Should you spay or castrate your pet?
For the general pet population, spaying or castrating is highly recommended.
Not only is neutering very effective at reducing the numbers of unwanted pets that are being put to sleep in overcrowded animal rescue centres, but it can also be beneficial for the health and wellbeing of your pet.
Uncovering some myths about spaying and castrating
- Will spaying or castrating my pet alter their personality?
No, any slight changes in their personality will be positive. There are many myths about canine reproductive needs.
At the top of these myths is the suspicion that neutering turns a male into a sissy and spaying causes a female to lament her lost capacity. The truth is that male pets are usually better pets if they are neutered.
They have less desire to roam, to mark their territory, or to exert dominance over family members. An intact male does not retrieve, hunt, or perform better in any way, except in being able to reproduce. Castrating will reduce the desire to breed, and that has a calming effect.
As far as we know, pets do not lament their lost capability to reproduce. Regardless of the age when your pet is spayed or castrated, they will remain an equally caring, loving companion.
- I have heard that pets become fat and lazy after they are spayed or castrated. Is this true? Spaying and castration does change the metabolism of your pet, so in most cases, they will not need as much food to maintain their weight.
However, your pet will not gain weight if you provide them with adequate exercise and watch their food intake.
- Isn’t it better for my female to have at least one litter before she is spayed? Some people believe that it helps their female pet in some way to develop more completely or become a better pet. However, neither is true. Becoming pregnant and having a litter can be stressful on the female both physically and mentally.
In addition, not all pregnancies go smoothly, a difficult labour can lead to death of the young and sometimes the necessity for a Caesarean section. Other potential health problems in the mother include uterine infections and mammary gland cancer. The sooner you spay your female, the better her health will be in the long run. Please ask Bicester Vets staff for advice.
- At what age should I spay or castrate my pet? It is pretty much agreed upon by veterinarians that the best time to spay is before the first heat period. If spayed prior to the first heat, the odds of developing mammary cancer later in life are dramatically reduced.
Because early spaying/castrating is optimal, dogs usually have the surgery between 6 of age. Cats are routinely done at 6 months of age but can be done earlier if required.
- Should I be concerned about my pet undergoing anaesthesia?
Placing a pet under anaesthesia is a very common concern many pet owners have. Although there is always a slight risk involved, the anaesthetics used by us are very safe. We also use equipment that monitors the heart and respiratory rates.
The medical benefits today of having your pet spayed or castrated far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anaesthesia. Please feel free to talk to us if you have any concerns.