and NEUTERING FACT vs. FICTION
Not all people agree
on the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats. Some believe that spaying and neutering is cruel, painful, and unfair to their
pet while others know it is a simple procedure which will
not only lower their pet's risk of getting certain cancers, but will also help reduce
the addition of more pets to the pet overpopulation. Still, some feel that allowing their pet to produce
the first litter will make them a better pet or will provide their
children with the opportunity to "experience birth". We now know that spaying and neutering makes your pet less likely to wander off in search of the opposite sex,
become overly aggressive, or exhibit dominating behaviors toward their owner. The beliefs and
attitudes of whether you should or shouldn't spay or neuter your pet are
varied. Yet, if you are the owner of a dog or cat, you will be
responsible for making that decision.
Below are several of the
misconceptions about spaying and neutering. Factual information was
provided by Jefferson Road Animal Hospital.
and neutering will cause pets to get fat and lazy.
FICTION. The FACT is....Body weight is determined by the intake of calories balanced by the
amount of exercise. Spaying and neutering has no effect on
is better to let them have a litter before getting them
FICTION. The FACT is....There are no advantages, medical or behavioral, to allowing a female to have puppies. Actually, most of the long term benefits (such as
the prevention of breast cancer) is only obtained if spayed before
the first heat cycle
that are not spayed or neutered are more protective.
FICTION. The FACT is....While territorial and inter-dog aggression is reduced by neutering, a
dog's tendency to protect it's owner is unaffected.
females need to be spayed since they are the ones that have the babies.
FICTION. The FACT is...It obviously takes both male and female to produce a litter of pups
and kittens which adds to the pet overpopulation. There are also many
benefits to having males neutered such as reducing it's chance of
testicular cancer, reducing aggression, and lessening its tendency to
roam and wander in search of females
mutts should be spayed or neutered.
FICTION. The FACT is....Maintaining quality in purebred dogs and cats dictates the breeding of
only the best physical specimens of that breed.
Sterilization of the rest prevents careless breeding in addition to the
health benefits that can be obtained.
that are spayed or neutered are less likely to get certain types of cancers.
is true....Because the reproductive organs are removed during spaying and
neutering, a pet's chance of contracting certain cancers (such as
testicular cancer and ovarian cancer) is greatly reduced. In
fact, in female dogs, if they are spayed before their first heat cycle,
you can essentially eliminate their chances of getting breast cancer and pyometra which can result in death if untreated.
and neutering is too painful and too expensive.
FICTION. The FACT is....These procedures when performed on young healthy dogs and cats results
in little or no discomfort. As to cost, spaying and neutering
surgeries are some of the best bargains going. Spaying and
neutering surgery is generally well below the cost of other types of
surgeries. In fact, the cost of having your pet spayed or
neutered could actually cost less than if you allowed your pet to have a
litter. Consider how much food it takes to feed several puppies
and kittens until you can find them a home. Think about the cost
if you plan to provide each one in the litter with their first
shots. And if your female should have a problem during
delivery and need emergency hospital care, think about the veterinarian
bill. Spaying and neutering generally costs less than what most people
spend on one year's worth of food for their pet. Spaying and
neutering is also a once in a lifetime cost thereby eliminating all of
the above expenses associated with having multiple litters of puppies or
females are less likely to attract stray males to your property.
is true....When a female is in "heat", or estrus, they secrete
pheromones- substances which can be detected by males up to a mile
What is Pyometra?
Uterus vs. Infected Uterus with Pyometra
The word 'pyometra' comes
from the latin "pyo" meaning pus and "metra"
meaning uterus. Pyometra is an abscessed, pus-filled infected
uterus. Toxins and bacteria leak across the uterine walls and
into the bloodstream causing life-threatening toxic effects.
Without treatment, death is inevitable.
With each heat cycle in
females, the uterine lining engorges in preparation for
pregnancy. In some cases, engorgement of some tissues becomes
a lush breeding ground for infection, bacteria and ultimately
ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Usually, the female has
finished a heat cycle in the previous 1-2 months. She has a
poor appetite and may be vomiting or drinking excessive amounts of
water. In the case of "open pyometra", the cervix is
open and there is a smelly discharge. However, in "closed
pyometra" where the cervix is closed, there is no
discharge. These patients tend to get sicker since the toxic
bacteria and discharge is retained internally and consequently
making it more difficult to diagnose.
If pyometra is diagnosed,
the normal treatment is to surgically remove the uterus and
ovaries. This is a very challenging surgery if the patient is
toxic. It is crucial that the infected uterine contents not
spill and that no excess hemorrhage occurs. Antibiotics may be
administered before, during, and after the surgery. In
addition, patients are often put on pain relievers after the
operation. Typically, a few days of hospitalization are needed
after the surgery has been performed.
It is critical that the
ovaries be completely removed to prevent any future hormonal
influence which will result in continued heat cycles and therefore
run the risk of pyometra recuring.
This surgery amounts to
the same end result of a routine spay surgery. However,
because this particular surgery is very challenging and due to the
toxic, life threatening situation - there is nothing routine about a
"pyometra spay surgery." For these reasons, the
'pyometra spay' typically costs five to ten times as much as a
routine spay surgery on healthy females.
SURGERY THE ONLY TREATMENT?In the late 1980's an
alternative method of treatment became available for patients with
"open pyometra". In this treatment, special hormones
are given as injections which cause the uterus to expel the
pus. A week or two of hospitalization is necessary. This
treatment is not an alternative for "closed
The risks with this type
of treatment is that pyometra can recur. If that happens and
the disease is treated again, there is the possibility of uterine
rupture. This would cause peritonitis and escalates the
life-threatening nature of the disease.
LOVE MY PET! CAN I PREVENT IT FROM GETTING PYOMETRA?
Having your female pet spayed is the way to completely prevent her
from getting pyometra. Spaying not only eliminates her chances
of developing this life-threatening disease but also reduces the
risk of her contracting several other deadly cancers which are
related to the reproductive organs. Making the choice to have
your female spayed is a healthy and responsible
decision. The cost of a normal spay surgery is far below
the cost of treating pyometra or a pyometra spay
there are no types of surgeries that are completely 100% risk free,
regular spay surgeries are safe and contain very limited risk as
compared with the risk involved to a pet that develops pyometra.