The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering
By Tamara Kees
The staff at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital would like to educate you about the benefits of spaying and neutering our beloved pets, preferably at a young age! Spaying and neutering is a preventative care decision that will have lifelong benefits to the health and happiness of your pet. Modern advances in veterinary medicine have made spaying and neutering largely safe procedures with short anesthetic and recovery time, and little pain to manage. There are many reasons besides the prevention of pregnancy to spay and neuter your pet, and many have to do with quality of life and happiness for your pet and your whole family.
Here are the key benefits:
- Reduction or elimination of roaming to find a mate, resulting in reduced risk of contagious diseases and roaming-related injuries (like being struck by a car) for both dogs and cats
- Reduced chances of fierce cat fights in male cats, many of which can be fatal and transmit serious blood-borne diseases
- Drastic reduction of the risk of prostate enlargement and prostate cancer in males
- Elimination of the risk of testicular cancer in males
- Reduction or elimination of behavioral issues that are largely influenced by hormones, such as aggression and inappropriate urinary “marking”.
- Elimination of the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer in females
- Drastic reduction of the risk of malignant mammary tumors in females
- Elimination of the risk of the costly and often fatal Pyometra, or bacterial uterine infection in females
- Prevention of pregnancy-induced eclampsia (a calcium deficit that causes seizures and death) and other sometimes fatal, costly complications of labor and delivery in pregnant females
Now that you know all of the benefits of spaying and neutering, we should also discuss the practical economic benefits of these preventative procedures. Spaying and neutering usually costs below $300, and sometimes much less, unless a disorder or pregnancy is a factor. Conversely, a pet that is diagnosed with cancer or pyometra is very expensive to treat—cost of surgery and hospitalization alone frequently surpasses $2000 and is not guaranteed to save the patient. Prognosis is usually poor by the time most cancers and uterine infections are diagnosed, because our pets cannot tell us when they feel sick, and we don’t always notice symptoms in time. Cats especially are prey animals with a biological urge to hide injury and illness to avoid attracting the attention of predators. It’s also never too late to spay or neuter, and most healthy older pets do just fine. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!