Why Is Spaying or Neutering Your Pet So Important?

Dog with cone on its head.

Being a good pet owner can be a lot of work. From selecting the best food to providing good physical and mental stimulation to keeping up with wellness care, there is a lot that goes into taking good care of your furry family member. As your partner in pet wellness, Ten West Bird and Animal Hospital is here to help you along the way. For Spay and Neuter Awareness Month, we would like to focus on the importance of spaying and neutering your pets.

All About Surgery

Not everyone has medical experience, and surgery can be a little intimidating if you don’t know what is involved. Understanding what spaying or neutering your pet really means can make things a little less scary. 

Spaying or neutering a pet is a surgical procedure that involves removing part or all of the animal’s reproductive organs. The end result is prevention of successful reproduction. 

In male dogs and cats, neutering involves removing both testicles. In dogs, this is usually done through a single external incision on the underside, typically between the base of the penis and the scrotal sac. In cats, the incision is typically made on the scrotum itself. If one or both testicles have failed to descend into the scrotum normally (cryptorchidism) an additional incision into the abdomen may be necessary to locate and remove the retained testicle(s).

In female pets, a spay surgery typically involves the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. To accomplish this, a surgical incision is made into the abdomen. The uterus and ovaries are then both removed being careful to ligate major associated blood vessels.  

Importance of Spaying and Neutering

The simple act of spaying or neutering your pet can make a big impact. Compelling reasons to provide this preventive care option include:

  • Avoiding unwanted litters of puppies or kittens that will add to the pet overpopulation problem
  • Decrease the chance of pets escaping to look for mates
  • Lower odds of inter-animal aggression
  • Lower incidence of urine marking or mounting behaviors
  • Elimination of the risk of uterine infection (pyometra), testicular cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, testicular torsion
  • Decreased risk of health problems such as mammary cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and perianal adenomas
  • Lower likelihood of pet becoming lost or injured
  • Lower cost of care overall due to decreased risk of all of the above

Please contact us to discuss whether this surgery is right for your pet. For most pets, it is a good decision, and a central part of good pet wellness care.