Spay or neuter your pet, and he/she will be healthier and
Many great websites are out there promoting spay/neuter. We
all know that spaying and neutering is the best way to stop pet
overpopulation. What if you just don't care about anything but
your own pet? (don't we all know people like that?) This is the
page to read! Our goal is to give undisputable facts, backed up
by the research. You can't argue with science!
What is a spay?
Removal of the uterus and ovaries from a female animal. It
involves entering the abdomen, and has become a standard,
outpatient procedure in most vet clinics.
What is a neuter?
Removal of the testicals from the scrotal pouch of a male animal.
Adult dogs that are neutered may still have an empty sac
visible. Along with the testes are removed the ductus deferens
Reasons to spay a female dog or cat:
- Spaying a female dog or cat reduces hormone
fluctuations, which can help control any other conditions
the dog or cat may have such as diabetes, epilepsy, or
demodex mange.Fossum, et al. Small Animal Surgery, 2nd
Edition, 2002. p616
- 50% of dog mammary tumors (breast lumps) and 90% of cat
mammary tumors are malignant (cancerous). Ogilvie, Moore.
Managing the Veterinary Cancer Patient: a practice manual.
- If a female dog is spayed before her first heat cycle,
her risk of developing breast cancer is only 0.05%. If she
is spayed after having only one heat cycle, her risk of
breast cancer jumps to 8%. If she is spayed after her second
heat cycle, that risk becomes 26%... that's more than 1 in
4! Spaying a dog after her third heat cycle may reduce the
risk of mammary carcinoma (breast cancer) but not
appreciably. The take-home message: intact female dogs are
50 times more likely to get breast cancer than a dog spayed
prior to her first heat cycle. Ogilvie, Moore. Managing the
Veterinary Cancer Patient: a practice manual. 1995
- Cats that are spayed prior to 1 year of age have a mere
0.6% risk of developing mammary carcinoma, which is a very
aggressive, often fatal, cancer in cats. More than 99% of
cats diagnosed with mammary carcinoma are intact (not
spayed). Fossum, et al. Small Animal Surgery, 2nd Edition,
- Pyometra is an infection and accumulation of pus inside
the uterus. It can cause the liver and kidneys to fail, and
can be fatal if the animal is not spayed as treatment. If
the uterus is weak and ruptures either before or during
surgery, this leads to death in 57% of dogs. It is rare for
a spayed dog to develop pyometra. Fossum, et al. Small
Animal Surgery, 2nd Edition, 2002. p644
- Spaying prevents estrous, or the heat cycle. Dogs that
no longer cycle rarely get vaginal prolapse/hyperplasia or
vaginal cysts, as these are hormonally based. Fossum, et al.
Small Animal Surgery, 2nd Edition, 2002. p645
- Early spaying can effectively reduce dog to dog
aggression. Hart BL. Effects of neutering and spaying on the
behavior of dogs and cats: questions and answers about
practical concerns. J Am Vet Med Assoc 198:1204-5, 1981a
It has become common knowledge that spaying a dog effectively
stops the occurance of messy, bloody heat cycles, and the animal
Common sense tell us that if an animal does not have a
uterus, she cannot develop cancer of the uterus, uterine
torsion, infection (pyometra), inflammation (metritis), or
prolapse! If she does not have ovaries, she cannot develop
Reasons to neuter/castrate a male dog or cat:
- Neutered dogs do not have testicles, meaning they cannot
get testicular cancer. There are 3 common types of
testicular tumor: Sertoli cell tumors, Leydig cell tumors,
and seminomas.Sertoli cell tumors, ironically, secrete
estrogen, a female hormone. Dogs with hyperestrogenism
display female physical and sexual traits. Leydig cell
tumors can cause hernias and prostatic disease.Fossum, et
al. Small Animal Surgery, 2nd Edition, 2002. p660
- Neutering a male dog will effectively reduce or
eliminate objectionable behaviors such as urine marking,
mounting, and roaming. Some dogs show decreased aggression
after castration as well. Neilson JC, et al. J Am Vet Med
Assoc 211:180, 1997
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is an enlargement of the
prostate gland that can cause difficulty defecating or
urinating. The enlargement is hormonally controlled, and
neutering the dog is the definitive cure for this. If a dog
is already neutered, he cannot develop BPH. Kraweic, Heflin.
Study of Prostatic Disease in Dogs: 177 cases. J Am Vet Med
Assoc 100:1119, 1992.
- Prostatic abscesses are painful and cause systemic
signs. This condition affects intact, non-neutered dogs.
Mullen, et al. Results of Surgery and postoperative
complications in 92 dogs treated for prostatic absessation
by a multiple penrose drain technique. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc
- Neutering can prevent perianal adenomas and perineal
hernias, two painful and unsightly conditions. Fossum, et
al. Small Animal Surgery, 2nd Edition, 2002. p619
- If a male cat is neutered, fighting decreases by 88%,
urine spraying decreases by 87%, and roaming decreases by
92%. Hart BL, CooperLC. Factors relating to urine spraying
and fighting in pre-pubertally gonadectomized cats. J Am Vet
Med Assoc 184:1255-1258. 1994.
- Early neutering can effectively prevent interdog
aggression. Voith VL. Intermale Aggression in the dog. Mod
Vet Practice 61(3):256-258, 1980e.
Consider the costs!
Paying for a single spay or neuter operation can be considered
an investment. One preventative surgery is much less expensive
than paying for surgery and medicine for a life-threatening
condition, not to mention the suffering of your pet!
"But no child's life is complete without experiencing
We've all heard the "old wives tales" about spaying and
neutering. People think they must breed if their dog is
purebred, or watching a birth will actually teach their kids
something about life. These, of course, are ludicrous, but one
"crazy notion" actually has some truth to it! Research shows
that spaying or neutering dogs and cats can cause their energy
needs to drop by about 25% (Root MV, et al. Res Vet Sci
1996:57(3)317-374). Furthermore, another study showed that
altered dogs and cats consume more food (Fettman MJ et al, Res
Vet Sci 1997: 62:131-136). This is not a good combination in
terms of weight control! So how do you keep the weight off?
Measure what your pet eats, consult your veterinarian about the
right food (type and quantity) for your pet, and get out and
exercise! Since about 30% of pets in this country are
overweight, many great diets and health programs are now
available through your veterinarian!
Besides the many health benefits, spaying or neutering your
pet will help the pet overpopulation problem! Every year, over a
million dogs and cats are killed in shelters. These are healthy,
loving animals who simply had bad luck--no one wanted them. You
can help solve this problem very easily by having your pet
spayed or neutered. It's healthier for your pet, and you can be
confident you did not contribute to the pet overpopulation