Approximately 17 million dogs and cats are turned over to animal shelters per year. Only 1 in 10 animals successfully find a home. The suffering and sorrow associated with pet overpopulation is overwhelming. The tragedy is that much of it could be eliminated by simple operations. Spaying and neutering surgeries are performed under general anesthesia and are helpful in many ways. By spaying and neutering pets, people can help lower the numbers of unwanted and homeless dogs and cats. By helping to keep the pet population in check, you increase the chances of adoption for already homeless animals.
Spaying your Female Pet
A spay, or ovariohysterectomy, refers to the sterilization of a female pet, and involves the surgical removal of the uterus and both ovaries. This surgery requires your pet to be placed under general anesthesia. The most common reason to perform a spay is to prevent estrus (heat cycles) and unwanted offspring. Other reasons include prevention of mammary tumors or hereditary/congenital defects, prevention and treatment of pyometra (infection of the uterus), neoplasia (cancer of the ovaries, uterus, or vagina), or other disease processes (such as uterine torsion, uterine prolapse, vaginal prolapse, and control of some endocrine abnormalities like diabetes and epilepsy and dermatoses like generalized demodex).
Special Information Regarding Mammary Tumors In Dogs & Cats
- Approximately 50% of mammary tumors are malignant (cancerous), and approximately 50% are benign (non-cancerous).
- Any breed is susceptible, however there is an increased predisposition in Poodles,Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Terriers, and German Shepherd dogs.
- The development of mammary tumors in the dog is clearly hormone dependent.
- The risk for malignant tumors in dogs spayed prior to the 1st estrus (before their 1st heat cycle) is 0.05%.
- The risk for malignant tumors in dogs spayed after the 1st estrus (between their 1st and 2nd heat cycles) is 8%.
- HOWEVER, the risk for malignant tumors in dogs spayed after the 2nd estrus (after their 2nd heat cycle) rises to 26%.
Approximately 90% of mammary tumors in cats are malignant.
Any breed is susceptible, however there is an increased incidence in Siamese and domestic short-haired cats.
Hormonal influences seem to be involved in the development of mammary tumors in the cat. A study found that cats spayed (ovariectomized) at 6 months of age had an approximately 7-fold REDUCED risk of mammary cancer compared to intact cats. More recent studies have also been able to show that spayed cats have a 40% to 60% lower risk of developing mammary cancer than intact cats.
THEREFORE, IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED TO SPAY YOUR CAT.
Neutering Your Male Pet
Neutering should be considered if you are keeping any male dog or cat as a pet. A neuter, or castration, refers to the sterilization of a male pet, and involves the surgical removal of both testicles. This surgery requires your pet to be placed under general anesthesia. Neutering, or castration, reduces overpopulation by inhibiting male fertility and decreases male aggressiveness, roaming, and undesirable urination behavior. It helps prevent prostatic diseases, perianal adenomas, and perineal hernias. Other indications for castration include congenital abnormalities, testicular or epididymal abnormalities, scrotal neoplasia (cancer), trauma or abscesses, hernias, epilepsy control, and control of endocrine abnormalities. Neutering helps to eliminate the risk of testicular cancers and torsion, and helps to decrease the risk of prostatic disease.
Preoperative and Postoperative Care
Here at Hope Animal Medical Center, we recommend spaying and neutering your pet at 4 to 6 months of age for the most health and behavior benefits. We will advise you to withhold food and water from your pet the night before surgery is scheduled in order to decrease the risk of nausea and/or vomiting during or after surgery. Preoperatively, we perform pre-anesthetic bloodwork to screen for any pre-existing abnormalities that may cause complications during surgery. If all bloodwork results are normal, then we proceed with surgery. We offer a complimentary overnight stay for all of our spay and neuter patients; however, most of our patients are able to go home the same night after surgery. Postoperatively, the veterinarian and veterinary technician will review instructions and advice that should be followed to ensure a safe and healthy recovery of your pet. Once a pet has fully recovered, you can feel confident that you have helped your companion to live a longer, happier, healthier life while not contributing to the overpopulation of animals.
Please call us at 706-546-7879 if you are interested in having your pet spayed or neutered. During the month of June 2011, we are offering a 20% discount off all our spay and neuter surgeries.