animal feel pain during surgery?
Animals are under anesthesia during surgery and feel no pain. Bayside uses a laser to reduce bleeding and post-surgical swelling and improve recovery time. Animals need to be kept quiet after surgery while they heal.

Does an animal’s behavior change after being spayed or neutered?
Typically an animal’s personality does not change except that male dogs and cats will be less likely to fight, roam and spayed females will no longer go into heat.