Spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is the removal of the uterus
and both ovaries in females. Neutering is the removal of both testicles in
males. These procedures render the animal sterile, but they also cease
production of the reproductive hormones (i.e. estrogen and progesterone
in females, testosterone in males). Though essential for reproduction,
these hormones can have many undesired side effects – which are
eliminated with spaying/neutering.
Spayed females no longer have heat cycles and associated
vaginal bleeding, and are much less prone to the risky behavior of
escaping the yard in search of a mate (and risking exposure to traffic and
other hazards). Likewise, a neutered male no longer senses or responds
to females in heat, so he no longer displays the typical stressed-out, hardto-
control, and roaming behaviors. Neutering notably curbs aggression
between male dogs, too.
Spaying prevents ovarian cancer in females, and if you
spay before your pet's first heat cycle you can significantly reduce the
chance of development of mammary cancer. Neutering prevents male
testicular cancer and decreases the risk of prostate cancer. Spaying/
neutering also reduces the risk of development of noncancerous tumors
triggered by reproductive hormones.
An unspayed female pet also has a
much greater risk of a type of uterine
infection known as pyometra, which
occurs as a result of hormonal
changes during a heat cycle.
In the United States, most pets
are spayed/neutered between 5
and 8 months of age. Today’s laser
procedures make the surgery less invasive, with
less blood loss
and swelling and
faster healing for
your pet. Spaying
or neutering is a
healthy choice we
make for our pets,
resulting in fewer pet
better quality of life.