10 Reasons to Spay Your Pet
Should you have your dog or cat spayed? Are you not sure what the best decision for you and you pet is? Deciding to spay a pet can be a tough decision. The fact that their are alot of myths about spaying pets can make that decision even tougher. There are many medical reasons to spay pets. Let’s go over just 10 of them.
1. Breast Tumors
Did you know that over 25% of non-spayed female dogs will develop breast or mammary tumors. Spaying your pet can protect them from these types of tumors depending on the timing. The risk of a dog having mammary tumors is 0.05% if a female is spayed before the first heat. It shoots up to 8% after their first heat cycle, and 26% after their second heat. If a dog is spayed after 2 years of age, there is no more protection. However, it will protect them against other conditions, including pyometra. This is the reason why most vets typically recommend spaying before the first heat cycle. In dogs, approximately 50% of mammary tumors are benign and 50% are cancerous. In cats 90% of mammary tumors are cancerous, so spaying is even more important.
Pyometra is a serious condition where the uterus fills with puss. Pyometra is very common in non-spayed dogs, and unusual in cats. Pyometra can affect many organs, which cam make a pet very sick or even kill them. A mature pyometra can rupture or break, which leads to having puss all over the belly. Such patients can still be helped with intensive care.
3. Unplanned Pregnancy
Allowing a non-spayed cat or dog roam is similar to gambling. It is only a matter of time before a non-spayed female may come in contact with a non-neutered male. When this happens, not only will you have to deal with the pregnancy, in two months you will have to make sure that the delivery goes well. Then you will have 1, 2, 3….or 10 babies to take care of or find new homes for. Even worse, if mom is unable to nurse you will need to get up every two hours to bottle-feed babies!! When you multiply this by ten or one hundred thousand you will begin to understand the problem of pet over population. This leads to million of abandoned or euthanized pets.
Sometimes, natural delivery isn’t possible for anatomical reasons. Bulldogs, Chihuahuas and Yorkies are just some of the breeds with an increased risk of needing a c-section. A c-section can be a wonderful even at a vet clinic when everything goes well, but it can be incredibly stressful for a pet owner.
5. Heat cycles
As a general rule, most females have their first heat cycle around 6 months of age, which is why we recommend spaying around that age. A heat cycle can be quite stressful for everybody involved. Heat cycles can cause doggie mood swings, swollen nipples, and attraction of males, a swollen vulva and bloody discharge.
6. Ovarian Disease
Disease of the ovary, such as tumors are rare, but spaying your pet is a great way to eliminate the risk.
7. Tumors of the uterus
Tumors of the uterus are also not very common, but again spaying your pet will eliminate the risk.
8. False pregnancy
False pregnancy is a strange and stressful condition where a pet is convinced that she is pregnant when she is not!! Females will show nesting behavior, their bellies will get bigger and they will begin producing milk. Spaying will eliminate the possibility of this condition.
Eclampsia is a life threatening complication of pregnancies. A pregnant female can have calcium levels that are dangerously low. This condition can lead to shaking, seizures or heart complications.
There are countless genetic diseases, such as hip dysphasia, heart disease and eye conditions. Spaying a female that carries bad genes is the easiet way to prevent babies with the same problems.
These are ONLY 10 of the reasons to spay a pet. Spaying also prevents behavioral problems and several other issues. Clients who don’t have their pet spayed often tell us that they simply can not afford the procedure. Please keep in mind that it could cost 5-10 times more to treat a mammary tumor or pyometra.
If you have questions about spaying your pet, please call us to make an informed decision.