Choosing to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Unless you are a breeder, a common practice across the U.S. is to have your pet neutered. For those who choose to adopt a dog or cat, this surgical procedure may be required by the adoption agency. There are a range of benefits as well as some risks to consider when choosing to have your pet neutered, which is why Powell Veterinary Service recommends learning as much as you can about both options before making your decision.

While neutering generally refers to the surgical castration of male pets, the term technically applies to both males and females. An ovariohysterectomy, commonly called spaying, is the removal of the uterus and ovaries in a female animal.

Having your pet neutered prevents unwanted pregnancy and the stress and burden that come along with a litter of puppies or kittens. Having an ovariohysterectomy performed on your female dog before her first heat cycle reduces the chances of mammary cancer by almost 100 percent. The number one cancer effecting adult female dogs, this preventative step can help your pooch to live a healthier and longer life. Also, Neutered males have a lower chance of developing prostate disease.

A recent study out of the University of California-Davis has shown that there are some negative effects to neutering as well. Performed on Golden Retreivers – one of the most popular U.S. dog breeds – this study showed an increase in hip dysplasia and lymphosarcoma among neutered males, as well as an increase in hemangiosarcoma among spayed females.

Studies like this one have begun to show that there are both risks and benefits associated with the spay-neuter process. This surgery change animals and weight gain is common. We recommend a caloric decrease of 25 percent to prevent obesity.

Discuss with your vet the best age to have your pet neutered if you decide this is the best option for you and your furry friend. If you are interested in having your puppy, kitten or adult pet spayed or neutered, contact Powell Veterinary Service online or by phone at 970-352-9164 to set up an appointment today. Located in Kersey, Colorado we happily serve surrounding areas including Brighton and Platteville.