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Spay, Neuter, & Vasectomy

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Spay, Neuter, & Vasectomy
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According to a recent report by the American Humane Society, animal shelters across the US euthanize 2.4 million healthy dogs and cats each year due to pet overpopulation. This equates to one healthy animal losing his or her life every 13 seconds in America alone. 

Fortunately, despite this sad and frustrating statistic, you can make a difference by having your pet spayed or neutered. Neutering a male pet means he can’t impregnate a female while a spay surgery in females renders them infertile.

What Happens During a Spay or Neuter Surgery

The first thing the veterinarian will do when a pet undergoes a spay or neuter procedure is carefully sedate them using safe and effective anesthesia. This puts them into a deep sleep. The doctor will then remove the reproductive organs.

Throughout the entire procedure, our veterinary team will remain present to carefully monitor the patient’s heart and breathing rate. They also provide pet owners with home care instructions once the pet comes out of surgery.

Benefits of Spaying

An unaltered female cat may go through several heat cycles each year. Intact female dogs usually go into heat twice each year. A cat becomes fertile well before she reaches one year old, which means she could produce dozens of litters of kittens during her lifetime. Cats in heat exhibit loud vocalizations and can act aggressively to try to gain the attention of male cats.

Spaying a female pet reduces her desire to roam free. If an unneutered male encounters a spayed female, he won’t attempt to mate with her. In addition to preventing litters of puppies and kittens that may not find a home, spaying a female cat or dog decreases her risk of developing uterine, ovarian, and mammary gland cancer. This risk decreases even further for dogs and cats who have the surgery before they go into heat for the first time.

Benefits of Neutering

Intact male dogs and cats often engage in aggressive behavior and roaming when they have not yet undergone the neutering procedure. This aggression can surprise their human family. Unneutered pets also spray their urine to claim a territory as their own. The odor of this spray is not only unpleasant, but it can be extremely difficult to eliminate as well. 

Neutering a pet increases their lifespan by an average of three to five years. For instance, after neutering surgery, the risk of testicular or prostate cancer in male pets drops significantly.

One last thing to consider is that people with altered pets make better neighbors and are less likely to encounter the dangers of roaming because their pets are much more likely to remain safely in their own home or yard.

Canine Vasectomy

For some pet owners, canine vasectomy is the preferred option. While both procedures help prevent unwanted reproduction, because a vasectomy does not involve full removal of the testicles, the dog continues to produce testosterone. This is often the preferred option, particularly when it comes to canine athletes and performance dogs. 

Vasectomy vs. Neuter

A neuter procedure involves the complete removal of the testicles from the scrotum, whereas a vasectomy only involves the removal of the Vas Deferens, which is the tube that carries sperm from the testes. A dog that has undergone a vasectomy will still produce hormones, which means he may still have the drive, desire, and ability to mate with females. Those mating sessions simply will not result in impregnation. 

Advantages of Canine Vasectomy

Why choose vasectomy over traditional neutering? There are actually a variety of benefits to allowing a dog to retain his testes. These may include:

  • Lower risk of certain cancers as well as autoimmune thyroiditis and hypothyroidism
  • Higher endurance and healthier weight  
  • Reduced incidence of cranial cruciate rupture and hip dysplasia
  • Lower incidence of adverse reactions to vaccines
  • Decreased risk of cognitive dysfunction

Of course, there are also some disadvantages of leaving your dog semi-intact, such as the risk of testicular cancer and other health conditions, as well as territorial marking and other behavioral issues often associated with intact dogs. Still, for some, the benefits of maintaining natural hormone production outweigh the risks, especially for those who own sporting or hunting dogs.

Not sure whether a canine vasectomy is right for your dog? Have questions about spaying or neutering your pet? The experienced team at Safford Veterinary Services would be happy to discuss the pros and cons, evaluate your specific situation, and help you make a more informed decision. 

Take the next step in ensuring your pet’s health and wellbeing. Contact us today at 331-212-0836 to learn more and schedule a consultation.

Safford Veterinary Services

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