The benefits of Spaying and Neutering your pets

You may have read the news announcing World Spay Day that is celebrated the last Tuesday of every February. It’s a campaign supported by the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association to help raise awareness about the plight of pet overpopulation and to save more pet lives. But did you know while doing your part for this cause, you are also creating some positive health benefits for your pet?

Expect better behavior

After a pet is spayed or neutered, many of the unwanted behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct are reduced or eliminated.

For female pets, spaying eliminates the heat cycles. Neutering male dogs and cats reduces the breeding instinct and can have a calming effect on their personalities.


Expect better overall health

The reproductive hormones that cause mating behaviors also affect your pet’s overall health. Cats and dogs left intact can suffer later in life from uterine infections and breast cancer.

Neutering your male pet can actually lessen the risk of him developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland) and testicular cancer.

The procedure will have no effect on your pet’s intelligence or ability to learn, play, work or hunt.


When to spay or neuter

Talk with your veterinarian about the most appropriate time to spay or neuter your pet based upon his/her breed, age and physical condition. Keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, it may not be best to wait until your female dog or cat has gone through his/her first heat cycle.

Are there risks involved?

While both spaying and neutering are major surgical procedures, they are also the most common surgeries performed by veterinarians on cats and dogs.

At Belle Mead Animal Hospital, we give your pet a thorough physical examination to ensure that he/she is in good health before undergoing surgery. General anesthesia is administered and medications are given to minimize pain. The overall incidence of complications is very low.

You will be given instructions about care at home following the surgery and asked to keep your pet calm and quiet for a few days as the incision begins to heal.

Should you consider a Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic?

For many budget-conscious folks, the idea of using a low cost spay/neuter clinic sounds enticing. It’s important to note, however, there are reasons why a clinic is low-cost. It may be fine for some pets, but not work out so well for other pets.

The factors that set apart a veterinary hospital from a low cost spay/neuter clinic has been beautifully outlined in a Blog by Carolyn Karrh, DVM simply titled “The Difference.”  In addition to managing her own non-profit organization for pets of the homeless community, Dr. Karrh works in a low-cost spay/neuter clinic run by her local shelter, and in a high-end, AAHA accredited, full-service veterinary hospital.

We invite you to read further in our effort to provide education so pet parents can make the right decision with their pet’s best interest at heart.

The Difference, by Carolyn Karrh, DVM

There is a common misconception that full-service veterinary hospitals are money-hungry, that they price-gouge and charge too much for the services they provide, including surgery. I’m sure this is true for some places, however, for the most part, this is not the case. What I have come to realize is that people simply do not understand the differences and reasons full-service hospitals charge what they do, versus what low-cost clinics provide, when offering the “same” service or surgery.

For one, low-cost clinics are not the best option for higher-risk pets: large and giant breed dogs, senior pets, brachycephalic breeds (flat, short nosed or smushed faces like Bulldogs and Bostons), obese, in-heat, pregnant and aggressive dogs and cats, those with a history of medical issues, etc.

Continue reading The Difference, by Carolyn Karrh, DVM here and learn more.

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