“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.” Albert Schweitzer
Considering spaying or neutering your pet?
There are many benefits to you and your pet by spaying or neutering them. The following article is designed to inform you of some of the advantages and explain some of the reasons why you might want to consider this surgery.
One of the first things to consider is the health and happiness of your pet. Everyone wants their furry family members to live a long, happy, healthy life. Who wouldn’t! Many people think that when you spay/neuter an animal it will alter them in some way from the loving family member that they have become. Not true at all! They are the same animal after the procedure as they were before. The only difference will be that you just gave them the opportunity to live a longer, healthier life. Trust me they will love you for it!
There are many diseases that occur in un-altered pets.
Un-neutered males: Testicular cancer, prostate cancer, acute and chronic prostatitis, prostatic abscess, testicle infections, venereal tumors, perineal tumors, inguinal hernia with potential organ strangulation.
Un-spayed females: Breast cancer (50%of intact females develop mamory tumors), uterine infections (pyometra), false pregnancies, mastitis, ovarian and uterine tumors, uterine torsion, uterine prolapse, vaginal hyperplasia and prolapse, chronic endometritis, cystic ovaries, and venereal sarcomoa.
Spayed/Neutered pets: 0% chance of getting some of these diseases if altered early in life (5-9 months), less likely to have other problems if altered later in life.
Wow! Scary stuff! Big words that can mean big problems and possibly death for your loved ones.
There are also some behavioral changes that occur in your pets.
Un-Neutered Males: They usually have a tendency to roam, even run away to get to a female that is in heat. Some of these situations have resulted in hit by car accidents when your male travels around the neighborhood. Un-neutered males are known to howl at the moon. They have a tendency to be more aggressive and want to fight more. They also have a tendency to mark their territory.
Un-Spayed females: They tend to act much different when in heat, not to mention the mess they will leave behind them. They can also become restless.
Spayed/neutered pets: 60% less prone to health problems. They usually have less of a desire to roam, and less desire to fight and mark territory. They also have the opportunity to live a longer, healthier life.
Another benefit to spaying/neutering is that you will be helping out the animal overpopulation. No one likes to hear it, but the truth is that millions of animals are euthanized (killed) every year because there are so many unwanted animals. The Arizona Humane Society did an interesting study that every year 70,000 animals are born and only 10,000 humans are born. Every person would need to be a loving home for 7 pets to make up for the difference. Everyone knows that puppies and kittens are cute. But every baby that is born from your un-spayed female will need to find a good home and will take away from other animals still waiting for their loving homes. Male dogs escape all the time looking for females in heat and contribute to 50% of the problem.
The cost of raising a litter to 6 weeks can be more than the expense of spaying or neutering.
I’m sure everyone is curious about how to get your pet spayed or neutered. First you want to make an appointment with your veterinarian and they can fill you in on all the details. Spaying/neutering is a surgical procedure performed under anesthesia. Modern medicine has advanced to the degree that it is now a much safer procedure. Your pet will not be awake at all during their surgery. After the procedure there are medications that can help with some minor after surgery discomfort. This only lasts for a day or so and then your pet and you will not know the difference. It is a much faster recovery if your new family member is younger. Typically the best time to spay/neuter is between 4-6months of age. Even if your pet is over this age you can still have the surgery done. It is always a good idea to have an exam done by your veterinarian. It is also a good idea to do pre-surgery lab work, especially if your pet is over 7 years of age, or has any existing health problems.
There are many myths going around about spaying/neutering that I think need to be addressed.
My pet will gain weight: If you over feed your pet they will gain weight. Nutrition is something that should be discussed by you and your veterinarian.
If I neuter him, he won’t be as protective: Instinct is not affected by hormones. He will still stand by your side as your guardian.
My children should see the miracle of birth: They still can. Many zoo’s and local shelters would be able to assist in that. There is also television and computers that can show you that miracle.
It will make my female calmer to have a litter first: It does not improve or change an animal’s disposition at all and you are making her more susceptible to health problems later in life.
There are many more myths you can hear about by looking on the internet or asking your veterinarian.
I hope this article has answered some of your questions or concerns regarding the decision to spay or neuter your pet. You can expect positive health and behavioral outcomes if you choose to spay or neuter.
By Jennifer Kenney (Founder of Little Rascals Rescue)
For a list of low cost and in some cases free Spay and Neuter clinics check out The Arizona Pet Project at
We recommend to get it done right.
Myths and facts on spay and neutering
Recommended spay and neuter clinic